Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vive Nano Shows Us How Creative Fund Raising Is Done

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that this year, I am a big advocate of grabbing all the government cash you can to grow your business. This is not based on some personal philosphy of mine about the role of government in innovation. It's a reflection of the cold hard realities that come with being an innovator in a region outside of Silicon Valley. Right now, no North American region outside of Silicon Valley has a significant pool of local venture capital available. The money available today to fund innovation comes principally from local, provincial and state governments.

Now, there's no question for me that this will change. For example, it's pretty clear that in Canada, 2010 will be the year local funds begin to re-emerge. But while we wait, growth belongs to those who understnad and act opportunistically to can secure their piece of the local capital pie.

Which leads me to our client, Vive Nano. Yesterday the Ontario Government announced an award of $3.8 million to Vive from the Government's Innovation Demonstration Fund. Proceeds will be used to build a pilot production plant for its nanomaterials. Vive Nano's first product reformulates pesticides so that farmers can better protect their crops while using less chemicals, resulting in reduced emissions and less chemical run-off. Other nanotechnology applications are expected to lead to significant advances in wastewater treatment, fuel cells, biofuels and solar cells.

Congratulations to the Vive team. Watch this space for further developments in government funding as we roll into 2010 - 2011.