Danish biotech incubator, DTU-Innovation has launched a DKK85 million (EURO11.5 million) high tech fund, DTU-Invest. The fund’s capital has been raised from Danish corporations and research institutions with the aim of promoting and supporting the establishment of start-ups. The fund will provide access to funding, management support and incubation facilities at the Lyngby-based Technical University.
DTU-Innovation has been investing in ideas originating from Hrsholm Science Park, The Danish Technological Institute and the Danish Technical University since 1998. The Danish Ministry of Trade and Industry has annually provided EURO1.5 million to DTU-Innovation, which it has invested to develop the business models of 40 companies in sectors such as medical technology, biotech and, to a lesser extent, telecoms and IT.
Jacob Klingemann, CEO of DTU-Innovation, said: “The aim of the new fund is to link technical knowledge with the commercial environment in Denmark,” something Danish VCs have so far neglected to do. Motivated by the feeling that academic institutions were selling their spin-offs too early and too cheaply, DTU-Innovation approached Danish corporations with the idea of a fund to help develop patentable business ideas. The industrial companies involved will provide portfolio companies with access to their network of international contacts and Klingemann hopes they will also be able to provide follow-on financing.
Investors in the fund include the brewer Carlsberg, Danfoss (Denmark’s largest industrial group focused on heating and refrigeration), Danisco (food ingredients producer), Danske Private Equity, component manufacturer NKT, life science investor Novo and medical equipment company Radiometer. Each has committed DKK10 million and the DTU-Innovation participation of DKK15 million brings the fund total to DKK85 million. DTU-Innovation’s three shareholders are Hrsholm Science Park, The Danish Technological Institute and the Danish Technical University.
The four key areas targeted by DTU-Invest, are information and communication technology, biotechnology and food science, material science and sensors and medical technology. It will invest between EURO100,000 and EURO1 million in around 12 pre-seed and early stage companies.