ilab has scored a twin win over the past week.
Queensland’s largest incubator and technology accelerator, established in 2000, won an additional two years of funding from the Queensland government, and then struck a deal with Artesian Venture Partners to create a $1.5 million Accelerate Investment Fund.
The government funding assurance will support ilab’s flagship Germinate program, which has invested $300,000 in 19 startups over the past two years.
“We are thrilled at the announcement of the next round of funding which will enable us to continue our work to support entrepreneurs and technology startups as they and grow their ideas,” said Leigh Angus, the ilab’s program director.
Since its own incubation, ilab has raised over $70 million in grant and investment capital to hatch over 100 startups. In 2009, ilab was acquired by UQ Holdings Pty Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Queensland. Since then, ilab is managed by UniQuest, itself an indirect division of a UQ Holdings subsidiary.
Privileged access for investors
The $1.5 million Artesian fund – most of which will be raised by Artesian Venture Partners – will invest in a subset of graduates from the Germinate program, according to Dr. Dean Moss, CEO of Uniquest Pty. Ltd., the University of Queensland’s main commercialization company. Moss said Artesian would offer private investors a vehicle to “invest in a number of early-stage startup businesses coming through ilab.”
“The (ilab) program and network access that ilab provides to its program participants accelerates and focuses their business development helping create robust, scalable ventures for angel and other early stage investors,” said Jeremy Colless, managing principal of Artesian Venture Partners.
Artesian Venture Partners, an alternative investment management firm, was spun off from ANZ Banking Group’s capital markets business in 2004. ANZ’s Private Equity division held a minor stake until it was bought out in 2005. Artesian became a venture investor in 2009 and two years later launched its first venture fund – the $10 million Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund. Earlier this year, Artesian partnered with Hunter Valley-based regional accelerator, Slingshot, to launch a $10 million fund.