Home Articles How venture capital from Innovation Australia is breathing life into great ideas

How venture capital from Innovation Australia is breathing life into great ideas


Venture capital assistance from Australian Government programs, such as the Innovation Investment Fund, has been vital for helping turn groundbreaking ideas into commercial products with significant social, economic and health benefits.

This is the view of many of the 19 start-ups and venture capital fund managers profiled in AusIndustry’s Investment, Innovation and Venture Capital, that was launched recently.

The chairman of Innovation Australia, David Miles, said the innovations featured in the publication often took many years to commercialise and were often seen as too high risk by most conventional investors.

“Many of those profiled in Investment, Innovation and Venture Capital state that investment and expertise from fund managers licensed under Australian Government venture capital programs made all the difference,” Mr Miles said.

Investment, Innovation and Venture Capital illustrates how programs like the Innovation Investment Fund can help translate ideas into innovative products, processes and services, as well as the growth of new companies,” Mr Miles added.

How is venture capital helping businesses?

Mr Miles said the companies featured in the publication reflect Australian innovation in all its stages. They range all the way from new start-ups funding important research and development into the drugs of tomorrow to mature companies that employ hundreds of people and export around the world.

“For example, Vaxxas was formed only a year ago by a $15-million syndicate of venture capital funds to commercialise the Nanopatch, which may one day deliver vaccines without needles or syringes,” Mr Miles said.

“Acrux, meanwhile, is a small Australia drug delivery business which has two drugs on sale in the United States and is now returning dividends to shareholders.”

“At the other end of the spectrum is SEEK, which received venture capital investment from the AMWIN Innovation Fund in its early days when the internet was relatively new. AMWIN’s capital, as well as management advice, paved the way for growth and now SEEK employs around 600 people and is the world’s largest online jobs ad company.”

Innovation Australia is an independent statutory body that helps administer the Australian government’s innovation and venture capital programs. The Board has advised AusIndustry on more than $500 million of government funds to be co-invested alongside private sector capital through programs like the Innovation Investment Fund, the Innovation Investment Follow-on Fund and the Pre-Seed Fund.

When completed, the current round of the IIF will have injected at least $490 million of government and private capital into the venture capital sector.

Under the latest tranche, the Australian Government will commit another $100 million to license new funds, to be matched at least 1:1 with private capital. Successful fund managers are expected to be announced in early 2013.

There you have it, if all these start-ups have made it, what are you waiting for to get that business idea going?

Image by brunkfordbraun