The start-up and innovation sector in South Australia has received a welcome boost, with confirmation that Blue Sky Venture Capital, one of Australia’s leading venture capital fund managers, has been selected to manage the State Government’s 15 year, $50 million South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF).
The State Government’s SAVCF will support local ventures with high growth potential to secure funding and accelerate growth into national and global markets, stimulating economic growth and job creation in South Australia.
Commenting on the appointment of Blue Sky Venture Capital, South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said, “The South Australian Venture Capital Fund will support our innovative businesses to become more competitive and reach new markets, stimulating economic activity and job creation for our state through government and private sector co-investment.”
“This means an additional $50 million in external capital will be made available to support innovative South Australian companies.”
South Australian Manufacturing and Innovation Minister, Kyam Maher, believes the fund will ‘turbo charge’ venture capital attraction to South Australia, stating, “The Venture Capital Fund is structured as a unique co-investment fund that enables the State Government to invest alongside private venture capital funds to assist innovative local ventures with high growth potential.”
“The State Government is committed to supporting local entrepreneurs through our extensive support programs for innovation such as the $10 million SA Early Commercialisation Fund and the $7.6 million GigCity Adelaide ultra-fast internet.”
Blue Sky Venture Capital is a subsidiary of ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (Blue Sky), which has offices across Australia and in New York, has strong networks to ‘angel’ investors, high net worth investors, self-managed superannuation funds and institutional investors, including industry superannuation funds.
The company has more than $3 billion in assets under management and has invested more than $250 million in South Australian businesses that employ approximately 1000 people. it has a strong track record of performance, delivering a 25.4% gross internal rate of return compounding since 2006 and is in the top quartile of Venture Capital Fund Managers globally.
Following its appointment, Blue Sky Venture Capital will expand its office in Adelaide, with employees dedicated to the SAVCF, who will work alongside local businesses and organisations to identify high growth potential South Australian companies for investment and help attract additional private sector funding from national and international investors.
Dr Elaine Stead, Head of Venture Capital at Blue Sky Venture Capital, will lead the management of the SAVCF. Dr Stead is from South Australia and has more than 10 years’ experience as a venture capitalist, specialising in technology commercialisation.
“Blue Sky has a long history of partnering with South Australian businesses, and we are excited about applying our venture capital expertise to help early stage companies realise their full growth potential in national and international markets,” Dr Stead said.
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