Company Logo Friday, April 06, 2001

Waterloo fund launched

Andrew Willis, Globe & Mail

The fact that these are desperate days for cash-starved tech companies makes this an opportune time for brave souls to launch a private equity fund.

A few weeks ago, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board and Cranston Gaskin O'Reilly & Vernon Investment Counsel of Toronto provided the initial backing for a $23-million fund that will be based in Waterloo, Ont., one of Canada's high-tech hotbeds.

Waterloo Tech Capital will back early stage tech companies. It is being run by Andrew Abouchar, a fund manager at Waterloo Ventures, and Tim Jackson, previously chief financial officer at PixStream.

Gary Will, who follows tech plays in the region, wrote in a report that the new fund "will focus on very early stage technologies and use its local presence to work closely with company founders." Given the recent traumas to investors in this sector, the fund will be able to work in space where even angels now fear to tread.

Tech Capital's advisory board is to include Doug Wright, University of Waterloo's president emeritus and a director of Research In Motion, Descartes chief executive officer Peter Schwartz and Helix Investments vice-president Richard Black.

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