CAPRICORN, IMEC Collaborate on Spin-off Initiatives and Seed Fund

2/5/2004 - Capricorn Venture Partners and the Leuven-based research center IMEC will collaborate to support new IMEC spin-off initiatives with start-up and seed capital. As part of the agreement, Capricorn Venture Partners has been mandated to raise the funds required for the ITF seed capital fund.

Capricorn Venture Partners expects to raise 40-60 million euro of committed capital for ITF from local and international investors. The first closing is likely to be called towards the end of Q3 2004 at around 20-25 million euro, allowing ITF to make its first active investments.

Under the agreement, IMEC will identify new spin-off initiatives internally and coach these through the pre-seed phase. Once a first version of the business plan for the new spin-off has been completed, the relevant intellectual property defined and valued, and a management team appointed, the spin-off will be presented by IMEC to ITF for investment consideration. External start-up companies that plan to bundle significant IMEC intellectual property with that of a third party will also be eligible for investments by ITF.

The management of ITF and of its investments will be carried out by an independent management and investment team within Capricorn Venture Partners that will analyse the investment opportunities and, where appropriate, submit an investment proposal to ITF. After the initial investment, the ITF management and investment team will closely monitor its portfolio companies and provide them with hands-on and pro-active coaching. The team will at all times remain in close contact with IMEC, from the moment of initial incubation of the initiative within IMEC. This reciprocal exchange of feedback between IMEC and ITF will help to bring new spin-off initiatives to their seed capital phase in the most efficient manner possible.

ITF will benefit from the assistance of an advisory board consisting of respected national and international scientists and industrial experts with a deep understanding of the technology domains at stake and a unique vision on current and future markets and market trends.

This collaboration between IMEC and Capricorn Venture Partners aims to promote technology-driven entrepreneurship in Flanders. High technology start-up companies in today's market place require significant start-up capital but are more than often perceived by the venture capital industry as high-risk investments. With the creation of ITF, Capricorn Venture Partners and IMEC endeavour to bridge the gap between the research and the venture capital communities, thus promoting the creation of strong technology start-ups.

“The current economic situation has almost completely eroded the supply of venture capital, a state of affairs that is significantly slowing down technological entrepreneurship in Flanders," says Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC. "IMEC develops technologies with high market potential on an ongoing basis. We are confident that with the help of the ITF seed fund, the number of strong spin-off companies that spring from IMEC will increase considerably in the coming years."

"IMEC is an abundant source of world-class and state-of-the-art technology," says Dr. Jos B. Peeters, Managing Partner of Capricorn Venture Partners. "We see ITF as an effective platform that will help young growth companies in bringing IMEC's technology to the market and in contributing to the economic prosperity of our region."

About IMEC
IMEC (Inter-university MicroElectronics Center) was founded in 1984 and today is Europe's largest independent research center in the field of microelectronics, nanotechnology, enabling design methods and technologies for ICT systems. IMEC's activities concentrate on the design technology for integrated information and communication systems; silicon process steps and modules, silicon processes; nanotechnology, microsystems, alternative devices and packaging; solar cells; and advanced training in microelectronics. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has a staff of more than 1300 people including over 380 industrial residents and guest researchers. Its revenue in 2002 of more than 138Meuro was derived from agreements and contracts with the Flemish government, equipment and material suppliers and semiconductor and system-oriented companies worldwide, the EC, MEDEA+ and ESA. News from IMEC is located at

About Capricorn Venture Partners
Capricorn Venture Partners NV is and independent adviser to venture capital funds that focus on investments in young European growth companies in sectors such as ICT, life sciences and advanced materials. Capricorn’s investment management team consists of highly experienced investment managers with a thorough technological expertise and a vast business experience. More information about Capricorn Venture Partners can be obtained at

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