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News

New high-tech venture capital fund

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V. : 14 December, 2005  (New Product)
A new venture capital firm, Munich Venture Partners, is cooperating with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to float a fund for financing high-tech startups. One of its main focuses will be to support Fraunhofer technology spin-offs.
Professor Hans-Jörg Bullinger, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, sees the newly launched enterprise Munich Venture Partners as a way of channeling the innovation potential of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft even more effectively into commercially viable products and solutions. 'We have decided to co-operate with Munich Venture Partners because the MVP team, consisting of experienced industry executives and successful venture capital professionals, provides a very good basis for enhancing the value creation out of Fraunhofer technology spin-offs. Germany does need more high tech companies which are successful on an international scale. Together with Munich Venture Partners, we would like to contribute in this regard.'

Although this is MVP's first venture capital fund, it held its first closing within a very short time, at a substantially higher sum than originally planned. One of the three partners, Sönke Mehrgardt, sees this as confirmation that the firm has been pursuing the right strategy: 'The fact that we could attract internationally leading corporations as investors, proves that we have the right concept: Among them are SAP, Swisscom and the KfW Banking Group, as well as reputable private investors and family offices, such as the Armada Investment Group' Investors were obviously not just looking for technical innovations, he said, but also honoring innovative venture capital approaches such as the contract with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. MVP would now start to invest. 'We hope to win further investors for the fund,' Mehrgardt continues, 'so that we can reach our target volume of 50 to 60 million euros as soon as possible.' Along with partners Walter Grassl and Rolf Nagel, Mehrgardt plans to use the fund for investments in information, communication and energy-related technologies, giving special support to start-up companies. The three partners together possess several decades of business experience in the high-tech and venture capital sectors.

The Fraunhofer Venture Group, which is the first point of contact for the spin-off activities of the 58 Fraunhofer Institutes, liaises between MVP and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Offering access to more than 4500 sets of patents, it gives start-up firms a better chance of getting their products quickly established on the market. Its services comprise end-to-end support and consulting from the initial idea through to the setting up of a new company, as well as licensing Fraunhofer technologies and establishing intellectual property rights and usage rights in the start-up firms.
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