INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Measures To Assist High-tech Innovators

Published: Mon 13 Mar 2000 04:48 PM
New measures to assists innovators start up hi-tech new companies
The government has decided to progress a series of initiatives designed to assist with the formation of new high technology companies. In particular, it will assist innovators to develop their ideas into marketable propositions capable of attracting start up capital.
"Our research has indicated that there is no shortage of good ideas nor is there any great shortage of venture capital. One of the hurdles is how to develop the idea and the proposed business plan to the point where the financial community is comfortable with the proposals," Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said.
"The proposals do work both ways in that they are also aimed at the financial community. We believe that there are too few financiers experienced in this start up deal making. Promising opportunities may have been lost through an inability of the capital providers to work at this relatively low level of involvement. Our initiative will also address this problem.
"We will put together a new “Investment Readiness” service, designed to provide information and training on how to find capital for a new project.
"We will also partially fund the provision of “Ideas Brokers” who will act as an interface between entrepreneur and financier. These brokers are likely to focus, at least in the short term, on good ideas coming out of existing programmes or institutions such as universities, CRIs, Techlink consultants, Economic Development Agencies, BIZ programme etc
"Finally the Government will assist with the growing movement towards institutional incubators associated with universities and polytechs. Incubators typically help new entrepreneurs by providing workspace, business and computer services and access to technical support on preferential terms. Overseas, incubators are assisting the development of new high technology companies. It is now time that New Zealand starts supporting its own entrepreneurs in the same way.
"Funding for the three initiatives will reach about $2.25 million for the 2000/01 financial year. No incremental funding is required for this programme as it now stands.
"New ideas are fundamental to the success of this economy. This package marks the start of a new focus on ensuring those new ideas reach commercial success," Jim Anderton said.

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