Ghent University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in collaboration with the University of Antwerp, proudly announce the birth of a new inter-university seed capital fund. The aim of this first inter-university fund, is to finance the technological spin-offs of three university associations – Ghent University Association, Brussels University Association and the Association Antwerp University & Antwerp Colleges (Associatie UGent, Universitaire Associatie Brussel and the Associatie Universiteit & Hogescholen Antwerpen ).
The new Qbic Fund is the successor of the Baekeland II-Fund of UGent and the BI3-fund of VUB. The two institutions pooled the expertise of their respective tech transfer services to improve the success of risk companies through economies of scale and further professionalization. Through the alliance, the promoters succeeded to achieve more than a doubling of the capital, resulting in an order of magnitude of 30 million in start-up, possibly even increasing in the second closing.
Besides the university associations, investment banks and public companies also invested in the new fund. Thus ARKimedes, the lever with which the Flemish government encourages fast-growing SMEs with venture capital, through the Participation Company Flanders (Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV)), committed to 12 million.
The Qbic Fund recruited experienced investment managers in the field of venture capital to provide an international standing.
The opportunities offered by the Qbic Fund will hopefully give a new dimension of dynamism to the community of researchers to upholster the pipeline of new spin-off projects. Due to the size of the fund, more capital-intensive spin-offs and inter-university ventures will be supported better and more easily. The fund will also support industrial spinouts if they are based on substantial cooperation with the universities. There may also call upon funds from the business accelerator which aims, in parallel with IOF funds for example, to deepen business aspects even before the spin-off is incorporated.