$42M in venture capital to be invested in Québec companies specializing in clean technologies

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The Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Clément Gignac, announced the closing of the Seed Fund Cycle-C3E and said it is now ready to invest in companies specialized in the cleantech sector. The Minister was joined for the occasion by Jacques Daoust, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec; Janie C. Béïque, Senior Vice President, Nouvelle économie du Fonds de solidarité FTQ; and Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Senior Partner of Cycle Capital Management (CCM) Inc.The fund aims to increase available capital for the early-stage financing of companies specializing in clean technologies. This is one of three seed funds in the technology sector announced by the Québec government.

“This seed fund will allow Québec to expand its venture capital offer for cleantech companies. It is important that seed funding be allocated to those firms interested in transitioning from basic research to the application and commercialization of clean technologies. Growth in this sector is worldwide, and the Government of Québec wants to innovate by taking part in ‘green’ investments, which will help Québec companies evolve,” said Minister Clément Gignac.

The Seed Fund Cycle-C3E is managed by a seasoned team with extensive experience in financing technology companies and a solid business network with venture capital funds in Québec, Canada, and the United States. With the support of industrial partners engaged in value creation, the Seed Fund Cycle-C3E is able to complete the value chain to create thriving technology-based companies. This ecosystem, unique to Cycle Capital Management (CCM), provides the opportunity to close the gap between the technology demonstration phase and commercialization.

“Cycle Capital Management (CCM) is delighted to welcome the Seed Fund Cycle-C3E to its platform, which already benefits from the valuable contribution of industrial partners to validate both the technology and the market. Their contribution allows the portfolio to develop at an accelerated pace. Rio Tinto Alcan, Lonza, Gaz Métro and Systemex are the new industrial partners in this second fund and join the industrial partners from the first fund, namely Brookfield Renewable Power, Cascades and the Master Group. Additional sponsors include the Centre d’excellence en efficacité énergétique (C3E), the Fonds de développement économique LaPrade St-Maurice Inc. and Fondaction, le Fonds de développement de la Confédération des syndicats nationaux pour la coopération et l’emploi” notes Ms. Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Senior Partner of Cycle Capital Management (CCM) Inc.

Funding is provided by various limited partners, including the Government of Québec ($16.5M), through Investissement Québec, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ ($10.9M) and FIER Partenaires ($5.6M), for a total of $33M. An additional $9M in private funding is provided by leading industrial partners from Québec and abroad.

“As a sustainable development player since its creation, the Fund recognizes the importance of establishing practices to protect the environment and improve energy efficiency, and encourages Québec companies to adopt such measures. With this in mind, the Fund became a partner in the first Cycle Capital Fund I. Our investment in this second fund is in response to an important need for financing early-stage companies. We firmly believe that Québec can succeed in this high-growth sector,” says Ms. Janie C. Béïque, Senior Vice President, Nouvelle économie du Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

The closing follows a rigorous process in which promoters were asked to comply with specific conditions such as the signing of employment contracts by key persons, due diligence and a Limited Partnership Agreement signed by all investors involved in the fund.

The capitalization of this fund will be at least $41.5M, and this sum will be invested in companies in Québec. The team at Seed Fund Cycle-C3E can also raise additional funds from private investors for investment in companies outside of Québec.

About seed funds for technology companies
In its 2009–2010 Budget, the Government of Québec announced the creation of three seed funds for technology companies awarded by calls for tenders. In so doing, the government aimed to increase available seed financing for technology companies based in Québec, promote the recruitment of experienced staff to manage these new funds, secure this and other funding further up the financing chain, and broaden the range of the seed financing sector in Québec.

The selection process was conducted by an independent committee of industry experts chaired by Martin Godbout, former Chairman and CEO of Genome Canada.

Seed funds invest in the first stage of business development. The company may be in the process of creation or at the very beginning of its activity, but its business model has not yet been validated.

Seed Fund Cycle-C3E is one of the three seed funds for technology companies announced by the Government of Québec. On October 26, 2010, Minister Clément Gignac announced the closing of Fonds d’investissement Réal, which specialized in information technology and was designed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship.

About Cycle Capital Management (CCM) Inc.
A pioneer among Canadian venture capital funds in the cleantech sector, Cycle Capital brings together a unique group of investment professionals, strategic advisors and sustainable development experts who have an in-depth knowledge of the clean technologies and business sector. Cycle Capital Management supports the development of companies by giving talented entrepreneurs access to its resources and an innovative approach based on “lifecycle thinking,” which enables them to accelerate the adoption of their technologies by the market and to become a leader in their sectors of activity. www.cyclecapital.com

About Investissement Québec
Investissement Québec’s mission is to promote investment in Québec, contributing to economic development and job creation in all regions. Since its creation, the Society has allowed the realization of investments of over $58 billion and the creation of nearly 179,000 jobs. For more information, please visit www.investquebec.com

About Fonds de solidarité FTQ
With net assets of $7.7 billion at November 30, 2010, this is a development capital company that channels the savings of Quebecers. Its investments in all economic sectors help to create and maintain jobs, and further Québec’s economic growth.

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ acts either as a direct partner or a partner connected via its network of members in 2,052 enterprises. It includes 577,511 shareholders/owners and, alone or with other financial partners, helps to create, maintain and protect 150,133 jobs. For more information, please visit www.fondsftq.com.

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Jolyane Pronovost
Communications Advisor
Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade

For more information:
Josée Béland
Investissement Québec

Josée Lagacé
Fonds de solidarité (FTQ)

Andrée-Lise Méthot
Fonds Cycle-C3E
514 495-1022 ext. 202