Volume 94, Issue 75

Tuesday, February 6, 2001


Prez hopefuls visit Saugeen

$2.5M fund created for Internet start-ups

Student activism tops Htoo's list


Corroded Disorder

$2.5M fund created for Internet start-ups

By Dan Leinwand
Gazette Writer

Western and a Toronto-based investment firm have announced the creation of a new $2.5 million fund dedicated to helping e-commerce entrepreneurs in the Western community.

Doug Gill, director of Western's office of industry liaison, said the University of Western Ontario Internet Ventures Fund will provide financial resources and business development expertise to members of the Western community who are trying to start up their own e-commerce businesses.

He said the fund will be available for Western staff, faculty, students or alumni.

"We hope this fund is going to stimulate e-commerce activity in the Western community. The goal is to get innovative ideas into the community to have an economic impact by creating jobs," Gill said.

Those wishing to take advantage of the fund should be prepared to present their new venture in the form of a strong business plan, he said.

Although the fund will provide essential resources to a potential company, Western business professor, Carlie Bell, said there are specific concerns e-commerce entrepreneurs need to address before starting their businesses.

"E-commerce businesses are not doing very well right now and part of the reason is because consumers are not convinced they will receive a quality product or service in a reasonable delivery time from a business on the Internet."

But Mark Diamond, the senior vice president of New Millennium Ventures Fund Inc., the investment firm that helped co-found the new program, said the fund will provide enough start-up capital so new business managers can devote more time to working out such problems.

"People tend to need 50-75 per cent more start-up capital then they actually ask for when starting up a new e-commerce business. The University of Western Ontario Internet Ventures Fund will provide a prospective new business with that extra start-up capital so that they have more time to work out the problems usually associated with e-commerce businesses. The result will hopefully be a well financed and well prepared new business."

Diamond said each new business could receive $250,000-$500,000 in start-up capital from business experts who understand the constraints and difficulties of starting a new business.

The New Millennium Internet Ventures Fund Inc. was established in January 2000 and is administered by a Toronto fund managing corporation called Triax, Diamond said.

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