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Venture Company to Invest in Early-Stage Science Enterprises

Loose bills of multiple denominations (borman818)True North Venture Partners, a venture capital company in Chicago, unveiled today its $300 million investment fund and strategy. The company plans to invest in early stage companies in the energy, water, agriculture, and waste sectors — where products and services are often based on scientific research findings — with amounts invested ranging from $100,000 to $25 million.

The company was founded by by Mike Ahearn, the co-founder and former CEO of First Solar, a developer of photovoltaic solar modules. “Our goal,” says Ahearn, “is to identify exceptionally talented entrepreneurs with the vision, drive and business potential to significantly improve the world and help them realize their ambitions.”

According to True North’s Web site, the company aims to back early-stage enterprises involved in the delivery of social goods and services — those that confer benefits or impose costs beyond the consumer to a broader society. In these cases, governments are involved not only in regulating market participants but also in defining the markets themselves.

The company plans to become an active investor with its enterprise partners, helping them achieve “disruptive innovations.” True North expects the companies it supports to be able to work effectively with the public sector, particularly overseas, where the company says it can help develop relationships, talent, and expertise.

True North also plans to provide its experience and best practices in bridging the “valley of death” between start-up and sustainable growth. The company says it can help enterprises it supports to find access to financing, even where new technologies are not favored by risk-averse investors.

Read more: $100 Million Investment Fund Set for Second-Stage Companies

Photo: borman818/Flickr

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