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28 June 2017

Imec expands with $136m fund

The research institute has launched an early-stage fund that has a target size of up to $136m.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Belgium-based nanoelectronics research institute Imec has launched an early-stage venture capital fund called Imec.xpand with a target size of €100m to €120m ($114m to $136m), eeNews reported on Monday.

The fund has already secured a large portion of that amount. It will be managed by Tom Vanhoutte and Peter Vanbekbergen, who have been partners at Imec.xpand since March 2017, according to LinkedIn.

Vanhoutte told eeNews that, while he could not name investors, they are “a perfect mix of reputable corporates, financial institutions, family offices and government-related entities."

Imec.xpand will back both Imec spinouts and external startups, but will in that case focus on early-stage projects where Imec’s technology, expertise and infrastructure can make a meaningful difference to the development.

The fund will commit to support businesses through to commercialisation of a product, supplying between €8m and €12m. It will, to a degree, complement Imec’s existing iStart incubator, which only accepts startups less than two years old and are based in Flanders.

The fund will back both software and hardware startups, with a particular focus on technologies around sustainability, such as smart health, smart mobility, smart cities, smart industries and smart energy.

Imec.xpand is expected to establish a technical advisory board made up of representatives from key investors and independent industry experts.

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