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$1.95 M investment in Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway

From left: Daryl Genge, Minister Shawn Skinner, Dr. Dale Foster, Minister Peter MacKay, Dr. Christopher Loomis and Senator Fabian Manning in the RBC Atrium for a major funding announcement for the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway.

By Meaghan Whelan

A Faculty of Business Administration initiative got a major boost on Oct. 16 when federal and provincial governments announced a combined $1.95-million investment in the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway.

The Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway, formerly Gateway Without Borders, is an outreach initiative of the Faculty of Business Administration that assists high-growth technology firms in attracting capital and securing strategic business partnership in the international marketplace. The funding announced today will see the project expand across Atlantic Canada.

Daryl Genge, director of the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway, said this program is addressing a significant need in the business community.

“Accessing private capital and breaking into established markets are issues that most innovative firms face during their development, and companies in our region are no exception,” Mr. Genge explained. “The Gateway concept was really driven by our recognition that universities like Memorial, through their networks and resources, can play a role in solving some of these issues.”

There are two main components to the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway: investment readiness and deal development. During the investment readiness process, Gateway works with clients to help them understand what investors and joint venture partners look for in prospective firms. Gateway works with the client to develop a growth and investment strategy to ensure they are positioned for success in attracting investment and provides specialized professional services to assist in a range of areas.

The deal development program builds on the strong relationship that the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway, through Memorial University, has built with the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Dubai Men’s College. This relationship opens the door to a network of experts and potential investors for Gateway clients that would otherwise be unavailable.

Dr. Christopher W. Loomis, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore of Memorial University, said the Atlantic Canada Venture Gateway is a unique program with the potential to open many doors for high growth companies in the region.

“Memorial University has established a strong relationship with the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE – a highly respected institution and investment partner in high growth companies. We are also blessed with a worldwide network of successful alumni who are interested in contributing back to the economic development of our region,” he said. “Memorial University is proud and pleased to be leading this effort to grow high-technology companies throughout Atlantic Canada, many of which have their roots in the world-class research conducted by our region’s universities.”

The federal investment of $1.7 million was announced by Peter MacKay, minister of National Defence, minister of the Atlantic Gateway, and minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, while the provincial contribution of $250,000 was announced by Shawn Skinner, minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development (INTRD). Dr. Loomis said the university is contributing $147,000 towards the initiative.