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MaRS Cleantech Fund gets $500,000 boost

"In a market economy, if you solve a big problem you get a big reward," says Tom Rand, managing partner of the MaRS Cleantech Fund.

Generating substantial amounts of environmentally sustainable energy is certainly a big problem, and the Cleantech Fund's goal is to try and find the emerging companies who will help solve it. The $30 million private venture capital fund, located at MaRS, has just landed a new $500,000 investment courtesy of RBC Generator, the bank's investment arm that looks specifically for opportunities in companies that address social and environmental issues. It's the first investment deal RBC has announced as part of that initiative.

Green energy is obviously a huge sector; the MaRS Cleantech Fund focuses primarily on "early stage, disruptive, low carbon energy infrastructure," Rand explains. (More concretely, this means innovations like smart grids that better distribute energy.) The Fund has already invested in eight companies, and is aiming for 10 to 12 in total.

Though the fund is entirely privately financed, Rand also emphasizes the importance of being located at MaRS, which he calls "the most serious clean-tech innovation machine in Canada by far."

MaRS assists the fund with deal flow—the most promising new companies can be found there, so for investors it provides fertile ground for sniffing out the best opportunities—and their ongoing support with essential processes like preparation for the market make it, Rand adds, "the most high powered, high octane help you can get."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Tom Rand, Managing Partner, MaRS Cleantech Fund
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