[Toronto, CANADA] In what can only be considered a 180-degree turn in today’s venture capital community, 360 Capital Corp. has launched its VentureLink Fund, an online venture capital network for early stage Canadian technology, Internet, telecommunication and biotechnology companies seeking funding from both sides of the border.
It’s a surprising move in light of the recent dot-com meltdown, which has prompted North America’s venture capital community to become increasingly more conservative. Long gone are the days when a quasi-viable business plan could land an entrepreneur a million-dollar injection of VC. Rather these days, investors are scrutinizing even the most credible proposals, insisting on proof of profitability and forcing budding entrepreneurs to jump through a seemingly endless series of hoops.
None of which has stopped 360 Capital from attempting to pry open venture capitalists’ coffers in today’s market climate. Through the VentureLink Fund, 360 Capital will identify and screen investment opportunities and plans to secure funding for potentially promising new entries in Canada’s high-tech industry. 360 Capital will also submit pre-screened business plans to a network of over 30 leading venture capital firms in the U.S. and Canada for co-investment consideration.
“For the first time, Canadian entrepreneurs can secure funding here in Canada through VentureLink Fund, access additional capital and connections from established U.S. venture capital players and obtain business management expertise from leading consultants and advisors – all from a single source,” said Gordon McMillan, 360 Capital’s chief executive officer and the man who spearheaded the company’s new venture investment arm.
To date, over 30 deep-pocketed U.S. firms have expressed interest in reviewing investment opportunities generated by the 360 Capital network including Kleiner Perkins, Menlo Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Sweetening the pot is the fact that VentureLink is a labor-sponsored fund, offering investors a 30 percent tax credit on investments held for at least eight years.