Companies developing new ways to diagnose cancer, platforms to connect work and learning, next generation WiFi chips and quantum computing firmware are among the first to receive investment from Main Sequence Ventures, manager of the $100 million CSIRO Innovation Fund 1, LP.
Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the launch of Main Sequence Ventures is an important step to ensure we can further harness Australian innovation to create new enterprises and the jobs of tomorrow.
“As part of the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, the CSIRO Innovation Fund is designed to ensure our world-class research can be turned into the jobs and economic growth of the future,” Minister Cash said.
Main Sequence Ventures will support new spin-out and start-up companies, and SMEs engaged in the translation of research generated in the Australian publicly-funded research sector.
Main Sequence Ventures’ first investments in Q-Ctrl, Intersective, Morse Micro and Maxwell MRI are expected to create more than 60 new jobs.
CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said: “Australia has never been short of great ideas, but the value is rarely captured domestically. Australia’s scientists are world leaders, but investing in science driven innovation is hard – it needs the horsepower of Australia’s national science agency behind it.
“Science can drive change across the economy despite global disruption, improve our nation’s health and sustainability and make business globally competitive.
“This is a team Australia effort, with the Fund investing in the best ideas across the research community. This will help Australia better capture the value of science, deliver impact and drive the jobs and industries of the future,” Dr Marshall said.
Main Sequence Ventures is led by veteran venture capitalist Bill Bartee, and a team of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs with extensive experience in science and technology.
“Our first investments are giving us a great start in backing ambitious entrepreneurs to build important and growing companies,” Mr Bartee said.
“Q-Ctrl has the potential to provide the firmware framework for quantum computers, Morse Micro is building the next generation of WiFi chip, Intersective is using data science to better equip our workers for the future and Maxwell MRI is changing the way we detect and diagnose prostate cancer.
“This is some of the best and most exciting research from the Australian innovation sector, and we look forward to working with them to realise their potential in the commercial market.
“We at Main Sequence Ventures know that this is only the beginning, and many more high-potential companies will be able to grow from our investments. We look forward to working with Australia’s deep tech founders to build epic companies.”
About Main Sequence Ventures:
CSIRO Financial Services Pty Ltd trading as Main Sequence Ventures is managing the CSIRO Innovation Fund (CSIRO Innovation Fund 1, LP). The Fund, established as part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, will comprise a commitment of $70 million in government funding, $30 million revenue from CSIRO’s WLAN program and additional private sector investment, with a target total value of $200 million.
About the Main Sequence Ventures team:
Main Sequence Ventures is led by veteran venture capitalist Bill Bartee, and includes Phil Morle, founder of Australia’s first Silicon Valley style incubator; Mike Zimmerman, who has two decades of start-up operating and investing experience; Martin Duursma, a technology business leader with deep experience running innovation teams; and Mike Nicholls, an experienced entrepreneur, inventor and technologist.
The investment committee of Main Sequence Ventures will comprise the management team, two external members, Alison Deans and Sarah Pearson, plus CSIRO representative Karl Rodrigues, who have strong connections to global venture capital networks and the Australian innovation ecosystem and venture capital networks.
About the investee companies:
Q-Ctrl – A quantum computing startup being established under the leadership of Professor Michael Biercuk from the University of Sydney. Q-Ctrl will address the important issue of error control in quantum computing. This is not about making qubits, but stabilising them.
Morse Micro –Imagine Wi-Fi devices that can run many years on a single coin cell battery. Or forever from harvested energy. With low peak power requirements and energy usage 100-200 times lower than conventional wireless links, the tantalizing dream of small, long lasting IoT devices will finally become a reality. www.morsemicro.com
Maxwell MRI – Maxwell MRI is rethinking the way we detect and diagnose disease. By combining cutting edge deep learning with modern medical imaging Maxwell MRI is making cancer diagnosis faster, more affordable and more accurate – starting with prostate cancer. www.maxwellmri.com
Intersective – Intersective is an experiential education technology start-up co-founded in 2012 by veteran tech entrepreneurs Wes Sonnenreich, Beau Leese and Suzy Watson. Its Practera platform powers a range of experiential learning programs like internships, cross-functional projects, accelerators, mentoring and skills micro-credentialing, delivering better outcomes for educators, employers and learners. www.intersective.com