The lifespan of a startup largely depends on its launching-mode and the amount of resources at its disposal. White Fund, a Liège-based early stage investment fund, is a saving grace for medtech startups looking to give their innovations the best momentum.
The Belgian group has announced the launch of its €20 million fund, with the hope of raising an additional €10 million in a couple months time. Eight investors were instrumental to their recent closing, namely; Noshaq, SFPI-FPIM, finance invest.brussels, Ogeo Fund, Solidaris, CHU de Liège, Marc Nolet, and Invest for Jobs. Benoit Fellin and Joana Tyrekidis are two investment managers from Noshaq who run the White fund.
White Fund’s Approach to Early Stage Investing
White Fund is particularly interested in medtech startups based in Belgium. The reason is that Belgium is home to a lot of medtech professionals. Though the company focuses on Belgian startups, it might give startups from neighbouring regions a shot.
In summary, White Fund has two goals: to build and help survive. Providing funds isn’t enough for the survival of medtech startups, given that the medtech industry is a tasking field. The investment managers are willing to give startups all the support, resources, and supervision needed to thrive in the medtech industry. According to Fellin and Tyrekidis, ‘Medtech companies have their own life cycles and economic realities, including challenges, particularly of a regulatory nature, which must be considered at a very early stage, as soon as the project is structure. In addition to finance, we therefore wanted to develop a project that responds more effectively to identified weaknesses, which are generally shared by these companies and at this stage of development.’
White Fund plans to help two medtech startups per annum for the next five years, making ten startups. After providing the evidence of concept of their tech innovation and market traction proof, the selected startups would be allocated €2-3 million each.
Currently, about fifteen startups are undergoing screening at White Fund. A selection committee would decide which of the 15 will make it into the fund. This committee includes medtech and investment professionals from various academic backgrounds. Also, the White Fund board of directors is currently under construction and rumor has it that the chairman would be an independent director.
What’s next for White Fund?
White Fund plans to help 10 medtech startups grow and survive in the next five years. For now, the early stage investment fund is focused on, but not limited to, Belgian startups.
- Two investment managers at Noshaq – Benoit Fellin and Joana Tyrekidis – run the Belgian fund.
- White Fund was able to raise €20 million, thanks to Eight investors, namely; Noshaq, SFPI-FPIM, finance invest.brussels, Ogeo Fund, Solidaris, CHU de Liège, Marc Nolet, and Invest for Jobs.
- White Fund managers – Benoit Fellin and Joana Tyrekidis – have two major goals: to build and help survive.
- Each year the fund will back two beneficiaries with €2-3 million.