Erik Tønnesen, Managing Partner at Skagerak Maturo.

Skagerak Maturo is selected as the management team for a new seed fund. The fund is expected to be operational in the fall of 2016, pending investor support.

“We are honored to be selected and we will now intensify the search for investors who will put money into the fund”, says Erik Tønnesen, Managing Partner at Skagerak Maturo.

The investment company was considered a frontrunner and was confirmed as the preferred management team by Minister of Trade and Industry, Monica Mæland, last Friday.

The Norwegian Government has allocated MNOK150 for the new seed fund, an amount that has to be matched by private investors. So far, regional banks and investors such as Bjarne Skeie have committed to invest a total of MNOK 130. The seed fund will help entrepreneurs, mainly from Agder and Telemark, through the early stages of the business cycle.

“This is a historic opportunity to make a great investment. All our numbers show that investments made during times with market disturbances have resulted in excellent return on investments. This also represents an opportunity to build the region, by creating more businesses and jobs”, says Tønnesen.

He says there is a promising tech start-up in Kristiansand, which could be the first company that the seed fund will invest in.

CEO Anne-Grete Ellingsen at GCE NODE, who has lobbied hard for the new seed fund, is thrilled to see the progress.

”We are one step closer to the completion of an ecosystem for innovation in Agder. The ecosystem includes the Center for Offshore Mechatronics, the Greenhouse in Kristiansand and Mechatronics Innovation Lab. These play important parts in strengthening Agder as a region to invest in new and existing companies”, says Ellingsen.