Day Five: Friday, March 30
Endeavour Capital Ltd
Managing Partner, Mark Dossor
Established in 1999, Endeavor Capital has become one of the leading VC companies, investing in New Zealand’s science and technology innovations. Endeavor’s model is to provide portfolio companies with significant operational, commercial and technical resources, complemented with capital. The management team is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, each having key involvement in building and exiting a successful company in NZ or USA. Endeavor’s advisors and managers form a partnership to leverage each others to assist with international growth plans and to maximize a company’s worldwide opportunity. Vision: Endeavour Capital invests with a long-term view, holding positions for up to eight years. Traditionally they take an equity position between 20 - 40% and require board representation.
“Endeavour capital is one of the top leading venture capital companies investing only in New Zealand’s since and technology. Their success has been attributed to their team of managers and advisors. The management team is strategically selected to have a variety of start-up and international experience. Some of the challenges that Endeavour faces is limited access to distribution channels across the globe. Because of New Zealand’s size and small market it is difficult for companies to go global. Other challenges is finding people with financial, sales, marketing skills that are willing to travel. Mark emphasizes a heavy opportunity in New Zealand for a sales and marketing company because sales and marketing point to the talent in New Zealand and link it to the globe.”
Head of Process Development-Dr. Paul Benjes, Business Development Manager-Vikki Smithem
Glycosyn first opened its New Zealand laboratory in March of 2003 as a subsidiary of Industrial Research Limited. IRL’s main focus is to apply the technologies it creates in-house to better the products of its business partners and clientele. Glycosyn is a great example of this vision. Pharmaceutical companies use Glycosyn’s services once they have a compound in their pipeline. Glycosyn is equipped to take the compound from synthesis to Phase II clinical trials. The company has received over $NZ7.9 million from IRL and New Zealand government sponsored programs. A portion of these funds were given based on the partnership with StarPharma. StarPharma is contracting Gycosyn’s services for VivaGelT. VivaGelT is a vaginal microbicide designed to prevent the spread of STD’s, including the AIDS virus. Glycosyn is also working on a product that slows the progression of Parkinson’s disease, MitoQ, and stem cell therapy for bone healing. Glycosyn’s strategy is simple: target pharmaceutical companies that have glyco-products in the early stages of development. This strategy fills a need for many pharmaceutical companies. This service is beneficial to small pharmaceutical companies that do not have enough funding to bring the compound to clinical trials. This also fills a need for larger, established pharmaceutical companies that have strategically decided to utilize employee resources on other projects.
“Many suggestions were given on how to best enter the US market. We all agreed that Glycosyn first had to build their brand image and create awareness for their company. Since there are thousands of possible carbohydrate compounds, it is impossible for Glycosyn to be aware of all potential clients. It is also unlikely that many of these compounds will progress far enough in the development phases to be viable for Glycosyn to work on. A suggestion was given for Glycosyn to host a Carbohydrate Conference. This will create brand awareness through the promotion of the conference and will also open dialogue between Glycosyn and possible clients. Hosting a conference is expensive, so as an alternative, Glycosyn should attend as many related conferences as possible. Walking the floor and speaking with various companies will create the dialogue needed to recruit new clients. Another suggestion is to open a US-based office since New Zealand is so far removed from the US. This alternative is being strongly considered by Glycosyn. Glycosyn has a great value proposition. Entering the US market will be difficult, but Glycosyn has the passion and personnel to do it.”