New $172million venture capital fund to set up in Ireland with support from Enterprise Ireland and NPRF - Minister Bruton

€20 million investment in leading US international Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund by Dept of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland

Investment will mean new funding for innovative companies to grow and create jobs in Ireland

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. today (Tuesday 20th May, 2014) announced that Lightstone Ventures is partnering with Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF to establish a $172million venture capital fund with offices in Ireland that will invest in innovative Irish companies.

Pictured l-r Paul Carty, Chairman, NPRF Commission; Jason Lettmann, Partner, Lightstone Venture Partners; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Mike Carusi, General Partner, Lightstone Venture Partners; Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Pictured l-r Paul Carty, Chairman, NPRF Commission; Jason Lettmann, Partner, Lightstone Venture Partners; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland; Mike Carusi, General Partner, Lightstone Venture Partners; Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

This is the third investment by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland under the Innovation Fund Ireland programme. Lightstone Ventures is a leading US venture capital fund that has recently raised a fund of $172million. Enterprise Ireland has invested €20million in the fund alongside a commitment of €10million from the National Pensions Reserve Fund.

Today's announcement will result in new funding being available for innovative companies in the Life Sciences sector in Ireland to support company development and job creation.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said:
"Today's announcement that Lightstone Ventures is partnering with Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF to establish a fund that will invest in innovative companies is a major boost for the Irish venture capital industry and for the Irish Life Sciences sector. This sector has been identified in the Action Plan for Jobs as a fast growing sector with significant potential for job creation.

"The investment in this fund adds another source of funding to the Irish market, further increasing the range of sources of funding available for Irish companies. Increasing the availability of different types and sources of non bank financing is a core objective of the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.

"Research shows us that start-up companies have a significant positive impact on job-creation. Almost 4,000 high-level jobs alone were created by indigenous venture capital backed companies in the three years to 2012. I am confident that the establishment of this fund will directly improve the chances for innovative Irish companies to access the funding, mentoring and networks they need and provide a major boost for job-creation in Ireland."

Lightstone Ventures closed its first Irish-based deal, FIRE1, in December 2013. FIRE1 is a new company launched in conjunction with The Foundry, a premier medical device incubator. The Series A investment round in the company was co-led by Lightstone Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Global medical device leader Covidien plc (NYSE: COV) also invested in the company. The board of the company is in the process of identifying a number of key hires to drive the company forward.

"Lightstone Ventures is pleased to announce the opening of its Dublin office", noted Lightstone Partner Jason Lettmann who will relocate to Dublin this summer to lead this Irish initiative. "As Europe's importance in the development and commercialization of breakthrough medical technologies continues to grow, Lightstone Ventures believes it is essential to establish a local European presence. Dublin's access to talent, innovation, and world class research coupled with a fair and balanced regulatory approach make it an ideal location for such a hub".

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, commented: "I would like to congratulate Lightstone Ventures on raising their fund and welcome them to Ireland. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to working with the team to drive the further development of the Irish life sciences sector".

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Press Office: Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 01 631 2222

Press Office: Enterprise Ireland 01-7272805

Notes to the Editor:

Lightstone Ventures

Lightstone Ventures (LSV) was founded in 2012 by the Life Science Partners of Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Morgenthaler Ventures to focus on novel breakthrough medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. The Lightstone team actively manages the Morgenthaler and ATV life science portfolios of more than 40 life science companies and has been involved in several of the largest, venture-backed healthcare exits over the last decade including: Ardian, Avidia, FoldRx, Hypnion, MicroVention, Morphotek, Orexigen, Perclose, Plexxikon, Proteolix, Threshold and Zeltiq. Lightstone is an international firm with offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Boulder, Colo., Boston, Mass and Dublin, Ireland (opening in 2014). For more information, visit www.lightstonevc.com.

Innovation Fund Ireland

Two calls for expressions of interest under Innovation Fund Ireland have been issued by Enterprise Ireland to date. The original Exchequer funding commitment, managed by EI, was €125m. VCs receiving a commitment from Enterprise Ireland shall establish a presence in Ireland to invest in Irish
companies or companies with significant operations in Ireland. An equivalent amount is managed by the NPRF within their commercial mandate. This is the third announcement by Enterprise Ireland.