FINEP Celebrates 10 Years of INOVAR, Nearly R$5B Committed to VC in Brazil

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(FINEP) November 11, 2010 – FINEP, a government-owned agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the INOVAR program in Brazil. INOVAR has been critical for the development of Brazil’s domestic VC industry. Since its creation in 2000, the program has committed nearly R$5B (approx. US$2.8B) in capital, with investments in over 80 companies and the creation of 32 funds.

As part of the anniversary celebration, FINEP announced the winners of the Premio INOVAR 2010. The awards recognize outstanding venture capital fund managers and promote a culture of excellence in fund management.

Awards were given in three categories:  Governance, Team and Operation. Stratus Group won in the Governance category for its FMIEE Stratus GC Fund; BRZ Investimentos, which manages the Logistica Brasil FIP, received the Team category award; and CRP – Companhia de Participacoes, which owns the RSTec FMIEE fund, won in the Operation category.

Opening the awards ceremony, Eduardo Costa, Director of Innovation at FINEP, noted, “Now is the time for Brazil to make a leap and innovation is considered a priority.” He went on to emphasize the importance of venture capital in the current economy.

The INOVAR program was designed by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) and FINEP from 1999-2000.

“For the MIF, the INOVAR Program has been a constant source of lessons learned and best practices in how to create an enabling ecosystem to foster the VC/PE industry. Every time we have presented this model in international events in the US, Latin America, China, and Japan, we have received  a lot of interest from other stakeholders –government agencies, universities, DFIs—in understanding the model and trying to replicate it in other regions or  countries,” said Susana Garcia-Robles, Lead Investment Office – Early Stage Financing Group at the MIF. “The MIF considers INOVAR an example of achieved systemic change,” she added.

Through INOVAR, FINEP has promoted 18 Venture Forums, nine Seed Forums and five IPO Forums, having prospected and selected 276 innovative companies, coaching (along with general partners) the creation of their business plans and investment proposals to attract possible investors.

“With investors, general partners and companies so well prepared, we are experiencing excellent returns. Today, innovative companies can count on a dynamic and intelligent investment, that helps the creation of a path toward promising businesses and the formation of a solid Brazilian economy,” highlighted Patricia Freitas, FINEP´s investment superintendent.

As the Secretariat for the INOVAR consortium of investors, FINEP is responsible for executing annual Calls for Proposals and managing the due diligence process for INOVAR Funds. Since 2000, the INOVAR Program has done 16 calls for proposals, screened 192 fund proposals, and performed 111 joint due diligence processes.  A total of 32 funds have been approved for investment to date.

For more information on Inovar and the winners of the Premio INOVAR 2010, visit www.finep.gov.br/premioinovar

INOVAR Partners: MIF (Multilateral Investment Fund), B&FBovespa (Bolsa de Valores, Mercadorias e Futuros), ELETROBRAS (Fundacao Eletrobras de Seguridade Social ), FACHESF (Fundacao Chesf de Assistencia e Seguridade Social), FAPES (Fundacao de Assistencia e Previdencia Social do BNDES),  FUNCEF (Fundacao dos Economiarios Federais), PETROS, PREVI (Caixa de Previdencia dos Funcionarios do Banco do Brasil), Fundacao CESP, FIBRA, fundo de pensao patrocinado pela Itaipu Binacional, CAF (Corporacao Andina de Fomento), BDMG (Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais), BRDE (Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul), Fundacao Real Grandeza, Fundacao ELOS e Valia.