Poland’s first Institutional Venture Capital Fund dedicated to Life Sciences announced today the first closing of its new venture capital fund at €38.5M. Joint Polish Investment Fund Management (JPIF), headed by Dr. Marek Orłowski, is the first institutional venture capital fund operating out of Poland that is completely dedicated to life science investments.

The fund will invest in early and mid-stage companies with a close relationship to Poland and marks an important milestone on the country’s path to further strengthen its life science industry. Investment activities will focus on areas with strong growth, relatively short holding periods and high return potential.

JPIF is backed and supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), an executive agency of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland and supports national science as well as general innovation policies.

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Participation of Venture Capital funds in the development and commercialization of new technologies is of key importance because the private funding adds to the public money, which is always in short supply. Private sector investment into life sciences also provides much needed innovation management skills and widens access to the global market”, enthused Professor Krzysztof Jan Kurzydłowski, Acting Director of the National Centre for Research and Development.

JPIF is led and managed by life science investment experts with a significant track record in the sector:

  • Dr. Marek Orłowski, one of the founders of Nepentes SA, which was sold for €105M to Sanofi Aventis in 2007 and a well-known Polish Business Angel,
  • Kreske Nickelsen, with a 17-year background in the European venture capital industry through working for 3i Group (UK and Germany) and as a Partner at Aescap (The Netherlands),
  • Dr. Axel Polack, former General Partner of TVM Capital (Germany and USA), where he has worked for the last 14 years,
  • Anna Aranowska, with a 14-year background in the pharmaceutical and life science industry, in operational as well as investment management positions.

Dr. Orłowski said: “There is a substantial investment opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe and especially in Poland, which is experiencing continuously high Gross Domestic Product growth while being chronically undersupplied with funding, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in the life science venture capital sector. We already have developed a robust and proprietary deal flow, and we will shortly be announcing the close of our first investments.

Poland is the rising star in Central Europe with a vibrant economy, high class scientific institutions, a healthy and liquid IPO environment for early stage companies and a VC market which is just developing, thus offering attractive opportunities for first movers. We are working hard at LabiotechMap and we will soon add Polish biotech companies, stay posted 😉

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