Breaking News: The Celtic Manor Resort has just won the prestigious M&IT Best UK Hotel award, voted on by guests themselves. And if that was not enough, construction is to start this month on the International Convention Center (ICC) Wales on the property. This new complex will accommodate 5000 guests.
In terms of this Update, I am a big believer in going global fast with my companies. Get your local market right, then go for it. In 2009, we took the technology investment management expertise and resources of Wesley Clover and worked with like-minded people at the University of Victoria in British Columbia to form a non-profit partnership. The group then leveraged innovation programs from both the Federal and the BC provincial governments to select, fund and grow entrepreneurial technology companies. The Alacrity Foundation was born — the beginning of a global initiative.
The model was foundational. Combine local partners/investors, governments and academic institutions in a business vehicle that attracts, funds, mentors and grows technology start-up teams and turns them into globally competitive, investable companies. The success of that first initiative (which continues to be very active) proved the idea was a winner.
The BC model was then refined and deployed in South Wales in the UK. The focus in this case was on ‘charitable’ incubation, using corporate and government contributions to provide seed funding and create technology entrepreneurship opportunities for local engineering and business graduates. Today, the UK Alacrity Foundation remains the only such charitable technology incubator in Europe.
A for-profit model was then deployed in Istanbul, Turkey, albeit using a different brand, with local partners, government programs, mentors/advisors and post-secondary graduates. Since then, Alacrity has been initiated in Lille France, Pune India, Shanghai China, Mexico City Mexico, Singapore and Jakarta Indonesia. At various stages of development, each regional fund is, or will be, operated with the requisite degree of local autonomy and control. All are supported by the global Alacrity network and share the vision to create successful local companies with global reach, economic benefit and social impact.
The Alacrity ecosystem provides entrepreneurial founders with intellectual property, partnership, channel and customer opportunities that enable success. I am pleased to include updates from the Alacrity executives and many of the companies themselves in this issue of Q, along with results from several of our other start-up teams and established companies.
Thank you for your continued interest.
Terry Matthews, Chairman