ProGrid Ventures Inc. and AVAC Ltd have established a strategic alliance to evaluate early stage agri-food ventures, using the well-tested ProGrid evaluation methodology. The technical and market readiness of a wide range of agricultural value added products, including functional foods, nutracueticals and various health-related products, have been assessed using ProGrid. Details of applying this methodology will be discussed at a conference entitled Moving the Markets: Profiting from the Growth of Food and Agri-Tech Companies in Toronto on December 5th, 2000.

ProGrid tools have enabled investors in technology-intensive ventures to evaluate across the innovation continuum up to the point of commercial launch, including
  • Idea generation

  • Concept testing

  • Prototype development

  • Integrated product testing

  • Market trials

  • Customer acceptance
A new tool, ProGrid-CO, has recently been developed to takes the assessment process to the next stage, evaluating the human, physical and financial capacity of organizations to move the innovation into a viable business with attractive returns. Through the ProGrid-CO process, investors can determine the strengths and weaknesses of corporations and quickly identify the actions needed to enhance commercial success.

ProGrid tools are now used by a wide variety of private and public sector technology investment organizations and have become the standard for assessing early stage ventures. ProGrid Ventures Inc. Chairman Clem Bowman notes that "ProGrid is a made-in-Canada solution to a problem that has alluded the venture capital industry in the past- how to effectively evaluate the intangible assets that represent the life blood of small high tech companies. He stresses that ProGrid is successful because it has been shaped and tested by experienced senior technology managers who have been leaders in their own industries".

Keith Jones, President and CEO, AVAC Ltd states that "working collaboratively with ProGrid Ventures Inc. over the past three years, AVAC Ltd. has developed several powerful customized ProGrid assessment tools which are an important part of our due diligence process. Besides helping us assess the "intangible assets" of the pre-commercial proposals we receive, the ProGrid analysis assists us in providing professional, objective feedback and mentoring to our clients."

Users identify openness, transparency and consistency as key features of ProGrid, but they also recognize that ProGrid has forced them to adopt a new rigour to decision-making that is transforming their organizations.

For further information about ProGrid and AVAC Ltd., contact:

J.R. (Ron) McCullough, President, ProGrid Ventures Inc. (mccullough@progrid.nu)
Keith Jones, President and CEO, AVAC Ltd. (kjones@avacltd.com)
Lise McCourt- 416-665-5429

For information about Moving the Markets please visit www.movingthemarkets.org