SiXtron Advanced Materials inc. : Pierre Myrand joins the early-stage company as President and CEO
MSBi Capital and Innovatech sud du Québec announce an investment of $1 million in a Bishop's University and Université de Sherbrooke spin-off
Sherbrooke, le 14 janvier 2004 – SiXtron Advanced Materials inc., a joint spin-off of Bishop's University and the Université de Sherbrooke, announced today a seed financing round totaling $1 million, provided by two venture capital investors, MSBi Capital and Société Innovatech du sud du Québec. The company, which was created recently to commercially exploit new materials in the semi-conductor field, will be based in Sherbrooke.
The core technology is the result of joint research by Professor Mihai Scarlete, of Bishop's University's chemistry department, and Professor Çetin Aktik, of the electrical and computer engineering department of the Université de Sherbrooke. The technology developed is a process to deposit amorphous silicon carbide. The deposit is made on affordable substrates and the thin coats obtained form an excellent semi-conductor.
“There are many possible applications for this new technological platform, from solar cells and covers for fiber optics, to the encapsulation of silicon chips, to name but a few. With the professors' expertise and that of their research teams, along with the universities' support, we believe that SiXtron is well positioned to become a world leader in its field. The regional benefits from this new technology should be considerable”, said Daniel Poisson, President & CEO of Société Innovatech du sud du Québec.
Pierre Myrand has joined the research team as President & CEO. Pierre is an engineer, MBA and CFA, with over twenty years of experience in operations, as well as strategic and financial management. He possesses a strong background in business financing as well as mergers and acquisitions. He previously occupied senior management positions at Elix, Alis Technologies, BioCapital and Capital de participation québécois (CPQ).
“We feel confident that Pierre Myrand's business expertise, combined with that of Professors Scarlete and Aktik, will ensure success, and are especially important in the creation of a new business as specialized as SiXtron”, mentioned Chris Arsenault, partner at MSBi Capital. “This transaction is also MSBi's first investment in collaboration with its university partners in the Sherbrooke region and sets the stage for of a series of future investments.”
“This spin-off is a first for Bishop's University”, explained Janyne Hodder, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university. “The creation of SiXtron is tied to two of our institutional goals: firstly to support and enhance our research activities, and secondly to reinforce our collaborative efforts with regional partners and the new city of Sherbrooke, and strengthen our ties with the Université de Sherbrooke in particular.”
“The Université de Sherbrooke is proud to associate itself with Bishop's University to launch this first joint spin-off, based on the work done by our research teams. The collaboration of the institutions around the Sherbrooke University Pole has proved a major factor in the emergence of SiXtron Advanced Materials”, said Bruno-Marie Béchard, Rector of the Université de Sherbrooke.
According to Pierre Myrand, the potential applications of the technology developed by the two Eastern Townships professors are very significant: “Over the last two years, I have analyzed many business opportunities, but none has generated as much enthusiasm as SiXtron. Although we still have some R&D to perform, our novel fabrication process will allow us to offer to different industries a unique material, at a much lower cost than what is available now.”
About SiXtron Advanced Materials Inc.
SiXtron Advanced Materials inc. is focused on the synthesis of new silicon-based materials, and on the development of processes allowing the deposition of those new materials in thin coats on various substrates. SiXtron already holds one key patent. Its new semi-conductor materials will find application in different parts of the electronics industry. Within the next twelve months, the company will have completed characterization of amorphous silicon carbide, the first new material created by the company, and will have elaborated its marketing strategy. More information on SiXtron Advanced Materials inc. will be available shortly at www.sixtron.com.
About MSBi Capital
MSBi Capital is a seed and early-stage venture capital fund dedicated to commercializing innovations in life sciences, information technology and the physical sciences. MSBi Capital has a particular focus on establishing and building companies based on technology advancements and inventions originating from the universities of McGill, Sherbrooke and Bishop's, as well as their affiliated hospitals and research institutes. MSBi Capital maintains offices in Montreal, Québec, Canada. More information about MSBi is available at www.msbi.ca.
About Société Innovatech du sud du Québec
Innovatech sud du Québec is a venture capital company that focuses on technological innovation. It assists enterprises with a high growth potential throughout the start-up and development phases. Its activities extend over a territory that includes 12 regional county municipalities (MRCs), all located in the Eastern Townships, Montérégie and Bois-Francs regions of southern Québec. For more information, see www.isq.qc.ca.
About Bishop's University
Bishop's University serves over 2,500 students, including 2,000 full-time students. Founded in 1843, the university offers programs in traditional liberal arts (philosophy, history, languages and modern literature, etc.) and in artistic creation, social sciences, education, administration and pure and applied sciences (biology, biochemistry and physics). For more information, see www.ubishops.ca.
About the Université de Sherbrooke
The Université de Sherbrooke is the Canadian leader as regards research royalty revenues. It has more than 30,000 students, 11,500 of whom are full-time students. The Université has three campuses: two in Sherbrooke and one in Longueuil. Its nine faculties offer a wide range of programs in all three cycles of university studies. The Université de Sherbrooke owes its growth to an outstanding tradition in innovation.
– 30 –
Pierre Myrand, président et chef de la direction
SiXtron Advanced Materials inc.
Gilles Pelloille, responsable des communications
Université de Sherbrooke
819-821-8000, poste 3395
Bruno Plante, ing. M.B.A., directeur aux investissements
Société Innovatech du sud du Québec