In order to move early, high-potential projects effectively towards an advanced technology readiness level, BTO has adopted a proactive approach to start- up development. TTO staff takes on operational tasks and sometimes acts as an interim CEO. While this works extremely well during the early phases of project and company development, it becomes increasingly difficult when start-ups grow successfully and funding requirements rise steeply. The amount of time needed to attract appropriate investments goes far beyond what BTO can do with its own resources and funding options.
BTO, two further Norwegian TTOs (Kjeller Innovation, Oslo, and NTNU, Trondheim) and Televenture, a leading early phase venture capital firm in Norway, set- up a new investment company, Norsk Innovasjonskapital AS (NIK), in August 2010. Managed by Televenture, it pursues an innovative funding concept: The fund first selects investment opportunities, i.e. early stage start-up companies from the TTOs portfolios, and then it raises money from private investors to develop these companies to the
next value level.