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A group of experts headed by Keio University professor Takatoshi Matsumoto has established an investment firm for information technology ventures set up by college professors and students.

Academy Capital Investments Inc. was set up in Tokyo with capital of 50 million yen.

The firm will invest in fledgling IT ventures in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, providing financial support and consulting services, including the dispatch of its board members.

Its main target will be ventures set up by professors and students engaged in IT research, but it will also invest in other ventures, officials said Monday.

The firm will provide capital when necessary to fledgling companies with a fund eyed at 15 billion yen to 20 billion yen.

Consultant Kenichi Ohmae will be among the part-time board members, while a group of seven experts in areas such as business management and the Internet will be advisers to the firm.

The advisers include Tadao Kiyonari, head of Hosei University, and three professors from Keio University.

Matsumoto said the nurturing of ventures is vital for the revitalization of the Japanese economy. He said that opportunities for companies in Japan to be involved in ventures with universities have been missed and that his company will play an important part in “helping the seeds to grow.”

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