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Dotcom entrepreneur to head early stage fund

LeShop's success has boosted the reputation of its founder, Alain Nicod.


Alain Nicod, the founder of Switzerland's first online grocery store "" has been hired to manage Venture Incubator, a SFr101 million venture capital fund targeting high tech startups, according to a report in IT Reseller, a Swiss computing trade publication.

Before establishing LeShop, which by the way did a turnover of some SFr11.5 million last year and employs 70 people, Nicod worked as a venture capitalist, according to his bio on LeShop's website. He has an MBA from INSEAD and he was also employed by McKinsey and Arthur Andersen.

When the Bon appétit Group, a Swiss food and drinks company, took over the majority of the leshop shares last year, Nicod remained as chairman of the board but co-founder, Christian Wanner, ran the company. He has been sitting on the boards and investing in a number of Geneva area start-ups.

Incubator with deep pockets

The Venture Incubator management company is a joint venture of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and McKinsey. Investors in the limited partnership fund include ABB, Hilti, Nestlé, Pictet and six other established Swiss companies.

So far Venture Incubator has made two investments, both university spin-offs. According to insiders, two more transactions are pending this quarter.

by Valerie Thompson

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