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GorillaPark goes titsup

'Not dramatic'

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GorillaPark, the largest privately held tech incubator and business accelerator in Europe, has filed for bankruptcy protection. CEO Jerome Mol says it is a restructuring effort, and that all creditors will ultimately get paid.

Mol calls the measure 'not dramatic' and says that the shake-up has no consequences for the 60 or so people working for the company. GorillaPark didn't release any details about its debt.

The company, is headquartered in the Netherlands with offices in London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Ghent and Munich. Last year GorillaPark earned about € 3 million by selling equity stakes; this year it failed to find any buyers.

The company was established in January 2000 - about two years after Jerome Mol sold his first company, Prolin Software, to Hewlett-Packard - as a pan-European high-tech business accelerator for entrepreneurs, identifying early stage technology investment opportunities and accelerating them through their critical initial stages of development.

The dotcom shake out already spelled trouble for most European tech incubators, who started offering straightforward investments to a narrower range of start-ups. As the venture capital pool shrunk, most of the incubators disappeared.

Mol also founded the media company Tornado Insider, which publishes a glossy monthly magazine about Europe's tech investment community. The magazine went bankrupt twice, but managed to survive this summer.

GorillaPark's investors include Crescendo, ABN AMRO Corporate Investments, Atlas Venture, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, NeSBIC, Cable & Wireless and Fortis Bank. ®

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