Unique fundraising exercise for venture capitalists

A group of European venture capitalists have led a fundraising round with a difference, cycling through the highlands of northern Vietnam to raise money for Manchester-based charity Mines Advisory Group.

Douglas Miller, chief executive of placement business International Private Equity Limited, has led a group of 27 friends and fellow venture capitalists on a cycling tour through the northern highlands of Vietnam.

The trip was masterminded by Miller to raise money for Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a Manchester-based charity working to eradicate the peril of landmines and unexploded bombs in war-torn regions.

Funds were raised through sponsorship given by families, friends and business contacts. To date, more than E350,000 has been raised for MAG and charities nominated by the individual participants – with more still coming in. As the participants came from 5 countries, a minimum of 25 per cent will be given to MAG, with the remainder given to 20 other local charities.

Doug Miller explained his reasons for undertaking the expedition: “My personal motivation stems from my service in the Vietnam war where I did long range reconnaissance for B52 strikes. It was interesting to revisit the country and see MAG’s work – local people being trained to clear the legacy of a conflict that ended more than 25 years ago. We will soon be meeting with MAG to decide where the monies raised are to be spent”.

MAG is currently undertaking a landmine clearance project in Vietnam, allowing the team to meet up with MAG representatives on the ground to see the work they carry out. The team also met the UK and US ambassadors in Vietnam at a reception dinner.

Ian Simpson, director of fellow placement agent Helix Associates, also took part in the trip. “I think it's great that so many people from a world most associate with business are getting together for a good cause – after all, private equity is not usually an industry related to 'good will to all men!'”

Anyone who wishes to support this effort can contact Doug at IPELmiller@aol.com.