Natcore Technologies, a solar energy startup, expects its new status as one of the Toronto Venture Exchange’s Venture 50 will attract new investors.
There are 2,258 companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Among those, the exchange rated the top 10 companies in clean technology, diversified industries, mining, oil and gas, and life sciences based on a set of criteria.
Natcore, a New Jersey solar start-up developing a new method for building solar cells and working to commercialize the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s black silicon product, was among the top 10 clean technology companies on the exchange in terms of market capitalization growth, share price appreciation, trading volume and analyst coverage.
“An exchange is never going to give an endorsement to a company,” said Natcore CEO Chuck Provini.
But rating companies on a set of criteria can help investors who are looking at small start-ups, which is primarily what TSX Venture Exchange lists, an idea of which companies are strong performers.
“One of the problems you run into as a small company is that people don’t know who you are,” Provini said.
Being listed among the top 50 companies on the exchange should draw attention to Natcore and attract new investors, he said.
Provini has worked most of his life on Wall Street and was a big player with some major brokerages. He said people have asked him why he didn’t list his solar energy start-up in the United States.
He said there aren’t any exchanges in the U.S. that would accept a small start-up with low volumes like Natcore. So, if he wanted to list the company’s stock on an exchange, his choices were Canada or London. And Provini said there are a lot of advantages to being listed on an exchange instead of listing the solar company’s stock on the over-the-counter market in the U.S.
“An exchange creates orderly markets,” Provini said. “it’s monitored and if they see your stock going up or down to quickly, they can intervene.”
As the company grows and gains in reputation and volume, he said it’s also easier to transition to a U.S. exchange from a foreign one than it is to transition from the open market or brokerage.
The exchange also gives Natcore greater visibility to potential investors. TSX will send news of its 2013 Venture 50 to investors throughout Canada who will get an introduction to the company that way.
“We’re confident we will see more shareholders,” Provini said. “We will see other people buying stock.”