The potential of clean, green technology is the focus for a new venture capital fund.

The Rutherford Innovation Fund is looking to invest up to $50 million in "clean technology".

Established by Milestone Capital, backers include biofuels entrepreneur Nick Gerritsen and former Christchurch mayor Vicki Buck.

Milestone Capital principal Kenji Steven said the fund aimed to "ride the wave" of the trend in clean technology development.

"The timing is, we believe, now for clean tech," said Steven. "Clean tech is really changing every aspect of our lives."

Clean technology industries encompass bio-fuels, clean water, CO2 reduction solutions, green buildings, transportation, smart grids, solar energy and wind power.

Algae-to-biofuel developer Aquaflow Bionomic, carbon sequestration technology Carbonscape, climate change website Celsias, investment bank Intercap Private and behavioural prediction software VortexDNA are companies already in the fund.

Some of the money raised will go into the current portfolio of companies, but Steven said Milestone Capital is actively looking for investments in New Zealand companies or businesses with a significant operations in New Zealand.

"The bulk of our portfolio, they're looking for acceleration capital rather than validation capital. It's not like they're still trying to work out what they're doing and how to make the thing work," he said.

The fund will look to publicly list or sell the companies within three to five years.

The Rutherford Innovation Fund is one of a number launched this year aimed at funding early stage technology companies.

In June, the 2Ignite fund was established by Todd family scion Henry Tait to raise $25 million from investment institutions and high net worth investors to fund 12 companies.

Earlier in the year Endeavour Capital received a $20 million Government boost to its growth fund and hoped to add $100 million to $150 million from New Zealand investors and US$270 million overseas to invest in growing technology companies.