Technical Assistance

Seed & Venture Capital Finance WebCourse


A critical component of the development finance toolbox, innovation finance provides access to capital for entrepreneurs, new technology ventures, and emerging small businesses. CDFA’s Seed & Venture Capital Finance WebCourse explores the growing seed, venture capital and angel investment industry and provides clear direction for designing and implementing capital formation models at the local, regional, and state levels. This course differs from other capital formation curriculums in that it focuses more concretely on designing a program that uses public-sector connections, resources and coordination to drive long-term and sustainable private-sector investment.

The nation’s top seed and venture leaders will discuss how to develop a capital formation program and establish a long-term private-sector driven, but public-sector supported initiative. In addition, the course will highlight successful programs that are working throughout the country in communities with varying levels of capacity, sophistication, and size. The Seed & Venture Capital Finance WebCourse will provide development finance agencies a roadmap for building a seed and venture capital initiative that supports entrepreneurship, business investment, job creation, and 21st century technology development.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Course Objectives

  • Learn about how seed and venture capital complements and enhances an economic development strategy
  • Interact with seasoned practitioners in the seed and venture capital industry
  • Discuss best practice principles for sound seed and venture capital management
  • Dissect the seed investing process from start to finish

Topics Covered

  • How seed and venture capital can enhance your economic development strategy
  • How to design and establish an investment program
  • How to manage, market, and promote a program
  • The decision making process
  • Pre- and post-investment closing
  • Managing an investment portfolio

Who Should Attend?

  • Community & Economic Development Professionals
  • Angel Investors
  • Incubator and Accelerator Managers
  • Government and Non-profit Finance Officers
  • Attorneys
  • Accountants

Course Advisor


The following is the preliminary agenda for this course. This agenda will be updated and modified slightly to accommodate speakers and content. However, the main areas of content as outlined in this agenda will be covered.

Day One

12:00 – 12:30 pm (Eastern)Welcome & Overview

Welcome to the Seed & Venture Capital Finance WebCourse. During this time, we will introduce CDFA, explain how to use the online software, and discuss the framework for the two-day course.

12:30 – 1:15 pm Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem that Taps the Full Capital Continuum

Entrepreneurs create new businesses, and sometimes whole new industries, that drive the prosperity of communities. The nurturing of entrepreneurs happens in the communities that are rich in the knowledge of business venturing and investing, as well as able to access diverse forms of capital. This session will explore the continuum of capital resources that are necessary components of a growing business ecosystem.

1:15 – 2:00 pmTapping the Full Capital Continuum

As a business progresses from raw technology to business idea to startup and beyond it requires different partners and forms of capital. The range and type of sources must be well understood by an entrepreneur in order to pursue the options that make the most sense at each stage of development. During this session, we will explore the continuum of capital resources from technology to bank debt, when to seek a resource and how to acquire it.

2:00 – 2:15 pmBreak

2:15 – 3:00 pmAngel Capital: What is it? Where is it? Best Practices to Form and Manage Angel Groups and Funds

The primary source of seed capital in most communities is provided by individuals known as “angel investors.” These tend to be business-builders who have achieved wealth through their own entrepreneurial endeavors and have reached the stage in life when they want to support young entrepreneurs. Economic developers can help make the knowledge and capital of these investors more accessible to local entrepreneurs by organizing these investors into groups or funds. During this session, various models and success stories of angel groups will be discussed along with the resources available to help launch such groups locally.

3:00 – 3:45 pm Analyzing a Deal – Conducting Due Diligence

Young companies come in many forms and span many sectors and strategies. From a technology springing from the lab to a division spinning out of a larger company, every deal holds both opportunity and challenge. Identifying the questions and issues and conducting the investigation in an efficient manner are the core components of due diligence. Investors think differently than providers of debt capital, such as bankers and other lenders. This session will introduce the key steps of this process.

3:45 – 4:00 pmBreak

3:00 – 3:45 pm Valuing a Company – Pricing the Deal

How much is a company worth? What goes into determining this? If I invest, what should I pay for my stake in the company? Participants will acquire the knowledge of various formulas that can be applied to start-up companies which frequently lack sales or positive cash flow. Knowing how angels think about “exiting” their investments will underscore the importance of growth rate and profitability.

5:00 pm Adjourn

Day Two

12:00 – 12:15 pmRevisiting Day 1

At the start of the second day of the Seed & Venture Capital Finance WebCourse, we will review some important terms and set the stage for the remaining sessions.

12:15 – 1:00 pm Structuring the Deal – Legal Terms for a Venture Investment

While the range of possible structures for an early stage venture capital investment is very broad, most deals tend to follow a fairly standard template. Common terms include the form of security for the investment, preemptive and registration rights, and board representation, to name just a few. Being familiar with these terms will help a development professional counsel the young companies in their region.

1:00 – 1:45 pmCreating Value – You’re in the Deal, What Now?

After an investment is made, the real work begins. This presentation explores what it takes to monitor, mentor, encourage, and support a young company, ending with an exit from the deal to achieve a return on investment. Participants will explore the critical “chemistry” that needs to be established between angel and entrepreneur to help entrepreneurs achieve success.

1:45 – 2:00 pmBreak

2:00 – 3:00 pmCreating Angel Groups in Your Community

In communities large and small there are angel investors and people who may aspire to become angel investors. Economic developers can help make the knowledge and capital of these investors more accessible to local entrepreneurs by organizing these investors into groups or funds. Already, over 300 such angel groups operate across the United States and Canada, and there is evidence that those that focus their efforts on a region have helped spur business growth, job generation, tax base increase, and overall wealth enhancement. Participants will learn the various models and success stories of angel groups and gain access to resources available to help launch such groups in their own region.

3:00 – 3:15 pmBreak

3:15 – 4:30 pmSources of State Sponsored Venture Capital

Incentives, tax credits, and guarantees are powerful tools being used by states to support seed and venture capital programs. Both federal and state tools are available. This session will explore a variety of programs and how they can help produce good results.

4:30 – 5:00 pmCommunity Capital Assessment

This last session will provide you with a tool that allows your team to begin to assess the prospects of building an entrepreneurial ecosystem complete with a capital access outline. Upon completing the assessment one will be able to analyze the assets and competencies available in the community to build upon for future economic development growth.

5:00 pm Adjourn


This course is currently not scheduled for this year. Please check back frequently for more information about when this course will be held in the future.


This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.
Early Bird Rates
CDFA Member: $550
Non-Member: $825
Standard Rates
CDFA Member: $600
Non-Member: $875