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Seed & Venture Capital Resource Center

Seed and venture capital programs exist throughout the country. While the public sector may help to initiate such programs, they are largely operated by the private sector. Economic development practitioners can help to foster economic activity by steering new companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups towards venture capital and private equity firms in their states or communities. This type of funding is critical in providing capital for emerging businesses.


Seed capital is an initial capital investment into a new business venture or product line. Often, this capital allows an entrepreneur to launch a new venture without drawing upon traditional lending sources. As a general rule, seed capital is provided by private investors in exchange for a high rate of return on their investment. Seed capital recipients are typically businesses or entrepreneurs with less than one year of history. In most cases, they have not yet produced a commercial product or service. Investors often seek an equity or ownership position in the new company. This represents a considerable tradeoff, as the entrepreneur must cede an ownership interest or pay an unusually high rate of return in order to gain access to capital.


Venture capitalists are financiers that take a role in the management of young, growing companies. Venture capital firms are generally private partnerships or corporations funded by private and public pension funds, endowment funds, foundations, corporations, individuals and foreign investors. Venture capital is different from seed capital because venture capital firms typically do not invest in companies until they are somewhat established. Venture capitalists often play a hands-on role in the management of a new, growing company, and may also assist with product development. They typically take a high risk in anticipation of a relatively higher rate of return over a period of time.


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-Understanding Seed & Venture Capital

Interested in learning about financing small business? This section contains resources on understanding the basics of Seed & Venture Capital.

Access to Capital and Credit in Native CommunitiesMembers only Login
This document, “Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities: A Data Review” (Data Review) begins to answer the questions: Where does Native America stand now in terms of capital and credit access? What has been the effect of new action and new approaches by policymakers and financial entrepreneurs? What are Native Communities’ ongoing and future capital and needs?
State Strategies to Help Businesses Launch and ExpandMembers only Login
This report, produced by The PEW Charitable Trusts, examines how state governments can find solutions to policies that undermine opportunities for investment and job creation when businesses spend too much time or money on inefficient regulatory processes, or when new business projects get delayed because firms don’t understand how to comply with the rules.
Strengthening Access to Capital ProgramsMembers only Login
Vincent DiCara, Owner of DiCara Training and Consulting, LLC, discusses access to capital and the benefits of leveraging public sector support for even greater private sector investment and explore a variety of programs available in the region.
Unlocking Capital AccessMembers only Login
Representatives from the California Association of Micro Enterprise Opportunity and California Pollution Control Financing Authority look at how California creates access to capital for micro businesses and enterprises.
Access to Capital for Small, Middle Market CompaniesMembers only Login
Gene King of Sequence Holdings LLC, discusses in detail various capital access methods and structures for small and middle market companies.

-Resources

View all Access to Capital Resources

-Angel Investment

CDFIs and the Capital Markets - Tapping into Impact InvestorsMembers only Login
A new paradigm is emerging – one in which mainstream investors increasingly want to invest in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of communities. LISC's research paper, CDFIs and the Capital Markets: Tapping into Impact Investors, lays the foundation for the CDFI industry to seize on the opportunities stemming from this paradigm shift.
Bread and Butter Farm Case StudyMembers only Login
How Bread and Butter Farm worked with a patchwork quilt of financing sources to keep land conserved for agriculture.
New Funding Sources for Food-Related BusinessesMembers only Login
This directory provides an overview of various sources of financing that may be available to food hubs and other food-related businesses. This directory is a partial listing of what may be available across the United States; some examples may not be a good match with your particular circumstances. Many of the funding sources listed in this directory are available for local food-related businesses across the United States, but several additional funding websites are specifically for Michigan.
Angel Investment Tax Credits in Illinois and ElsewhereMembers only Login
Adam Blair with the Economic Development Research Group discusses Illinois’ extension of the angel investment tax credit and how it compares with similar programs in other states that compete for angel investment
Access to Capital Strategies for AgricultureMembers only Login
Tim Crosby explores the most innovative and effective access to capital tools used for agriculture-based business, including loan funds and federal and state programs.
View More Angel Investment Resources

-Seed Capital

One Linden - Comprehensive Community Development PlanMembers only Login
Linden is a distressed neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. This plan is designed to create a roadmap for safe neighborhoods, economic development and access to affordable housing, quality healthcare, education and employment opportunities in Linden.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Strategies to Support Your Local Venture Capital EcosystemMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Lamont Price with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Teela Spiller with the Atlanta Micro Fund, and Eric Clement with the NYCEDC highlighted several development finance programs that have proven effective in attracting venture and start-up capital.
New Funding Sources for Food-Related BusinessesMembers only Login
This directory provides an overview of various sources of financing that may be available to food hubs and other food-related businesses. This directory is a partial listing of what may be available across the United States; some examples may not be a good match with your particular circumstances. Many of the funding sources listed in this directory are available for local food-related businesses across the United States, but several additional funding websites are specifically for Michigan.
Evaluation of the SSBCI ProgramMembers only Login
This report summarizes the outcomes of 142 state credit support and investment programs funded by the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which supported over $8 billion in new lending and investing to small businesses since 2011. The report studies program activity based on data reported to Treasury on 16,919 transactions made between 2011 and 2015, and interviews of state program managers and their partners.
View More Seed Capital Resources

-Venture Capital

Agile Space Industries: Opportunity Zone Investment Profile
This investment profile from the Economic Innovation Group showcases Agile Space Industries located in Durango, CO. Agile designs, manufactures, and tests integrated aerospace propulsion systems, and has the only independent propulsion test facility in the United States. Opportunity Zones equity of approximately $950,000 has been invested in the company to date.
New JobsOhio Grant Program Supports QED’s New R&D Center
Quality Electrodynamics (QED) turned to JobsOhio for support in creating a research and development (R&D) center for collaboration and innovation. This case study examines how the JobsOhio Research & Development Grant Program was able to assist QED.
Upstart Aims to Become the Biggest and Best Technology Employer in OhioMembers only Login
Founded by ex-Googlers and based in Silicon Valley, Upstart is the first lending platform to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to price credit and automate the borrowing process. Upstart partnered with the JobsOhio program, One Columbus, and the Ohio Development Services Agency to meet the $719,000 capital stack.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Strategies to Support Your Local Venture Capital EcosystemMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Lamont Price with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Teela Spiller with the Atlanta Micro Fund, and Eric Clement with the NYCEDC highlighted several development finance programs that have proven effective in attracting venture and start-up capital.
Bread and Butter Farm Case StudyMembers only Login
How Bread and Butter Farm worked with a patchwork quilt of financing sources to keep land conserved for agriculture.
View More Venture Capital Resources

-State Capital Access Programs

National SSBCI 2.0 Call - March 26, 2021
SSBCI was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. CDFA hosted this National SSBCI 2.0 Call serving as an interface between Treasury and stakeholders during the rulemaking process. On March 26, 2021, we discussed insights and recommendations to Treasury and our understanding of what resources need to be developed.
National SSBCI 2.0 Call - March 11, 2021
SSBCI was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. CDFA hosted this National SSBCI 2.0 Call with interested stakeholders on March 11, 2021, to discuss SSBCI 2.0. We discussed key SSBCI 2.0 questions and timelines. We also discussed CDFA's plans for SSBCI education and future engagement. Several states spoke about their efforts to re-launch SSBCI programming.
New JobsOhio Grant Program Supports QED’s New R&D Center
Quality Electrodynamics (QED) turned to JobsOhio for support in creating a research and development (R&D) center for collaboration and innovation. This case study examines how the JobsOhio Research & Development Grant Program was able to assist QED.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Strategies for Catalyzing Investment in Communities
During the April 10, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, Bruce Katz from Drexel University, Rachel Reilly from the Economic Innovation Group, and Katie Kramer from CDFA examined relief efforts run by local governments, philanthropic organizations, chambers, and other local entities to support main street.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Federal, State, and Local Responses to COVID-19
On the March 27, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, we discussed how Development Finance Agencies have initially responded to COVID-19, examined Congressional legislation, analyzed how federal agencies are reacting, and looked at a few exemplary state and local financing programs.
View more State Capital Access Program Resources

-Loan Guarantees

Relief for HUD Section 108 Borrowers Impacted by COVID-19
The following questions and answers document describes actions that can be taken by HUD and communities to assist Section 108 business borrowers experiencing economic distress as a result of coronavirus.
Big Ideas for Small Business
This report provides a five-step roadmap towards a more inclusive, dynamic, and productive small-business sector. The report breaks down the five steps into ten major policy recommendations with detailed policy proposals. It was authored by the Drexel University Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies.
CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative: Development Finance Strategies for Charter Schools
CDFA's first publication of the CDFA Charter Schools Financing Initiative series, funded with support from the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools. This paper demonstrates how charter schools can access development finance tools and public finance and provides real-world examples of how these tools have been successfully implemented.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Capital Solutions: Realigning Assets, Evaluating Risk
During the May 8, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, panelists discussed realigning assets to address the COVID-19 crisis, evaluating the risk of not doing anything versus the risk of losing capital, capital solutions that are working locally, and doing the most with the capital you have.
COVID-19 Weekly Briefing - Updates from SBA and HUD on PPP, EIDL, CDBG
During the April 24, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, listeners were given updates from SBA and HUD on early statistics for the PPP and EIDL programs, as well as additional actions taken by both agencies such as payment forgiveness and CDBG flexibility.
View more Loan Guarantee Resources

-Microenterprise & Microloans

One Year into the Pandemic: New Evidence on How Small Businesses are Faring
The Urban Institute hosted this discussion about how small businesses are faring one year after the start of widespread economic shutdowns due to the pandemic. The webinar explored the disconnect between the fall in business activity and revenues, and generally positive small business credit and debt patterns. It also discussed what roles governments and philanthropic entities should play, including what work is needed to ensure businesses historically excluded from access to capital can have a prosperous future.
SBA Microloan Program: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Program Performance Measurement, Collaboration, and ReportingMembers only Login
This report from the Government Accountability Office examines (1) characteristics of borrowers and intermediaries in the Microloan Program, (2) program oversight of intermediaries and borrowers, (3) program performance measures, and (4) collaboration within SBA and with other agencies.
Small Business Administration Microloan Program - Congressional Research Service
This report from the Congressional Research Service describes the SBA Microloan Program’s eligibility standards and operating requirements. It also examines arguments presented by the program’s critics and advocates and presents statistics and valuable information about the program.
COVID-19’s Concentrated Health and Wealth Effects in Black CommunitiesMembers only Login
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed acute and deep-rooted connections between physical and economic health. Many of the same places hit hardest by the pandemic are reeling concurrently from the health crisis, business closures, and job losses. These communities are disproportionately communities of color. This brief examines reasons why Black-owned firms have been almost twice as likely to shutter as small firms overall.
Big Ideas for Small Business
This report provides a five-step roadmap towards a more inclusive, dynamic, and productive small-business sector. The report breaks down the five steps into ten major policy recommendations with detailed policy proposals. It was authored by the Drexel University Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies.
View more Microenterprise & Microloan Resources

-Programs Map

Search the map below for small business finance programs by state. This specialized search is part of CDFA's State Financing Program Directory, the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by state governments. Click on a state to see a sample of state small business finance programs available. Login with a CDFA Member account at the top of the page to view full results.

-Case Studies

Opportunity Zone Prospectus - Newport, VermontMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for Newport, Vermont.
Opportunity Zone Prospectus - Lyndon, VermontMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Prospectus for the city of Lyndon, Vermont.
Opportunity Zones Prospectus - Brattleboro, VermontMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zones prospectus for Brattleboro, Vermont. It was authored in partnership with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation.
Opportunity Zone Investment Guide - City of Winooski, VermontMembers only Login
This is an Opportunity Zone Investment Guide for the City of Winooski, Vermont.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Restoring the Hospitality IndustryMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we explored the landscape of the hospitality industry (large and small) and what is being done to ensure the industry may stay afloat.
View More Case Studies

-Headlines

-Publications

Innovation Finance Reference Guide
The Innovation Finance Reference Guide explores the growing seed, venture capital and angel investment industry. Written by Robert Heard of Cimarron Capital Partners and Jim Troxel of Development Capital Networks, this guide gives development finance agencies a roadmap for building an innovation finance initiative that supports entrepreneurship, business investment, job creation, and 21st century technology development.
Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance
The Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance 2nd Edition is the only comprehensive resource dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner's Guide provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies and techniques used to build strong communities. From bonds, tax increment finance and special districts to tax credits, seed & venture capital, revolving loan funds and much more, this Guide outlines the financing tools required for succeeding in today's competitive economic development climate.
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency (Handbook) serves as a companion to the Practitioner’s Guide to help illuminate the structures of development finance agencies (DFAs), essential conduits to access development finance tools. The Handbook provides an overview of DFAs and their myriad roles in various development efforts. Included in this discussion is a comprehensive look at over a dozen high-performing DFAs throughout the country. The Handbook is designed to be a starting point for local leaders to engage in the creation or acceleration of a DFA to build and utilize the development finance toolbox.
View More Publications

-Upcoming Events

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Social Impact Investing Credit Ratings for CDFIs
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, we will explore how CDFIs, by obtaining a credit rating, can demonstrate the value of making social impact investments.
Register
CDFA SSBCI Briefing
Friday, April 23, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern
Register
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Unlocking Capital for BIPOC-owned Businesses
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we will be discussing creative financing approaches to minimize barriers and increase access to capital for minority-owned businesses across the country.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

One Year into the Pandemic: New Evidence on How Small Businesses are Faring
The Urban Institute hosted this discussion about how small businesses are faring one year after the start of widespread economic shutdowns due to the pandemic. The webinar explored the disconnect between the fall in business activity and revenues, and generally positive small business credit and debt patterns. It also discussed what roles governments and philanthropic entities should play, including what work is needed to ensure businesses historically excluded from access to capital can have a prosperous future.
National SSBCI 2.0 Call - March 26, 2021
SSBCI was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. CDFA hosted this National SSBCI 2.0 Call serving as an interface between Treasury and stakeholders during the rulemaking process. On March 26, 2021, we discussed insights and recommendations to Treasury and our understanding of what resources need to be developed.
2021CDFARuralDevelopmentFinanceWebinarSeries:Financing DisasterResiliencyinRuralCommunities
During the first installment of the CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series, hear about a new technical assistance program from CDFA designed to support rural communities that have recently experienced a natural disaster. Experts discussed the variety of financing tools available from federal, state, and local sources to encourage investment resilient infrastructure.
National SSBCI 2.0 Call - March 11, 2021
SSBCI was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. CDFA hosted this National SSBCI 2.0 Call with interested stakeholders on March 11, 2021, to discuss SSBCI 2.0. We discussed key SSBCI 2.0 questions and timelines. We also discussed CDFA's plans for SSBCI education and future engagement. Several states spoke about their efforts to re-launch SSBCI programming.
Legislative Briefing - February 2021
This CDFA Legislative Briefing took place on February 17, 2021. Topics discussed included re-introducing the Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA) and the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) along with the latest developments on the American Rescue Plan and legislative actions on Capitol Hill.
View More Webcasts

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