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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 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

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.
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 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.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA'sMembers only Login
This month’s CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series on Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA's featured Tim Fisher of CDFA, Paul Toth of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Gary Smith of Chester County Economic Development Council, Samuele Bozzolla of Allegheny County, and Juan Salgado of Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.
View More Venture Capital Resources

-State Capital Access Programs

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.
NMEDD - Economic Development Innovation Task Force ReportMembers only Login
In 2019, the Governor signed House Memorial 16 directing the Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to bring together stakeholders and convene an Economic Development Innovation Task Force to spur collaboration and innovative discussions on methods to create new economic development concepts and ideas to enhance New Mexico's economy. This report is the result.
Available CFA Resources - New York Regional Economic Development CouncilsMembers only Login
In 2011, Governor Cuomo created ten Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) to advance the administration’s efforts to improve New York’s business climate and expand economic growth. This 2019 document outlines information about each agency’s grant programs, including eligibility, scoring criteria, applicant requirements, and agency contact information.
Cultivating Chicago's Innovation Environment: The State of the Illinois Medical DistrictMembers only Login
The market study validates the IMD’s potential to nurture Chicago’s innovation activity and advance economic development on a regional scale. Yet Chicago lags behind smaller cities in life sciences activity. The authors suggest that one impediment to growth is “lack of a coherent mission and holistic plan of action across institutions.”
View more State Capital Access Program Resources

-Loan Guarantees

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.
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America.
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 - Innovative Small Business Relief Programs
During the April 3, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, experts from the North Carolina Rural Center, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the New Orleans Business Alliance discussed their respective approaches to local financing programs to support small businesses.
View more Loan Guarantee Resources

-Microenterprise & Microloans

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 - Innovative Small Business Relief Programs
During the April 3, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, experts from the North Carolina Rural Center, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the New Orleans Business Alliance discussed their respective approaches to local financing programs to support small businesses.
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.
Strengthening Access to Capital ProgramsMembers only Login
James Key-Wallace, Executive Director at New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, 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.
Microenterprise Lending: A Cookbook for Mutual SuccessMembers only Login
This guide by ISED Solutions and the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement discusses the difficulties of microlending and lending to refugees and immigrants. Use this as a guide to find inspiration in developing your own recipe for microenterprise lending – one that the consumer will use and appreciate in building a new life in the United States.
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

Financing Affordable Housing and Small Businesses through Opportunity Zones - Lessons from Cuyahoga County, Ohio Members only Login
The Opportunity Zones tax incentive, created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, was designed to spur investment in low-income and undercapitalized communities. The experiences of investors, developers, government officials, and business representatives show how the incentive is playing out nationally and locally in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
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.
Idaho Economic Development Association Summer 2019 ReportMembers only Login
This summer 2019 performance report from the Idaho Economic Development Association discusses economic development in Idaho and offers several case studies.
Fact Sheet on Farm Credit System Farmer Lending Results for 2018 Members only Login
This information summarizes Farm Credit System 2018 lending activity to young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers, ranchers, and producers or harvesters of aquatic products. For total System loans, the number of new loans made in 2018 declined by 21.4% compared with 2017. The number of loans to young farmers declined by 17.7%, to beginning farmers by 15.5%, and to small farmers by 16.1%.
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

-Training Courses

Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Federal Recovery Resources from NIST and MEP
August 14, 2020
1:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the Federal Financing Webinar Series, learn how NIST and MEP are using CARES Act funding to support local manufacturing ecosystems.
Register
Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse
December 9-10, 2020
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. Topics covered include federal, state, and local sources of capital, stakeholders involved in the financing process, and case study examples that showcase the variety of financing programs.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

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 - Impact Investors' Responses to COVID-19
During the May 1, 2020 Weekly COVID-19 Development Finance Briefing, listeners heard how four prominent leaders in impact investing are responding to both the economic crisis and the public health crisis, learned about the types of solutions and partnerships they are actively engaged in, and how philanthropic impact investors can realign their strategies to help with recovery efforts.
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.
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.
CDFA Legislative Briefing - April 2020 (Free Recording)
During this Legislative Briefing, we discussed the latest information about the next stimulus act (Phase 4) from Congress and the urgent actions development finance agencies should take. We examined legislative reactions to the CARES Act, what we expect in Stimulus 4 provisions, legislative actions on tax-exempt bonds and small business access to capital, and more.
View More Webcasts

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
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  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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