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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

Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
SSBCI Implementation Guidance Highlight Summary and Reader’s Guide - gener8torMembers only Login
Gener8tor produced this summary/reading guide of the SSBCI guidance that the U.S. Department of the Treasury released on November 10, 2021.
CDFA's Analysis of Capital Program Policy Guidelines for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
CDFA’s analysis of the November 2021 SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines is meant to provide a high-level overview of key provisions and is not comprehensive of all updates and changes to the April 2014 policy guidelines.
Angel Funders Report 2021Members only Login
The Angel Funders Report 2021, published by the Angel Capital Association, uses verified data provided directly by active angel investing groups. The report is based on information collected from a variety of ACA member groups, including some of the most active investing communities. It analyzes angel capital investments made during 2020, and features profiles and insights from leading angel investors and startup company executives.
View More Angel Investment Resources

-Seed Capital

Mobilizing Money & Movements: Creative Finance for Food Systems TransformationMembers only Login
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative (TIFS) released a comprehensive new report that gives investors a roadmap of creative finance strategies that support entrepreneurs, farmers, activists, and social movements and helps to transform food economies towards healthy, equitable, and renewable systems.
Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
SSBCI Implementation Guidance Highlight Summary and Reader’s Guide - gener8torMembers only Login
Gener8tor produced this summary/reading guide of the SSBCI guidance that the U.S. Department of the Treasury released on November 10, 2021.
CDFA's Analysis of Capital Program Policy Guidelines for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
CDFA’s analysis of the November 2021 SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines is meant to provide a high-level overview of key provisions and is not comprehensive of all updates and changes to the April 2014 policy guidelines.
View More Seed Capital Resources

-Venture Capital

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
Mobilizing Money & Movements: Creative Finance for Food Systems TransformationMembers only Login
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative (TIFS) released a comprehensive new report that gives investors a roadmap of creative finance strategies that support entrepreneurs, farmers, activists, and social movements and helps to transform food economies towards healthy, equitable, and renewable systems.
Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
SSBCI Implementation Guidance Highlight Summary and Reader’s Guide - gener8torMembers only Login
Gener8tor produced this summary/reading guide of the SSBCI guidance that the U.S. Department of the Treasury released on November 10, 2021.
View More Venture Capital Resources

-State Capital Access Programs

Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
SSBCI Programs Fact Sheet - November 2021
This November 2021 Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of the Treasury discusses the five types of SSBCI programs. The programs available under SSBCI are 1) Venture Capital Programs, 2) Loan Participation Programs, 3) Loan Guarantee Programs, 4) Collateral Support Programs, and 5) Capital Access Programs (CAPs).
CDFA's Analysis of Capital Program Policy Guidelines for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
CDFA’s analysis of the November 2021 SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines is meant to provide a high-level overview of key provisions and is not comprehensive of all updates and changes to the April 2014 policy guidelines.
SSBCI General Info Fact Sheet (2021)
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) reauthorizes and amends the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program. ARPA provides a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to help address the economic fallout of the pandemic and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery by providing direct support to jurisdictions for programs that increase access to credit for small businesses.
Localizing the State Small Business Credit InitiativeMembers only Login
This white paper, authored by three researchers at Drexel University's Nowak Metro Finance Lab, argues that to drive a recovery that expands opportunity and innovation, local leaders would be well put to think about ways they can maximize SSBCI usage. While “local” may not be in the program’s title, its success will ultimately hinge on the hard-won efforts and institutional capacity of local leaders.
View more State Capital Access Program Resources

-Loan Guarantees

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
SSBCI Implementation Guidance Highlight Summary and Reader’s Guide - gener8torMembers only Login
Gener8tor produced this summary/reading guide of the SSBCI guidance that the U.S. Department of the Treasury released on November 10, 2021.
SSBCI Programs Fact Sheet - November 2021
This November 2021 Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of the Treasury discusses the five types of SSBCI programs. The programs available under SSBCI are 1) Venture Capital Programs, 2) Loan Participation Programs, 3) Loan Guarantee Programs, 4) Collateral Support Programs, and 5) Capital Access Programs (CAPs).
CDFA's Analysis of Capital Program Policy Guidelines for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
CDFA’s analysis of the November 2021 SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines is meant to provide a high-level overview of key provisions and is not comprehensive of all updates and changes to the April 2014 policy guidelines.
View more Loan Guarantee Resources

-Microenterprise & Microloans

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
SSBCI Implementation Guidance Highlight Summary and Reader’s Guide - gener8torMembers only Login
Gener8tor produced this summary/reading guide of the SSBCI guidance that the U.S. Department of the Treasury released on November 10, 2021.
Incentives for Entrepreneurial FirmsMembers only Login
Many economic development organizations (EDOs) have embraced the mission to support entrepreneurial firms in their communities. EDOs engage in their entrepreneurial ecosystems, in part, by providing resources, sometimes in the form of business incentives. The purpose of this report is to provide practitioners and policymakers with insights regarding the use of these incentives and guidance for offering incentives to entrepreneurial firms.
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

CDFA Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook
Linking development finance and food systems can be a daunting undertaking for any community. Research on the current ecosystem of food systems finance has positioned CDFA to identify key strategies for the path ahead in this work. The Food Systems Finance Best Practices Guidebook defines how traditional development finance tools can be used to launch and expand food and agricultural-related businesses and projects, and create successful food systems finance programs at the local and regional levels.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture Infrastructure Across Value ChainsMembers only Login
Regenerative farms rely on small-to-mid scale, aligned infrastructure to process, transport, and market their products. These middle infrastructure businesses help to improve farm income and bolster regional food economies while providing significant social and environmental benefits. However, their unique business models require innovative and patient forms of capital to grow and succeed. This report identifies finance opportunities and pathways to build resilient value chains for regenerative farms.
Mobilizing Money & Movements: Creative Finance for Food Systems TransformationMembers only Login
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative (TIFS) released a comprehensive new report that gives investors a roadmap of creative finance strategies that support entrepreneurs, farmers, activists, and social movements and helps to transform food economies towards healthy, equitable, and renewable systems.
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

SSBCI Coalition Meeting - December 16 (Virtual)
December 16, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Eastern
SSBCI Coalition meetings will be held once a month to provide an interactive forum for CDFA members during the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) application period. CDFA will facilitate discussions that allow for networking, peer knowledge sharing, and problem solving.
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

SSBCI for Tribal Governments
CDFA and guest speakers from The Choctaw Nation and gener8tor held this webinar on March 11, 2022 for a discussion on how Tribal Governments can utilize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program. During this webinar, CDFA provided an overview of the information included in SSBCI for Tribal Governments, and guest speakers discussed their approach to maximizing the program from the Tribal Government perspective and the perspective of a mission-aligned fund manager.
CDFA-Treasury: A Guide to the SSBCI Application Tables Webinar
CDFA hosted this public briefing on January 20, 2022 to provide an overview and demonstration of the new SSBCI Leverage Ratio Data Table as well as the Enrolled Loan Data Table. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Affordable Housing Finance - Market Rate/Affordable/Low-Income
Affordable Housing has been a hot button issue over the last few years with a focus on what percentage of affordable housing should comprise a residential development. This session discussed how various tools such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Private Activity Bonds play a role in how these decisions are made.
Analysis of Updated SSBCI Guidelines
CDFA hosted this public briefing on November 22, 2021 to provide an overview of the new SSBCI Capital Program Policy Guidelines as well as application timelines and requirements. CDFA along with representatives from Treasury discussed key provisions in the updated guidance and fielded questions from attendees.
View More Webcasts

CDFA National Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • gener8tor
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • Raza Development Fund
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor