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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

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.
Angel Investment Tax CreditsMembers only Login
Catherine Renaul of Innovation Policyworks LLC, provides research and analysis on using angel investment tax credits to incentivize investors.
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

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.”
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.
View more State Capital Access Program Resources

-Loan Guarantees

COVID-19 Emergency Loans & Small Business Checklist - U.S. Chamber of Commerce`
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.
Rethinking Disaster Relief for Small Businesses
The public health system in the United States, suffering from budget and staffing cuts precipitated by the Great Recession and current administration’s decisions, does not have the capacity to address the coronavirus crisis. These authors are equally concerned that our current suite of disaster relief and financing programs are unable to respond to the devastating blow dealt to America’s small businesses.
How to Rescue Main Street From Coronavirus Before It’s Too Late
It is now clear that the coronavirus pandemic will exact a staggering toll on the American economy. By any measure, an economy that not long ago had driven Americans' confidence in the labor market and optimism about their financial security to record highs is about to undergo a massive and potentially catastrophic disruption.
View more Loan Guarantee Resources

-Microenterprise & Microloans

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.
Small Business Financing Solutions - WWBICMembers only Login
Wendy Baumann (WWBIC) discusses how small businesses are financed and the various access to capital challenges they face. Baumann discusses WWBIC's services: business and financial education programming, micro and small business loans, one-on-one business technical assistance, and financial capability programs.
An Overview of Development Finance Programs in California's Treasurer's OfficeMembers only Login
Jeree Glasser-Hendrick of the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee provides an in-depth look at the wide range of development fiance resources available through the California State Treasurer's Office.
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.
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

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%.
Fair Food Fund 5 Year Impact ReportMembers only Login
The Fair Food Fund was designed to meet these entrepreneurs where they are and take them where they want to go. Since 2013, we have invested more than $3 million in 13 food businesses. Just as important is supporting these businesses on the road to profitability; that’s why we’ve also invested more than $700,000 in business assistance, offering more than 70 enterprises solutions that range from multi-day intensive trainings to customized one-on-one support.
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

The CDFA Seed & Venture Capital Finance Course 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.

View All Courses

-Upcoming Events

CDFA Federal Policy Conference (cancelled)
April 14-15, 2020
Washington, DC
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: The Landscape of Food Systems Finance
Thursday, May 28, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
For the second installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, we will present key initiatives and programs being used to finance local food systems, and how CDFA is continuing to prove the food system as an asset class.
Register
CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Federal Financing for Community Facilities
June 18, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this webinar, several federal agencies will discuss their programs for supporting local community facilities and how to coordinate financing with multiple partners.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance
Thursday, July 30, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
This installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series will illustrate the many positive impacts that result from financing food systems at a neighborhood scale, with speakers to showcase the versatility of projects and financing approaches.
Register
CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Financing Food Systems Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
2:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series, development finance professionals from around the country will describe their strategies for supporting local entrepreneurs in moving their business from idea to execution.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Sourcing Local Capital for Community ProjectsMembers only Login
Communities that face socioeconomic challenges often lack the capacity to undertake the use of many financing tools that are used for economic growth and development. In urban, rural, and suburban communities alike, communities are exploring locally derived methods of developing access to capital. From crowdfunding to co-ops and creative investment approaches, during this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we learned about the tools that are being used to bridge the financing gap and make local economies work.
CDFA EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series: Fund Recapitalization and Expansion
Fund recapitalization can come from many sources, including local, state, and federal governments or financial and philanthropic institutions. Depending on the source, there may be certain requirements that need to be satisfied when moving through the actual lending process.
CDFA EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series: Revisiting Your Revolving Loan Fund Plan
Designing the Revolving Loan Fund is one of the most critical aspects of the program process. The design process should be thorough and clearly defined to address the goals and objectives of the RLF while also clearly outlining the expectations of borrowers. It’s important to have regular reviews of the RLF program to make sure it is still relevant and effective.
CDFA EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series: Building Partnerships to Maximize Your RLF Impact
The varying size of Revolving Loan Funds leaves many organizations without the financial and staff capacity to effectively support all aspects of a lending program and building partnerships can enhance its effectiveness and impact. Key partnerships could include providing technical assistance for borrowers, outsourcing the servicing of the portfolio, or even in some cases, partnering with another organization that can assume the management of the entire RLF program. Listen as Robyn Jacobson, Robin Weis, and Andy Rachlin discuss the various partnerships your organization can structure in order to maximize your RLF's impact.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Capital for Main Street
Whether it is supporting small businesses, investing in historic buildings, or repairing aging infrastructure, Main Street communities need access to capital in various forms. Small downtowns and commercial districts contain a myriad of uses and face unique challenges when using traditional forms of financing. During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we explored some of the creative financing tools that are being utilized around the country.
View More Webcasts

CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • 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
  • Petros PACE Finance
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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