Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Emerging Ventures Fund will help Attract Companies and Startups to Region

The Owensboro City Commission today created a seed capital fund to help make the region competitive in recruiting high tech and high growth companies to establish operations and headquarters in Owensboro.

The Emerging Ventures Fund will target companies currently working with Kentucky Bioprocessing, the Owensboro Cancer Research Program at the Owensboro Medical Health System and other high growth or technology-oriented startup companies working with the Emerging Ventures Center for Innovation.

The Emerging Ventures Fund is designed to work in conjunction with the state seed capital funds, such as the Rural Innovation Fund and the Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund. The fund would also work in conjunction with private venture capital and angel investors in the region and throughout Kentucky.

The seed capital will take the form of an equity investment into the companies structured as convertible debt with the fund owning shares. The Emerging Ventures Fund will likely be managed by a professional manager, much the way the state seed funds are managed by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

The initial City commitment to the fund is $100,000 per year for a five-year period using the dividend paid to the City from the Owensboro Riverport Authority. Additional city economic development funds will be considered at a later date. The overall goal is to accumulate a fund of $1 million in public funds and additional private funds over a five year period.

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