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Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

Tennessee State Government Announces New Venture Capital Funding Source

Tom Kulaga's picture

SCORE sent out the following news bulletin:

Many small businesses are encountering difficulty in obtaining financing to grow their business.  A new program sponsored by the State of Tennessee may offer a new source of capital.  The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development recently announced the launch of TNInvestCo, a funding program created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2009 as part of a broad strategy to nurture entrepreneurship in the state and to jump start job creation in sectors of the economy with high growth potential.  Its goals are to develop Tennessee's entrepreneurial infrastructure, to bring additional capital into the state, to diversify the state's economy and to create "anchors" or "clusters" of business innovation which can result in new companies being created or spun off and new talent being attracted to Tennessee.

Six venture capital firms have been selected as participants, with each receiving 20 million dollars in tax incentives  The venture capital funds selected for this program are:

  • Tennessee Community Ventures Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • XMI High Growth Development Fund, LLC, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
  • Limestone Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Tri-Star Technology Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Innova Fund II, LP, Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Council & Enhanced Tennessee Fund, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee.

The funds selected "are about more than simply providing capital to entrepreneurs, although that's an important part of what they do," said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber. "Each fund has a strong history of also mentoring and advising early stage companies and guiding them from innovation to sustainability and that's one of the reasons they were chosen."

Commissioner Farr said the funds may begin marketing their allocations and reviewing applications from companies immediately, but the law creating the TNInvestco program specifies allocations will not be received by the venture funds until January 2010.

Individual businesses interested in applying for the program may go to the TNInvestCo website and complete an application form which will be submitted to each of the TNInvestco funds.  In addition, businesses applying for the program will receive information about available help through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's Business Enterprise Resource Office for small and disadvantaged businesses and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation.

For more information, see the TNInvestCo website. Read the full press release here.