CDVCA Takes General Partner Role in $45M New York State Fund

CDVCA serves as the General Partner for New York State’s “Innovate NY Fund, L.P.,” an economic development Fund of Funds, consisting of limited partnership investments into eight New York State-focused, early-stage venture funds.   The $45 million fund is a seed stage business equity fund to support innovation, job creation, and high growth entrepreneurship throughout the state. The Innovate NY Fund is supported with $35 million in State funds (allocated from the US Treasury’s SSBCI Program) and $10 million from Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, and will leverage up to $450 million in additional private investment.

The purpose of the Innovate NY Fund is to promote technology-led economic growth in the state through targeted investments by regional venture fund managers (the “Seed Funds”) into over 100 seed and early stage companies; and to encourage additional private sector investment across the state.  Unique among state-funded venture capital programs, Innovate NY Fund recognizes that effective statewide growth must include its lower income populations.  The Fund’s investment criteria include a requirement to invest a portion of proceeds in businesses located in lower income communities, or to meaningfully employ individuals from these communities.

New York’s approach has been to collaborate with private investors, which includes Goldman Sachs as a limited partner, and through an effective matching investment requirement for the participating funds.  As part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed into law in September 2010, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was created under the US Department of the Treasury to provide direct support to states for use in programs designed to increase small businesses’ access to credit.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams has said, “Access to seed money is essential to building the vibrant small businesses that are the foundation of a strong Upstate economy. This program addresses … high growth firms that are the backbone of an innovation economy. With this program, we can make critically needed seed-stage capital available to spur job creation and stimulate our economy from the ground up.”