GOED launches Venture Capital Program strengthening capital access for local startups
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Nevada is seeking to attract additional venture and seed capital from institutional investors, such as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), to invest alongside Battle Born Growth Venture’s deals. This new Venture Capital Program is now operating under the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program and overseen by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
“The SSBCI Program provides Nevada with the opportunity to attract substantially more local and out-of-state investment capital that will strengthen our startup businesses and Nevada startup founders are highly encouraged to apply,” said Governor Joe Lombardo.
Battle Born Growth Venture utilizes a unique application process which will result in a higher-level investment in minority entrepreneurs than with standard Venture Capital.
“We are taking advantage of data captured over the past decade to inform this process” said Nicola Kerslake who founded Newbean Capital, a female owned Reno-based registered investment advisor that has performed the role as the SSBCI program’s investment manager since inception of the predecessor program in 2014. “Our current investment portfolio shows that half of funds have gone to minority or women-led startups, so the process is working, and we are particularly seeking applications from startups of traditionally disadvantaged and underserved communities.”
As with all other SSBCI programs, the Battle Born Growth Venture also requires private sector co-investments.
“We strongly encourage any institutional seed and venture capital fund to reach out to us to explore co-investment options,” said Karsten Heise Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Innovation at the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “One major objective of this program is to put Nevada startups on the map and spur investment fund interests from out-of-state thereby attracting vital seed and venture capital to Nevada to strengthen our local startup ecosystems. Key to the success of this program will be getting capital to Nevada startups from nationally operating institutional seed- and venture capital funds.”
Last October, Nevada’s SSBCI Program application was approved for up to $112.9 million and Nevada has received its initial tranche. GOED acts as program manager and oversees a total of five component programs. Initially, Battle Born Growth Venture has been allocated a total of $36 million.
Unlike traditional venture capital funds, any Nevada startup can apply through the program’s website at battlebornventure.com. Interested applicants are further encouraged to confirm that they will meet the program’s criteria by visiting battlebornventure.com/are-we-a-fit.
One additional feature of the venture capital program’s structure is the partnership with two Nevada accelerators for deal-flow generation. Battle Born Growth Venture co-invests in cohort startups of nationally ranked gener8tor and local Nevada StartUpNV. So far, the program has co-invested with gener8tor in cohort companies Loop Software, Vistro, GrantCycle (formerly Atlas Solutions), Clotheslyne, Prosper and Sage Medical as well as with StartUpNV’s SeeID, Let’s Rolo, Revonate, and Terbine.
“The first gener8tor cohort last fall has proven to be a big success,” said Jared Byer, Managing Director of gener8tor’s Reno-Tahoe accelerator. “Two of our companies reached their fundraising goals within a couple of months after the program ended and a third should be finalized by April. The funds will be used to scale their businesses operations in Nevada, hire additional staff and open more locations in the state.”
The upcoming cohort programs will take place this fall in both Reno and Las Vegas, and any startup company is encouraged to apply. Reno is currently accepting applications via its website www.gener8tor.com/investment-accelerators/reno-tahoe.
“StartUpNV saw great potential with these four companies, so we were excited to support them with co-investing alongside SSBCI, a program that no doubt will significantly enhance our state’s ability to grow our startup ecosystem and enable entrepreneurs to achieve their goals,” said Jeff Saling, executive director of StartUpNV.
StartUpNV is operating an ongoing non-cohort-based accelerator via its website https://startupnv.org/.
About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.
About the State Small Business Credit Initiative
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act, which reauthorized and funded the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The new version of the SSBCI program provides a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to empower small businesses to access capital needed to invest in job-creating opportunities as the country emerges from the pandemic. The funds will also support recipient jurisdictions in promoting American entrepreneurship and democratizing access to startup capital across the country, including in underserved communities. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) oversees the Nevada SSBCI Program. It is operated by Nevada Battle Born Growth Escalator, Inc. a corporation for public benefit and 501(c)(3) non-profit created by GOED in 2016.