More capital" is the clarion call of many entrepreneurs. Organizations nationwide are answering with offerings ranging from loans to investment capital. Following is a roundup of some of the programs available.
- Venture capital firm Zero Stage Capital 6 recently received $15 million from limited partners in Rhode Island and is seeking technology companies in that state looking for $500,000 to $5 million investments.
The fund is looking for businesses in all stages of development that have the potential to become leaders within their industries.
Zero Stage Capital 6 also has partners in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire bringing the total available capital up to $140 million in New England. To start the process, prepare an executive summary and contact vice president and fund manager for Rhode Island Mark Thaller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 876-5355, ext. 110.
- Pacesetter Growth Fund invests in companies that have minorities on their ownership teams. The $46.5 million fund targets second-stage communications companies, electronics manufacturers and firms in the food-processing industry. It invests $2 million to $5 million primarily in companies located in the Southwest, but it will consider those in other areas as well.
Call (972) 991-1597 for information or to submit your business plan.
- New Jersey's Economic Development Authority (EDA) has established several capital programs to fund businesses. The New Jersey Seed Capital Program, for example, lends $25,000 to $200,000 to new and growing technology companies that have physical locations. This revolving loan program has $3 million to lend.
Contact the EDA at email@example.com or (609)292-0187 for more information on this and other programs.
- Realizing that fledgling businesses take time to become financially stable, voters in Maine have created the $5 million Small Enterprise Growth Fund, which allows borrowers to defer loan principal and interest payments for up to three years.
Entrepreneurs can apply for as much as $150,000 in debt financing, but they must be able to match the amount borrowed dollar for dollar. The fund will consider companies with a tested or patented product in any industry, but gives more attention to firms in the computer software and hardware development, marine science and biotechnology industries.
For more information, contact the fund at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207)623-3263.
- The International Association of Black Millionaires is composed of entrepreneurs and investors that include athletes, entertainers, venture capitalists and angels. Group members--who control $53 billion in investment capital--invest from $25,000 to $20 million in minority-owned firms as well as other growing companies that serve ethnic markets.
The association hosts two annual events to facilitate networking between entrepreneurs and investors. The Millionaire Makers weekend, to be held this year in Dallas in November, resembles a venture capital forum and presents 10 to 15 carefully vetted companies to investors. The Millionaire's Ball, to be held this month in Atlanta, recognizes an investor and an entrepreneur of the year and offers a social setting in which entrepreneurs can meet potential backers. Both events are open to the public.
The association also publishes The Investors Bulletin, where those seeking capital can detail what they're looking for.
Call (972) 233-9107 for more information on the association.
National - The EPA is accepting nominations for the Energy Star Small Business Awards, honoring innovative solutions for cutting energy costs. If your business or any other business you know of has shown admirable energy efficiency, contact Energy Star Small Business at (888) STAR-YES or http://www.epa.gov/smallbiz and apply before the June 1 deadline.
The NEGOTIATORS Mentor Inc. is looking for young entrepreneurs who are interested in starting workplace or campus mentoring programs to take part in its Generation "E" Grant and Scholarship Program. The company will award $1,000 to each of the first five college students age 17 and over and the first five working adults age 21 and over who establish programs under its guidance. For more information, call (888) WHO-MENTORS or visit http://www.whomentors.com The application process must be completed by May 31.
International Association of Black Millionaires, 4020 McEwen, #105, Dallas, TX 75244