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Missouri Launches $20 Million State Seed Capital Program

August 27, 1999

This year’s second attempt to pass legislation establishing a state-funded seed capital program in Missouri was successful during the waning hours of the 1999 session of the Missouri General Assembly. SB 518, the Missouri New Enterprise Creation Act, authorizes the creation of up to four seed capital funds at the state’s innovation centers to support new technology-based companies in the state. Funding for the program will be generated through $20 million in tax credits, with a maximum limit of $5 million in credits each year.

The legislation calls for a state seed capital and commercialization strategy to be developed and approved by a yet-to-be-established Missouri Seed Capital Investment Board prior to the creation of the seed capital funds. One fund is exempted from this provision and will be started immediately to assist any of the up to 7,000 Missourians to be laid off by the Boeing Corporation over the next two years.

“These employees are highly skilled and trained in the latest technology,” Governor Mel Carnahan said of the Boeing layoffs while signing SB 518. “Based on historical data... we expect five percent of those employees will start their own business. We want to give them the opportunity to succeed.”

According to the August 24, 1999 issue of NASVF Net News, the electronic newsletter of the National Association of State Venture Funds, “[a] professional fund management team will be recruited to provide Missouri-wide coverage. Visibility and accessibility to the fund in all regions of the state will be achieved through the placement of qualified partners or associates near or in each of the innovation centers located in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Rolla/Springfield. The centers and other organizations concerned with technology development will provide an existing deal flow network. The team will work alongside center staff to support commercialization of technologies from area universities and laboratories, and to participate in periodic educational events for Missouri entrepreneurs and angel investors.”

Additional information on the Missouri New Enterprise Creation Act can be obtained from http://www.senate.state.mo.us or from Chip Cooper at 573-446-3104; email: michc@showme.missouri.edu .

More information on the National Association of State Venture Funds can be found at http://www.nasvf.org.

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