2018 Halo Report released

The Angel Resource Institute has released its latest analysis of 2018 angel investing. Characterizing the full year of investments captured in the annual survey – more than 2,500 individual transactions – the report profiles activity by several different factors useful in understanding regional differences in the early stage financing community. It should be noted, however, that adjustments in the deal size ceiling for inclusion in the analysis for 2018, to reflect the degree to which angels are participating in next-stage rounds (Series A), make comparisons to previous years less meaningful.  

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction.

Women hold only 9 percent of equity value in their startups, report finds

While women comprise approximately 33 percent of the combined founder and employee workforce at startup companies, they hold just 9 percent of all equity value in those companies, according to The Gap Table from Carta – a software platform for managing startup equity and ownership. The new report was based upon capitalization table (cap table) data from more than 6,000 companies with a combined total of nearly $45 billion in equity value. The cap table is a list of owners of a company and includes information about the percentages of ownership, equity dilution, and value of equity in each round of investment. The researchers found that:

  • Women make up 35 percent of equity-holding employees, but only hold 20 percent of employee equity; and,
  • Women make up 13 percent of founders, but hold 6 percent of founder equity.

Loans for innovation: MN pilots a rare model

The Minnesota Department of Deployment and Economic Development (DEED) has launched a new loan program for entrepreneurs with high-tech products or services. The loans are similar in size to microfinance options increasingly available to new bricks-and-mortar establishments, but flexible payment options and innovation-focused criteria are intended to make Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) uniquely appropriate for tech-based economic development.

SAFEs & tech-based economic development

Part 1 of this series on SAFEs (simple agreements for future equity) focused on the investment vehicle and its pros and cons, and can be found here.

In this second article in a series on SAFEs, we examine how the investment contracts may be used by venture development organizations (VDOs), entrepreneurial support organizations, and other investment-focused economic development entities. These public/nonprofit capital providers may increasingly face exposure to SAFEs from the changing private market as their region’s private accelerators, super angels, and other private investors shift from convertible notes to SAFEs during the early-stage investment process.


SAFEs: What are they? What are the positives and negatives of using them?

Six years after the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (JOBS Act), SSTI continues to examine the impact that the legislation has had on startup capital. In previous weeks, SSTI has looked at Regulation A+ offerings and equity crowdfunding (also known as regulation crowdfunding or Reg CF).

New SEC report focuses on recommendations for increasing small business capital formation

A Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) report contains over 20 recommendations for the SEC to consider that would improve small business capital formation. The report, released in April, stems from the 36th annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation – a daylong event held late last year. Its recommendations include issues related to the definition of accredited investors; rules changes that would increase the number of Regulation A+ and Regulation Crowdfunding offerings; and, a revised regulatory regime (based upon the European regulatory regime) to improve peer-to-peer lending.

Financial hurdles for minority small businesses appear on both sides of the banker’s desk

In a previous Digest, SSTI discussed the positive impact that community banks have had on small business lending activity and economic growth in communities across the country since the Great Recession. In this article, SSTI shares two studies on the existing roadblocks and pessimism faced by minority small business and entrepreneurs as they seek financing through banks.

Community banks driving small business formation, growth

As the U.S. Senate works toward a vote on a bipartisan bill targeted at lifting regulations for some banks, several studies published within the last year have looked at the impact community banks have had on serving small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country. Historically, community banks have been the loan originator for nearly 60 percent of business loans made to SMBs and have served as drivers of economic growth and opportunity in rural and underserved communities. The reports highlight the impact of these community banks on small business lending pre and post Great Recession; the resiliency of SMB lending activities by these banks during the Great Recession; and policy recommendations to support community banking.

SSTI Conference Brief: Building a fund that matches your region

This week, we conclude our series of stories on how TBED organizations can help communities ensure a vibrant investment system. This final installment will cover developing a fund that matches your region.

One of the themes highlighted during the 2017 conference was the need to match your fund with the strengths of your region. This is achieved through two basic recommendations:

  • First, know your regions strengths and weaknesses; and,
  • Second, don’t chase the newest, hottest industry just because it’s the hot new industry.


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