venture dev orgs

Pace of exits picks up for venture development organizations in Q1

Venture development organizations (VDO), nonprofit organizations across the country investing in innovation startups to help grow their regional economies as well as earn a respectable return, saw at least 20 exits in the first quarter of 2018, based on data entered on Pitchbook.com. Here are some examples from the quarter:

$1.3 billion deal leads acquisition-heavy Q4 for VDO-backed exits

Most of the baker’s dozen of fourth quarter exits SSTI reviewed for publicly-sponsored venture investments reveal local employment likely to remain in place after the deals close, regardless of the deal structure. During the past three months, companies that 20 venture development organizations (VDOs) had invested in participated in at least 10 acquisitions, with seven resulting in operating subsidiaries under the new parent firm. Also in the mix for the quarter are one initial public offering (IPO), one sale of intellectual property and one leveraged buyout.

How IPO’s can affect innovation, talent, and entrepreneurship

Initial public offerings (IPOs) can alleviate financing constraints and help support important activities such as operations, R&D, and expansion. Despite these perceived benefits, new research finds that the transition to public equity – and the financial windfalls that follow – prompt many of a company’s early innovators to depart the firm, which has impacts on both innovation internally and at other firms.  The departures of founders and early employees from post-exit startups presents challenges and opportunities for venture development and entrepreneurial support organizations.

3rd quarter exits for VDOs span industry sectors

Seventeen venture development organizations (VDOs) from across the country shared in the success from a baker’s dozen exits posted in Pitchbook during the third quarter of 2017.  Information tech companies lead the pack, but seven come from other sectors of the economy including life sciences, vehicle manufacturing, materials, polymers, robotics, and chemicals – demonstrating the important role VDOs may play in broadening innovation’s contributions to regional economies.

Snapshots of all 13, along with two more late Q2 deals, follow in SSTI’s third article looking at the economic development impacts of nonprofit and publicly-backed VDOs. The first two stories are available here (Q1:17) and here (Q2:17).

Regionally focused investors yielding more than ROI

An SSTI analysis of exits occurring during the second quarter by a number of venture development organizations reveals equity investment in innovation companies undertaken as strategic public-private partnerships for regional growth can yield more for their communities than just hitting the return on investment expectations of seed and traditional venture capital. The recent exits highlighted below reveal a variety of economic development impacts resulting from effective innovation investment strategies, including:

  • Increased competitiveness and growth of local firms through mergers and acquisition;
  • New market entry and new product lines for existing manufacturers;
  • Opportunities to broaden wealth generation among wider population;
  • Foreign direct investment and company relocation; and of course,
  • Wealth generation, tax revenues and job growth within the local community.

Note: this is SSTI’s second look at recent VDO exits; selected first quarter 2017 exits for VDOs are available here.  Second quarter highlights include:

Ohio Third Frontier reinvests in Dayton-, Toledo-based entrepreneurial support

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission (Third Frontier) has announced investments in entrepreneurial service providers (ESP’s) in the Dayton and Toledo regions. A new collaboration focused on health innovation will lead the initiative in Toledo, while an existing entrepreneurial center will lead programming in Dayton. Both regions had been among Ohio’s largest without a dedicated ESP. The state also awarded funds for its first joint-university program at Cleveland State University and Kent State University, and for commercialization activities at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Recent exits by VDOs nurturing innovation cycles

Billion dollar acquisitions and IPOs of young startups capture a lot of media attention, but they are not the norm for the market by any means. Exits do not need to be measured in the billions of dollars to have significant economic development benefit for the states and regions that make sustained investments into startup innovation firms. An SSTI analysis of the Pitchbook and Crunchbase investment databases reveals a number of recent exits by venture development organizations (VDOs) that may provide funding to re-invest in even more innovation-based startups in their regions. Our analysis reveals that many of the acquired companies appear to be maintaining their local operations as they use the acquisition funds to scale. Several examples from the past quarter alone demonstrate the value of the VDO approach to supporting regional prosperity.

New Developments in Capital: Strong Results Announced, New Funds Created

In the last month, major new developments have occurred in TBED capital programs. Launch Tennessee and Pittsburgh-based Innovation Works both announced positive findings about the growth of their startup investment ecosystems with $1 billion being raised by Tennessee startups from 2012 to early 2016 and over $279 million invested in Pittsburgh startups in 2015. Meanwhile in Ohio, both Youngstown-based and Cincy-based startups will see an influx of capital, while a new $150 million fund focused on stem cell companies and regions has been launched.

Greater Cleveland Partnership Announces Investment in New $20M JumpStart Fund

To support the growth of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) announced a limited-partner investment in JumpStart's new for-profit $20M venture capital fund.

Jumpstart Reports $36M Economic Impact for Northeast OH in 2012

A recent report by Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs details the economic impact of companies supported by JumpStart Inc. and the North Coast Angel Fund in the 2012 calendar year. The 127 companies included in the study created 2,140 jobs in Ohio (1,652 in Northeast Ohio), generated $269.7 million in economic benefits for the state, and produced $35.5 million in federal, state, and local taxes.

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