First-time entrepreneurs and companies needing bridge funding from seed to Series A rounds will have another avenue to get funding thanks to the state’s venture capital arm, the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation.
The MTDC, which will now operate as MassVentures, will manage a new $5 million investment capital fund to provide bridge funding needed by startups who need funding, but are not yet ready to seek venture capital investment, the MTDC announced late Thursday.
The money will be managed through MassDevelopment’s Emerging Technology Fund and will invest in four to seven companies that are in the emerging market segments, started by first-time entrepreneurs or moving from seed to Series A financing.
“The business community spoke and we responded. With the new investments and focus, MassVentures is well-positioned to lead and participate in investments alongside angels and venture capital firms that bring industry expertise, a track record of success, and a shared commitment to follow-on funding,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, in a written statement. “We look forward to working with local entrepreneurs, and partnering with the angel and venture communities to support innovation in the Commonwealth.”
MassVentures currently has two investment programs, one that provides early stage equity or convertible debt financing up to $50,000 and another that gives startups between $250,000 to $500,000 in Series A funding.
The fund comes on the heels of MassVentures recently created $6 million Small Business Innovation Research targeted technologies program (START), which gives grant funding to businesses with SBIR Phase II funding.
MTDC began the START program with grants of up to $100,000 each to 10 applicants that have already received Phase II SBIR contracts, and whose technology innovations have prospects for creating high-growth commercial products or services. Based on progress demonstrated over the first year, an additional Stage II grant of up to $200,000 will be awarded to the five most promising companies. At the end of the second year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment.