Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Venture Capital Investment Group Helps Small Startups Fight Large- Scale Trend

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Venture Capital Investment Group Helps Small Startups Fight Large- Scale Trend

Article excerpt

The venture capital investment market has grown away from the small startup businesses that fund managers once fostered, said Susan Strommer, president of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds.

"It's a rational response to the market," she said. "It's not irrational, but it's also very unfortunate for our entrepreneurs.

"If all you're in it for is to make money in the deals you do, the rational person trying to make the biggest buck will pick the biggest fund they can with a larger absolute dollar return over a $25,000 investment with a better rate of return," she said.

That's the trend that her organization is struggling against as it tries to build local economies by investing in smaller entrepreneurs. Strommer said Oklahoma's NASVF members are doing a good job of helping startups when so many other investors are opting for bigger, established companies.

The NASVF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of innovation capital and investment entrepreneurs, recently selected Oklahoma City to host its 16th annual conference in September 2009. More than 300 seed and venture capital fund managers, technology commercialization experts, and state and regional economic development leaders from around the world are expected to attend the downtown conference.

"Oklahoma also has done a good job in diversifying its economy," Strommer said. "It is considered a pioneer in state venture capital programs through organizations like OCAST, i2E and the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board. It's important for economic growth to grow innovation capital for promising entrepreneurs, and Oklahoma has put a great deal of creativity and energy into expanding this important sector."

The organization deals with smaller-scale funds, beginning at about $1 million, which focus exclusively on investing in early stage entrepreneurs needing as little capital as $25,000 or as much as $1 million. …

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