Financing and Business Development Strategies

Ninety percent of the country lives in one of the flyover states. Just five markets command over eighty percent of the venture capital investments. Businesses follow the money. If your state lacks start-up or expansion capital your businesses have no choice but to move. Starting, sustaining, and growing businesses need a variety of financing options to meet each stage of their growth.

What can states and localities do to change that picture, improve access to capital, and attract investors?

Best selling author of Hackers and Painters Paul Graham says, referring to Silicon Valley, the answer is simple – “rich people and nerds”. Every community has the building blocks to form new businesses. Lupke & Associates can help you to find those assets, nurture young entrepreneurs, and attract growth capital.

Diane Lupke & Associates can help you:
  • Recognize and develop niche opportunities.
  • Fill gaps in the financing chain.
  • Correct or compensate for market failures and inequities.
  • Organize and build the capacity of local investors.
  • Provide support to increase the success of investments.

Seed Capital Fund of Funds
In Illinois Diane Lupke & Associates identified three serious gaps in the finance chain – lack of capital for seed stage businesses, lack of experience in seed stage investing, and geographic and social inequities for the southern region of the state. These gaps left many businesses to fail or move elsewhere even when the technologies were developed in Illinois. Diane Lupke & Associates worked with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to increase the availability of seed capital for businesses doing business in the State of Illinois. The Illinois Fund of Funds provides investment capital to build the capacity of community based seed capital funds. The Fund has a special interest in advancing funds in underserved markets of the State, such as the southern and western regions of the State, and individuals who have had difficulty attracting resources, such as, women and minority-owned businesses.

A view of the CDF central tracking chamber. This device saw the Top Quark at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois.
The Business Resource Center
In Knoxville, Tennessee, area businesses and residents had no single location to find advice, funding, and services. Moreover, the rich technology resource of nearby Oak Ridge Labs had spurred few spin off businesses choosing Knoxville. Diane Lupke & Associates created partnerships between area technology resources and the Empowerment Zone to form a network of funders and business technical assistance providers from a single business resource center. New entrepreneurs and mature businesses were able to gain access to research, technical assistance, business services and a full range of funding – from grants and micro-loans to tax credits and venture capital – all from a single location.

North Dakota Renaissance Zones and Venture Fund
In North Dakota less than 10 percent of investment capital stayed within the state resulting in the loss of highly educated workers and businesses. Diane Lupke & Associates drafted legislation to create new renaissance zones that kept investment and job creation within state borders. A key provision of the legislation created a venture capital tax credit that funded a pool of much needed equity capital. The fund spurred new investment, job creation, and community revitalization.

©2012 Diane Lupke & Associates • 8709 Blue Heron Way, Newton, WI 53063 • 920.726.7844 • fax 920.726.7845 •

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