Investments are needed at many stages in a business growth. These investments can take different forms, starting with "friends and family" and moving to more institutional investors. Following are links to some of the many resources available in Vermont. Capital sources from outside Vermont and foreign sources are also active in Vermont.
Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC) The VEOC supports business owners considering an exit to broad-based employee ownership via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), worker co-op, or similar model. The non-profit offers free pre-feasibility consulting, presents seminars, organizes an annual conference, and maintains a revolving loan fund to support the financing of such deals.
“Angel” Investors Angel investments generally made for funding requirements between $100,000 to $1 million, with individual investors contributing between $10,000 and $100,000 each. These amounts are too small for venture capital firms. Angel investors usually focus on companies that have already developed a basic concept and business strategy and are in the seed stage of investment. An emphasis is placed on business enterprises with the potential for rapid growth. In addition to offering significant capital to launch business entities, many "angels" also offer their business expertise and actively participate in the management, operation, and marketing of the business.
North Country Angels (NCA) brings together over 40 successful and experienced entrepreneurs who are active in making early-stage and seed investments in companies located in the northeastern United States. Every month they gather information to review business plans from prospective companies. Members of NCA make individual decisions about investments. Many are interested in taking an active role in the development of a venture from management and board activities to helping structure financially sound investment placements. For more information North Country Angels.
Venture Capital firms are generally privately owned. In most cases, these firms seek to generate a high rate of return by investing in rapidly growing businesses in all stages of development. Most venture capital firms will prioritize investments where a high rate of return - often 10:1 or higher - may occur in order to maintain an annual rate of portfolio return of at least 30%. Since most new ventures fail, these high rates of return are required to offset the risk the venture capitalist assumes.
Fresh Tracks Capital L.P. combines $25 million in venture capital with the strategic resources needed by entrepreneurs to build thriving businesses throughout Vermont. The intellectual capital of Vermont and the investment experience of Fresh Tracks provide a winning combination. Fresh Tracks makes equity investments in companies that demonstrate a compelling and defensible competitive advantage. Linked to the national Village Ventures network of professional and financial resources, Fresh Tracks' local roots and network supports the growth of innovative businesses through multiple rounds of financing.
Worth Mountain Capital Partners is a Vermont-based corporate finance firm that advises and invests in established companies in northern New England. Grounded in values that speak to a sense of place and of a time when transactions were crafted on the strength of enduring relationships, their work is based on bedrock principles that fueled the industriousness of New England's heritage. Worth Mountain's approach recalls an era when the Yankee spirit of ingenuity and frugality made it possible to be at once both conservative and forward thinking.
The Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP is looking for select investment opportunities in early stage, high opportunity, technology based companies in Vermont. Objectives are to impact next generation job and wealth creation in Vermont by providing companies and entrepreneurs access to early stage risk capital. The fund is a revolving, “evergreen” equity fund with $5 million of initial capitalization from the State of Vermont and U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is a strategic partner for this fund.
This is a professionally managed venture capital fund which invests exclusively into Vermont start-ups and growing firms determined as offering high growth potential, financial return commensurate with risk, and public benefit for Vermonters. Portfolio firms also have access to substantive programs, facilities, partners, and value-adding services offered via a strategic relationship with the non-profit VCET incubator.
Investment transactions range from $50,000 to $250,000. The fund can act as lead investor or as part of investment syndicate.
For more information contact:
Vermont Center for Emerging Technologiies
210 Colchester Avenue
Burlington VT 05401
Borealis Ventures partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build great companies from the earliest stages. We're based in New Hampshire, but our portfolio companies have global impact as they redefine application software, deliver new Internet and mobile services, and commercialize life-changing technologies.
For more information contact:
10 Allen St., Upper Level
Hanover, NH 03755
Vermont EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) has been supporting research in Vermont's colleges and universities with funds from the National Science Foundation and local sources since 1986. The impact of the EPSCoR program includes the private sector -- particularly small, technology-based businesses. Vermont EPSCoR provides the opportunity for Vermont small businesses to compete for grants to foster research and development projects which will lead to application to the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs.
For more information contact:
Cook Physical Science Bld.
82 University Place
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: (802) 656-7931
Fax: (802) 656-2950