After a 20 year wait, a state-sponsored seed fund through the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology is ready to invest in Oklahoma’s technology start up companies.
It took 20 years from concept to creation for Oklahoma’s first $5 million state seed capital revolving fund, but it took less than two months for other organizations to add an additional $2.25 million to the $5 million received from lawmakers last year. The additional $2.25 million for the fund was announced this week. It includes $1 million from the Oklahoma Capital Investment Board and $1.25 million from the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority. Those funds will be available through i2E, the organization that manages the Oklahoma Seed Capital Revolving Fund under contract with OCAST.
The $5 million dollar fund was proposed under the Economic Development Act of 1987, approved by voters in 1988 and funded by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2006. OCAST awarded the contract to i2E in competitive bidding in February. In 1987 OCAST was charged with stimulating seed-capital investment in firms which will use innovation from applied research in profitable commercial applications.
Seed capital financing provides for the development, refinement and commercialization of a product, process or innovation, whether for the startup of a new firm or the expansion or restructuring of an existing firm.