Friday, July 20, 2007

Update on the Florida Opportunity Fund

See a recent article in Red Herring -
Florida Woos Venture Capital
$35M bill seeds university spin-offs, sets up VC “one-stop shop,” matches VC dollars in new fund. By Ken Schachter


It looks like the Governor passed the bill, and now Florida has 35M to help entrepreneurs.

After reading this article, and the quotes from the people involved - I am a little confused.

EXCERPT 1: "Use of Funds"

"The new law allocates $30 million for a fund of funds. The state will match VC funding dollar for dollar as long as it’s directed toward Florida companies. VCs are free to invest in out-of-state companies, but they won’t get matching dollars. "

My Comment: Are they serious??? They are going to use most of the money to "co-invest" with Florida VC's? What good will this do? 30 Million dollars is NO MONEY to the VC community - and (by the way) we don't have any VC's in Florida. Makes no sense?

EXCERPT 2: "GAP FUNDING"

"About $4 million will go toward early stage gap funding to turn research at public universities into spin-off companies. "

My Comment: I have personally launched 10+ companies (Some from universities and some from entrepreneurs) - and 4 Million will get you 4-5 companies maximum. So essentially, each university can count on 1M of this fund, which may help 1-2 companies. My Angel fund invested more money in companies in Florida.

EXCERPT 3: "ONE-STOP SHOP"

"Roughly $1 million will go toward creating a “one-stop shop” where venture capitalists can go to survey potential portfolio companies"

My Comment: I hope this is a joke. This proves to me they really have no clue of what is going on in Florida. The problem is "We have no potential portfolio companies". Why will it cost $1 Million dollars to rent an empty room?

1 comment:

CapFundingguy said...

Actually the FOF does make sense - not so much for funding mid-market companies (@ $5MM up) but lower-market companies ($100K to $2MM) due to the limitations of the Fund. And, yes, there are indeed VC's in Florida. I know, because my company is in the business of finding them.