City creates venture fund, partners with local entrepreneurs, investors

Posted 11/17/11

PROVIDENCE – The city has launched an innovation investment fund that will put money into technology startups that locate in Providence, Mayor Angel Taveras announced Thursday.

A collaboration with Betaspring, Slater Technology Fund and Cherrystone Angel Group, the Innovation Investment Program uses U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds to give the city equity stakes in promising creative companies that could stimulate growth and job creation.

“Providence has a great pool of entrepreneurs, and their talents and ambitions will help to power our city’s economy,” Taveras said. “The IIP fund gives emerging entrepreneurs with ventures that have significant growth potential a good reason to stay and develop their businesses here in the capital city.”

The fund will make $50,000 convertible-note investments in companies that agree to remain in Providence for at least one year. The city will get a return on the investments if the company buys back shares, is purchased by another company, or goes public.

The first companies eligible completed the 2011 Betaspring summer program.

An advisory group designed to help select the companies for the city includes Max Winograd (co-founder, president, NuLabel Technologies), Jason Harry (founder, Afferent, Lucidux), Charlie Kroll (founder, CEO, Andera), Stephen Lane (co-founder, CEO, Ximedica) and Pamela O’Hara (co-founder, CEO, BatchBlue Software).

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