ICGF Focuses on Investing in Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that its Board has approved investing up to $1 million into Innovate Capital Growth Fund (ICGF) through a limited partnership investment. ICGF marks the NJEDA’s 21st venture fund investment approval to date.

ICGF, a Delaware limited partnership, was created last year to provide growth capital, primarily in the form of equity, to minority- and women-owned businesses located substantially in the Mid-Atlantic region. ICGF is expected to invest an additional $2 in New Jersey-based companies for every $1 the NJEDA commits. This would result in a target of $3 million of capital invested into New Jersey companies.

“ICGF’s investment strategy aligns perfectly with Governor Phil Murphy’s vision to create the most diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem in the nation,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Through investments such as this one, we are providing much-needed capital for young companies to leverage as they grow, commercialize, and create good-paying jobs in New Jersey.”

Sullivan noted that, among its myriad resources for New Jersey’s innovation sector, the NJEDA helps increase available capital for emerging innovation-focused companies by investing as a limited partner in venture capital funds that invest in New Jersey-based enterprises. Gains resulting from these investments are then used to offer new funding opportunities to support New Jersey businesses. To date, the NJEDA has committed over $64.5 million to 20 venture capital funds since 1999, not including this latest approval.

The Fund will be managed by Innovate Capital Growth GP, LLC, which is owned in part by  The Enterprise Center (TEC). TEC is a nationally recognized community economic development center in Philadelphia that focuses solely on advancing economic growth by connecting minority and women-owned companies with business, capital, and community. TEC operates three federally contracted business centers, including the Camden Cares Business Center. The Camden Cares Business Center employs nearly 10 percent of TEC’s investment and operations professionals. TEC also operates a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Across all of these instruments, TEC has helped small businesses earn more than $1 billion in contracts and financing, secure more than $7 million in start-up loans, and created more than 3,000 jobs for the local community.

ICGF managers recently participated in the NJEDA’s New Jersey Founder & Funders event, where they met one-on-one with emerging innovation-focused companies. ICGF Co-Managing Partner and TEC President Della Clark indicated that, as part of ICGF’s growing commitment to New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem, she and her co-managers intend to participate in additional New Jersey Founders & Funders events in the future.

“In recent years, New Jersey has shown a strong commitment to bolstering opportunities for minority- and women-led businesses and we are excited to have the NJEDA as one of ICGF’s investors,” said Clark. “We have been continually impressed with the high-caliber startups we have found in New Jersey and are proud to bolster our ability to support these emerging companies through this fund.”

ICGF was awarded a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) license from the United States Small Business Administration. Having this designation will enable the firm to access a wider pool of capital from private lenders and banks that may support companies in their portfolio.

Article Courtesy of the NJEDA