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May 5, 2016

Georgia innovation economy gets boost in FY2017 budget


Georgia's innovation economy received a much-needed shot in the arm this week. Among the line items in the newly signed Fiscal Year 2017 budget is a $10 million allocation for the Invest Georgia program.  This second round of funding was authorized by appropriators and approved by Governor Deal when he signed the budget Monday.  The first round of funding, also in the sum of $10 million, was allocated in 2015.

Invest Georgia, a public-private partnership, is designed to help grow Georgia's early and growth stage companies within the state's strategic, high growth industries.  The program partners with local venture capital firms to identify promising companies in fields such as cyber security, health IT, FinTech, and marketing automation.

"It is clear that access to capital for early and growth stage companies is essential to their long-term viability and growth," said Marshall Guest, Vice President of Business Climate for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. "We appreciate Governor Deal and the legislature for their support of Georgia entrepreneurs and the broader effort to foster job growth in these high wage, knowledge-based sectors of our local economy."

The Invest Georgia program became fully operational last year, as outlined in its year end report.  LCG Associates, an Atlanta-based investment consulting firm, was selected as the Fund Administrator and in turn the firm began the screening process for qualified venture funds.  The first of these funds is TTV Capital which was subscribed as a Limited Partner for a total commitment of $3,000,000.  TTV Capital focuses its investments in financial services technology and services, a local industry sector that currently employs more than 40,000 Georgians.

"The opportunity to expand Georgia's economic ecosystem has just grown exponentially as a direct result of actions taken by the Governor and the state legislature," said Knox Massey, Executive Director of the Invest Georgia program. "The Program, in cooperation with LCG, will continue to seek and conduct due diligence on additional funds that are dedicated to aiding our homegrown technology companies, as well as those service companies enabled by technology."




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