A team of small business leaders in New Orleans announced the creation of a venture capital fund aimed at drawing new entrepreneurial talent to the city, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The investors will pair up with Greater New Orleans, an economic development association to increase VC funds for the New Orleans metropolitan area.
The New Orleans Startup Fund currently possesses about $4 million in capital from public, private and government investments. The board will solicit projects from “high growth potential” startup firms in the 10 parishes of the New Orleans metro area, the paper reports.
“The timing could not be better because we’re at this entrepreneurial inflection point,” said Leslie Jacobs, a founding member of the New Orleans Startup Fund board told the paper.
Jacobs detailed a goal to increase the group’s capital funds to $7 million through private donations. She added, however, that investors will receive their reimbursements in the form of tax-deductible donations rather than through investment in the companies which gain VC funding.
The evergreen Startup Fund aims to fund five to 10 entrepreneurs with between $25,000 and $50,000 in capital next year. To become eligible, entrepreneurs have to pitch a business model that will generate $20 million over the first five years, Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO, told the Times-Picayune.
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