Invest Nebraska has developed two funds in coordination with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The Nebraska Innovation Seed Fund fills a seed capital gap that existed for Nebraska’s entrepreneurs, regardless of sector. Recent coordination between the Department and the U.S. Treasury Department expanded the access to capital through the INC Angel Sidecar Fund for those companies seeking angel investment in Nebraska. Similarly, Invest Nebraska’s partnership with the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority has advanced the development of angel funds in the state’s rural areas. Invest Nebraska has also developed two loan funds for Nebraska businesses, the INC Evergreen Loan Fund and the INC Micro-loan Fund.
Our Investment Criteria for High-growth Companies
- Unique/breakthrough idea – There needs to be some barrier to entry (proprietary/patentable technology, “secret sauce” if it’s a service business.
- Large (> $1B) market or a Big Player in a profitable niche market – The market needs reach beyond the borders of the state. The company must clearly demonstrate how its customers will generate “new” dollars flowing into Nebraska. (Invest Nebraska reserves the right to consider and invest in companies where the addressable market is less than $1B but the company needs to provide a pathway to achieve an exit in 4-5 years of an initial investment.)
- Justifiable valuation – If the investment is made in the form of equity, a justifiable valuation needs to be negotiated by all parties, especially if follow-on financing is planned. No investors ever want to invest with the likelihood of a “down round.” If the investment is made in the form of a convertible debt, a reasonable conversion trigger (i.e. follow-on financing or acquisition) and a clear roadmap addressing if the conversion trigger does not occur.
- Entrepreneurs who are flexible and coachable – These unique individuals demonstrate exceptional talents in all that they do. They must have skin in the game (financial stake) and desire high growth ambitions. Entrepreneurs must be able to take advice (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and know when to seek advice.
- Exit potential – Entrepreneurs must clearly demonstrate how the company will be positioned in 4-5 years for the investors to receive their funds with a nice return.
We recognize the diversity of Nebraska’s economy and strive to balance our portfolio with a variety of companies from across Nebraska. We seek companies led by women and minority entrepreneurs, companies at various stages of growth , companies located in our rural and urban areas, and companies in the various industries that lead our state’s economic growth.
Your Expectations for Us
Our participation in growing your company does not end on the day of funding. It’s only the beginning of a close working relationship. We actively assist companies set and achieve high-growth budgets and milestones. This partnership may include Invest Nebraska assisting with:
- Forming a Board of Directors or Advisors
- Raising follow-on capital, including grant, angel, venture or loan
- Identifying top talent needed to enter new markets and grow quickly
- Gaining early customers