Matching Grants: What Does Your State Have?

Source: Ken Kousky, BlueWater Angels and Krista Tuomi, American University

A number of public policy activities and initiatives that occur in American states are just as important to angel investors as federal-level issues. The key state issues include tax credits for angel investments, matching co-investments by the state, grants and incentives to angel networks and even state-run venture and angel funds. Knowing what works remains a critical challenge at both the state and national level requiring that we organize and support our interests in both arenas.

Our last blog post analyzed some international matching grants, highlighting in particular the well-designed New Zealand and Israeli programs. This blog examines four types of public programs in the US.

  1. State VC funds that co-invest with other investors. Many of these are fund of funds, are managed by third parties (e.g. Florida) and target seed projects (e.g. Delaware). Others match VC investment in set rations (e.g. Louisiana, Kansas and Michigan). Some have a record of successful co-investment with angels (e.g. Connecticut and North Carolina). Pennsylvania actually requires this, lending an amount that must be matched 4X by VCs or angels.
  2. Allocated funds from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a federal program that provided states with $1.5 billion to strengthen their programs that support lending to small businesses. Some states used the funds to bolster current VC capacity while other created new programs targeting seed investment and/ or incubator support. Some states like Arkansas earmark funding purely for co-investment with angels.
  3. Small business accelerator type grants. Some of these grants specify a private capital match (e.g. Arizona, Nebraska and Louisiana) while others show preference for firms referred by VC and angel groups (Colorado). Oklahoma is interesting in that it has a dedicated Angel Sidecar Fund.
  4. Additional state assistance for SBIR-STTR awardees, which had received federal grants for specific product development and commercialization. Georgia and Minnesota merely provide advice and administrative support. The others match the award in various ratios ranging from 50% (Hawaii) to 300% (Wisconsin). Ohio provides grants of up to $350,000 to SBIR and STTR winners to commercialize their technology.

How does your state match up? See for more detail.

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Scale Finance LLC ( provides contract CFO services, Controller solutions, and support in raising capital, or executing M&A transactions, to entrepreneurial companies. The firm specializes in cost-effective financial reporting, budgeting & forecasting, implementing controls, complex modeling, business valuations, and other financial management, and provides strategic help for companies raising growth capital or considering M&A/recapitalization opportunities. Most of the firm’s clients are growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer, and industrial companies at various stages of development from start-up to tens of millions in annual revenue. Scale Finance LLC has offices throughout the Carolinas including Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro, and Wilmington with a team of more than 45 professionals serving more than 120 companies throughout the region.