Seed Capital Co-Investment Program

Application Period Open – October 17, 2014
Application Deadline – November 19, 2014
Investment Committee meeting – TBD
Final Approval – TBD

High-tech start-ups that succeed in proving a concept and launching a business need access to seed capital to position the company for venture capital financing.  By increasing the quantity and quality of these high-tech start-up companies, Missouri can attract more venture capital investment to fuel the growth of our State’s economy and create high-paying jobs.  MTC’s Seed Capital Co-Investment program (SeedCap) is designed to accelerate private investment in Missouri-based start-up companies and to increase the overall investment impact of that third-party investment.  Through this program, MTC will award seed capital funds that match other capital investments.  The seed capital may be used by the start-up company for advanced intellectual property development and evaluation, including in-depth analysis of market potential, conducting competitive analysis, advanced proof of concept work for a scientific discovery, advanced prototype design and development, research and development needed to attract venture capital financing, hiring key personnel, and related activities.

Program Goals
The Seed Capital Co-Investment Program seeks to achieve the following goals in Missouri:

  • Accelerate the commercialization of research discoveries and growth of start-up companies;
  • Increase the number of investment-grade start-up companies launched;
  • Accelerate private capital investment;
  • Position more Missouri-based companies to attract venture capital investment; and
  • Create sustainable high-paying, private sector jobs.

Eligible Applicants
A Missouri-based start-up company (or company relocating its headquarters and operations to Missouri) that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Has a committed leadership team with significant experience related to the technology being commercialized or committed collaborators and/or mentors with such experience;
  • Has a committed leadership team with significant experience successfully launching a start-up technology business or a committed collaborator and/or mentor with such experience, which may include a relationship with an innovation center or other entrepreneurial support organization that can provide expertise appropriate to the project;
  • Is committed to successfully growing a start-up company that commercializes a discovery aligned with one of the following Missouri high-tech industry clusters: animal health, plant science, biomedical science, applied engineering, or defense and homeland security;
  • Has a viable plan (i) for securing follow-on venture capital financing needed to successfully grow the start-up company; or (ii) to successfully sustain the company upon completion of seed-stage financing;
  • Has an actual, conditional, or anticipated market-based third-party investment commitment that (i) equals at least 100 percent of the total requested SeedCap funding; and (ii) will close and transfer the proceeds of the investment to the company in a syndicate with the SeedCap funding;
  • Is in a seed capital financing stage, which generally means that the start-up company has not exceeded total debt and equity financing of $1,500,000 (excluding the requested Missouri SeedCap funding; required Missouri SeedCap matching funding; sponsored research; and SBIR/STTR awards);
  • Has less than 500 existing employees; and
  • Will not use the Missouri SeedCap funding for any prohibited purpose as set forth in the program application or by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Evaluation Criteria
The submissions by Eligible Applicants will be evaluated based on dimensions of the quality of the submission and a demonstrated likelihood to achieve the following outcomes in Missouri:

  • Accelerate the growth of a high-tech, start-up company;
  • Increase research and capital investment funding;
  • Leverage private investment;
  • Create successful collaborations and partnerships needed to commercialize technology and accelerate the growth of a high-tech start-up company;
  • Develop solutions to solve key business and technical milestones to position the start-up company and its core technology for additional venture capital funding and marketplace penetration;
  • Strengthen one or more of MTC’s targeted high-tech clusters; and
  • Create sustainable high-paying, private sector jobs.
  • For applicants that have received an award through the Seed Capital Co-Investment Program, applications for a subsequent award through the Program will be evaluated for achievement of milestones outlined under the prior proposal and general performance in addition to the evaluation criteria listed above.

Funding Available
The amount of requested co-investment should be specifically and narrowly tailored to the plan outlined in the application submitted to MTC, but individual awards will not exceed $500,000.  Accordingly, it is not expected that each applicant will request the maximum amount of funds that may be awarded under this program.  Awards will be in the form of equity or convertible debt.