Georgia would create a $200 million venture capital fund under legislation introduced by six Republican members of the state House of Representatives. The bill would create a state authority to make investments in Georgia-based start-up, early-stage or growth-stage technology companies, using funds derived from auctioning insurance premium tax credits.
The measure is the outgrowth of a committee of legislators and technology industry insiders. The panel recommended last November that the General Assembly pursue setting up a VC fund.
Georgia has gained a solid reputation in recent years for incubating promising technology businesses. However, once they get off the ground, those companies have tended to move to states like California and Massachusetts to gain better access to venture capital.
The proposed fund is aimed at improving Georgia’s ability to compete with those states and regional VC leaders Virginia and North Carolina in attracting and retaining technology jobs.
The bill was introduced on Tuesday, the second day of the 2012 legislative session. Its leading sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is a member of the House Special Committee on Small Business Development and Job Creation.
Co-sponsors from metro Atlanta include House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, and Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula.
Atlanta Business Chronicle