288.96255 Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund; creation; duties.—
(1) The Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research shall create the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund as a corporate subsidiary. The purpose of the fund is to foster greater private-sector investment funding, to encourage seed-stage investments in start-up companies, and to advise companies about how to restructure existing management, operation, or production to attract advantageous business opportunities. The proceeds of a sale of the equity held by the fund shall be returned to the fund for reinvestment.
(2) The institute shall administer the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund.
(3) The institute shall employ professionals who have both technical and business expertise to manage fund activity. The institute shall establish an investor advisory board comprised of venture capital professionals and early-stage investors from this and other states who shall advise and guide the fund management and make funding recommendations. Administrative costs paid out of the fund shall be determined by the investor advisory board.
(4) The institute shall use a thorough and detailed process that is modeled after the best practices of the investment industry to evaluate a proposal. In order to approve a company for investment, the institute must consider if:
(a) The company has a strong intellectual property position, a capable management team, readily identifiable paths to market or commercialization, significant job-growth potential, the ability to provide other sources of capital to leverage the state’s investment, and the potential to attract additional funding;
(b) The company has been identified by a publicly funded research institution;
(c) The start-up company is a target industry business as defined in s. 288.106(2);
(d) The company has been identified by an approved private-sector lead investor who has demonstrated due diligence typical of start-up investments in evaluating the potential of the company; and
(e) The advisory board and fund manager have reviewed the company’s proposal and recommended it.
(5)(a) Seed funds may be invested if the institute approves a company and the initial seed-stage investment. The initial seed-stage investment must be at least $50,000, but no more than $300,000. The initial seed-stage investment requires a one-to-one, private-sector match of investment.
(b) Additional seed funds may be invested in a company if approved by the institute. The cumulative total of investment in a single company may not exceed $500,000. Any additional investment amount requires a two-to-one, private-sector match of investment.
(6) The institute may:
(a) Provide a company with value-added support services in the areas of business plan development and strategy, the preparation of investor presentations, and other critical areas identified by the institute to increase its chances for long-term viability and success;
(b) Encourage appropriate investment funds to become preapproved to match investment funds;
(c) Market the attractiveness of the state as an early-stage investment location; and
(d) Collaborate with state economic-development organizations, national associations of seed and angel funds, and other innovation-based associations to create an enhanced state entrepreneurial ecosystem.
(7) The institute shall annually evaluate the activities and results of the funding, taking into consideration that seed investment horizons span from 3 to 7 years.
History.—s. 2, ch. 2013-120.