Bill would create venture capital fund

Legislation filed Monday would dedicate $100 million over the next five years to boost Georgia’s nascent technology center in a plan pushed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

House Bill 285, which is being sponsored on Cagle’s behalf by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, would create a new state-sponsored venture capital fund. To seed the new fund, the state would offer up either tax credits or draw from its OneGeorgia fund, which it uses to boost economic development.

The fund would be overseen by an independent investment board, which would recruit large venture capital firms to throw additional private money into the pot. The board would then choose technology startups for investment.

If all goes well, based on each contract, the state would recoup its original investment plus 80 percent of profits — which would go back into the fund. The firms would get the remaining 20 percent.