Program & Initiative
Growth + Equity Fund
The Growth + Equity Fund expands access to capital for startups led by BIPOC (Black,Indigenous and persons of color), women and veteran founders from historically marginalized populations and neighborhoods that are also engaged in CenterState CEO’s programs, as well as tech startups and projects in distressed neighborhoods. It was developed by CenterState CEO in response to the need for more program options to address a spectrum of market inefficiencies and inequities, to finance innovators, entrepreneurs, and business owners who have traditionally struggled to access the funding they need to achieve their venture goals.
The fund uses strategies designed to “de-risk” participant businesses, including intensive vetting, business support services, and milestones business owners must achieve to access the fund’s capital. The fund provides critical working capital that can be directed toward the hiring of staff, leasing space, purchasing equipment, or predevelopment professional services. Depending on the needs of a business and their stage of growth at a given time, businesses will be eligible for capital in the form of mini-grants, financing (low-interest loans, designed to help business scale) or quasi-equity investments (convertible debt notes, which inject capital into businesses without requiring immediate returns) with rates and terms as friendly as possible. The G+E Fund team also provides participants with post-financing support to maximize capital impact. Entrepreneurs are referred to other financial institutions to access more traditional financing whenever possible.
The CenterState CEO Foundation has attracted funding from a variety of philanthropic sources to build and deploy the Growth + Equity Fund. The fund is also supported by public funding, angel investments and venture capital funding.
Thank You Growth + Equity Fund Founding Contributors:
Allyn Family Foundation | AmeriCU | Armory Square Ventures | Bank of America | Build from Within Alliance | Central New York Community Foundation | John Peter, Peter’s Discount Liquor | JPMorgan Chase Foundation | KeyBank | M&T Bank | Senator Gillibrand | State Assemblyman Stirpe
Photo caption: John Peter (right), owner, Peter’s Discount Liquor, and Tanika Jones (left), owner of It Takes a Village Family Daycare, stand in front of the facility that will house her new daycare center. Peter’s donation in support of the Growth + Equity Fund enabled Jones to access a mini “ignition” grant to cover soft costs related to renovating her new facility.