A catalytic venture partner for Georgia's entrepreneurial ecosystem



It takes more than a good idea and some early seed money to propel a startup.

Newly launched companies have a greater chance of thriving in the long term if they:

  • emerge out of advanced research and development
  • receive key investment at a pivotal point early in their development
  • have a partner to help galvanize “critical mass” in outside VC investment

GRA Venture Fund, LLC is this venture capital partner.

We're a one-of-a-kind, public-private fund that fuels high-potential, research-based startups in Georgia to growth and stability.

BACKGROUND

The idea behind GRA Venture Fund was simple: Come up with a new, holistic approach to give more highly promising startups a fair shot at market success.

In 2009, the Georgia Research Alliance launched GRA Venture Fund with a $7.5 million “evergreen” investment from the State of Georgia. This helped ignite a strong initial raise from investors – $11.8 million from individuals, universities, foundations and other organizations.

The next several years brought several technology and life science companies into the GRA Venture Fund portfolio, all of which emerged out of Georgia's research universities and the GRA venture development program.

Interest among investors also grew. Some were high net worth individuals new to the world of venture capital investing, a sign that GRA Venture Fund was building broader and deeper support for Georgia-based entrepreneurship.

In 2015, GRA Venture Fund had a highly successful second raise – more than $25 million, the vast majority ($21M+) coming from 46 intrepid individual investors.

Today, a dozen companies are in the GRA Venture Fund portfolio. And the Fund's early-stage investment in these companies has helped catalyze $460 million in outside venture capital – a leverage of more than 20:1.

MANAGEMENT

A Managing Director leads GRA Venture Fund, along with a Board of Directors composed almost entirely of private sector leaders in Georgia who have invested in the Fund.

Whether leading an investment round or participating in a follow-on round, the GRA Venture Fund, LLC is a long-term investor. As such, it takes a vested interest in the development and growth of its portfolio companies by:

  • identifying and pursuing potential co-investors
  • providing counsel and expertise to company leadership
  • facilitating access to a network of business leaders to help guide the success of its companies.

Want to know more? See our Frequently Asked Questions or e-mail GRA Venture Fund, LLC.