The Iowa Banker’s Association holds its annual economic-development symposium next week. If you want something to grow, you plant seeds, and a speaker on “seed capital” will explain community-based funds for those who’d like to see economic growth. Greg Barcus is president of “Emerging Growth Group.” Barcus says in 2001, the Iowa legislature established tax credits for “angel investors,” who put money into early-stage capital funds that provide funds for startups. He says historically there’s a lack of startup investments, and the legislature offered a 20-percent tax credit for investors willing to pool their money for helping business deals in their very early stages. Barcus explains seed capital is a kind of investing in a fund that’s professionally managed and invested in startups that can provide good returns at times. He says there are some investments that’ll lose money, but then again on 20 to 30-percent there will be successful “hits,” enough to drive the entire portfolio into profitability. Barcus says investors have to overcome the perception that seed capital ventures are too risky, and community-based funds help do that. The annual economic-development symposium of the Bankers Association begins Thursday at the Gateway Center in Ames.
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