Alaska Equity Fund (AKEF)
The Alaska State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) at the University of Alaska Anchorage under the Small Business Development Center has received funding from the US Treasury and allocated $10 million to the Alaska Equity Fund (AKEF) to support the growth and establishment of equity investment funds that will support a diverse and emerging private sector and new regional fund managers.
AKEF invests in Partner Funds as an LP and support their efforts to deploy capital across Alaska, with a particular focus on Very Small Businesses (VSBs) and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) owned businesses.
Goals and Objectives
Overall, the AKEF program’s purpose is to expand access to private debt and equity financing and spur lending to private sector businesses that might not be getting the investments they need to grow and create jobs. Treasury requires that SSBCI funding results in $10 of new small business investment for every $1 of public or SSBCI funds invested.
Specifically, the AKEF provides financing by purchasing an ownership interest or providing equity-like loans to enterprises that typically do not participate in debt financing markets due to their business stage and structure.
These funds will be used to drive private sector investments in businesses that will innovate Alaska’s key industries, create high paying jobs and address some of the long standing barriers to economic growth in the state such as logistics, access to health care, food security and energy costs.
Fund Managers and Investors
First Round of Requests For Proposals (RFP) are currently being reviewed through April 2023.
How it Works
The Alaska SBDC launched Alaska’s first statewide SSBCI lending and equity programs in 2023. We invest in Partner Funds and support their efforts to deploy capital across Alaska, with a particular focus on Very Small Businesses (VSBs) and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) owned businesses.
Whether you’re an investor or are seeking funding, the Alaska SBDC is your starting point for the Alaska Equity Fund.
Fund Managers and Investors
The first round of Requests For Proposals (RFP) are being reviewed through May 2023, with the primary goal of finding Partner Funds that will work closely with AK SBDC and AKEF staff to ensure strict compliance with US Dept. of Treasury regulations and reporting requirements. The goal of the Alaska Equity Fund’s RFP is to find and develop Alaska’s diverse and high-performing fund managers who are interested in supporting Alaska’s innovation businesses.
The AKEF will be matched 1:1 by private funding to support investments in high growth businesses. All private sector investors seeking an SSBCI capital match are encouraged to apply, as we are seeking a diverse portfolio of investors dedicated to economic development in Alaska.
Venture Capital/Equity Firms possessing the following are eligible:
- Demonstrated ability to raise $1 – $5 million in matching funds
- Program dollars may not represent greater than 50% of venture fund committed capital
- Resources, expertise, and intent to invest in companies that are located in AK
- Target investment sectors that are technology related or high growth oriented (i.e., health technology, advanced manufacturing, mariculture, etc.)
- Able to demonstrate that SSBCI capital is the cause and result of minimum 1:1 private capital match.
How to Apply
For details on how to apply to Alaska Equity Fund (AKEF), view the Request for Proposals (link below). Please note that AKEF has closed Proposal reviews and will resume in May 2023, depending on availability of funds.
For information about the program, or to begin an application, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help clarify aspects of the RFP, we compiled a collection of frequently-asked questions and terminology definitions related to the RFP.
Businesses Seeking Investment
Depending on the size, stage, and type of business, receiving an equity investment can help scale operations, hire new employees or purchase equipment.
We aim to be sector-agnostic and will leverage the SBDC’s full suite of support services, bolstered by technical assistance programs specifically geared to support businesses seeking AKEF and SSBCI funding.