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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2004

Growth board taps seed-fund manager

The Regional Growth Partnership wants to bridge the financial gap between blockbuster ideas that are just a twinkle in someone's eye and the multi-million-dollar pitch to the venture capital fund.

There's a beginning stage often overlooked in growing new technology, said Eileen Granata, acting chief operating officer of the growth partnership, which is a taxpayer-funded agency charged with creating jobs in the region.

With that in mind, the growth partnership board of directors voted yesterday to negotiate with Shepherd Associates to become manager of the agency's In-4 Fund, which would hold more than $1 million in seed money to move technology companies from early status to going concern.

The city of Toledo contributed $100,000, and the growth partnership added another $170,000 to match the state's $270,000 contribution.

Shepherd would need to raise $460,000 or more from investors.

In other news, the growth partnership announced a redesigned and friendlier Web site that allows interested businesses to more easily research information about the region and its opportunities, including available state tax credits and information about quality of life, such as housing and schools. The Web address is www.rgp.org and features a picture of Toledo's skyline.

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