Oregon approves $5 million for tech startups

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Oregon will invest $5 million into Oregon technology startups focused on wireless, software and digital media
— Oregon Growth Account Board approves new investment in Voyager Capital
By Oregon State Treasurer Office,

TIGARD – The Oregon Growth Account Board is continuing its efforts to invest in Oregon’s promising startups – and to help Oregonians reap some of the rewards. The Board on Monday approved a $5 commitment to Voyager Capital Fund IV, a Seattle based fund manager with an office in Portland, that is seeking strategic investments in early and growth stage companies, focused primarily on the digital media, software, and wireless sectors.

“The board is impressed by Voyager’s strategy and experienced management team,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the chairman of the Oregon Growth Account Board. “We expect this investment to both fund viable emerging businesses in Oregon and provide investment returns for the State.”

Voyager Capital has invested $32 million in Oregon since 1999, providing critical support for five companies currently employing 250 people. Voyager’s investments have leveraged, to date, $75 million in additional investment for Oregon businesses.

The Oregon Growth Account is managed by the Oregon State Treasury.

Since it was created by the 1995 Legislature, the Oregon Growth Account has committed roughly $105 million in Oregon Lottery proceeds, with the twin goals of earning returns for the benefit of schools and also of helping to spur economic development in Oregon.

The State Treasury does not invest directly into individual companies. Instead, applicants for investment funds are vetted by independent professional fund managers who have contracts with the state. The Oregon Growth Account does not make grants: The dollars are invested in companies with the best plans for financial success, and are expected to help generate superior market returns over time.

Investments through the Oregon Growth Account also have paid off in new jobs: The aggregate payroll produced by assisted companies equals $30.6 million a year, according to statistics presented to the Board in 2010.
The State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. The office also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.