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Illinois INVENT

The Illinois Innovation Venture Fund (INVENT) is a direct equity capital program funded through the U.S. Department of the Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). 

SSBCI was reauthorized as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and provides a combined $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to promote American entrepreneurship, support small business ownership, and democratize access to capital across the country, including in underserved communities. Illinois is eligible to receive up to $354.6 million for the INVENT venture capital program, Advantage Illinois participation loan and loan guarantee programs and the Illinois Finance Authority’s Climate Bank Finance participation loan program. 

Up to $114 million will support startups raising up to $20 million. There must also be private capital at risk, with a minimum $1 match requirement. DCEO is committed to ensuring opportunities for founders and communities that have faced barriers to accessing capital. The funds are expected to provide small businesses with the resources they need to sustainably grow and thrive, and to improve access to capital for traditionally underserved entrepreneurs. INVENT is dedicated to ensuring that it supports investments in very small businesses (fewer than 10 employees); Capital Disadvantaged Business (CDB) owners and businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI); and businesses in industries aligned with the state's key sectors in our economic development plan. Visit SEDI and CDB and Key Sectors for additional information. 

Illinois has a rich network of resources and leading research institutions committed to innovation. Through INVENT, we will help entrepreneurs leverage resources available to build successful businesses that will create jobs, grow our state’s economy, and serve as a catalyst for innovation that will make an impact in our communities and society at large.

If your company is not ready for an equity investment, visit Resources.