- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The state has a new program designed to encourage small business and economic growth.

It’s called VenCap Kentucky and it provides venture capital funding to companies that have a lead investor but need additional support. It uses U.S. Treasury funds to match the private investment up to $500,000.

The program was established by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and is administered by the University of Louisville Foundation. Gov. Steve Beshear’s office says applicants must be recommended by an approved sourcing partner, which includes the Kentucky Innovation Network, Nucleus and MetaCyte.

Beshear says VenCap gives an incentive for investors to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The release says the program is tailored to startup, early-stage and mid-stage businesses with high growth potential that are not yet ready for bank loans.

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