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Investment Process

 

You have a great idea and now you're looking for early stage capital to help you develop and/or commercialize it. If such capital is to come from the Seaway Private Equity Corporation (SPEC), the companies it will invest in must:

  • Have complete control of their technologies (proprietary, patented and/or patent-pending technology);
  • Be committed to locating or principally operating their new technology company in St. Lawrence County, New York;
  • Offer market-changing technologies that will demonstrate significant advantages and differentiation to create a sustainable competitive advantage and take a leadership position in its market; and,
  • Have a well-developed, concise business plan which makes a compelling case for success (see our business plan criteria).

 

Investment Philosophy

We want you to succeed. So, SPEC invests its available funds through Qualified Business Development Firms that have outstanding records of attracting private equity investors and expertise in developing successful new business ventures. As partners, they can take your renewable energy, environmental or other SPEC Board-approved technology and create employment opportunities for the region.

Although SPEC’s Qualified Business Development Firms do not seek controlling ownership in companies in which they investment, they play an active role in developing and managing the business. They prefer to invest as co-founders in new businesses and hold common shares with other founders; work to position the business for traditional venture funding or liquidity events; then, exit through subsequent funding rounds and/or liquidity events.

SPEC investments support:

  • New technology companies that are headquartered in and principally operated in St. Lawrence County, New York, USA; and,
  • Primarily companies based on renewable energy and environmental technologies.
  • Investment not based on such technologies may also be made with approval by a two-thirds vote of the entire SPEC Board of Trustees.

The investments made by SPEC are neither grants nor loans; rather, they represent equity investments for which SPEC takes stock in the companies.

SPEC's early stage investments are usually made prior to investment by traditional venture capitalists or other financing parties. SPEC provides the funds that will help bring companies to the point where traditional venture capitalists might become interested in the businesses.

SPEC oversees the placement and use of the funds it invests but neither develops the technology nor the businesses in which it invests. It does this through Qualified Business Development Firms that provide important guidance during the critical early stages of startup, as well as bring private cash to match SPEC's investment at a ratio of $2 private for every $1 of SPEC funds.

 

How We Invest

The New York Power Authority has contracted with SPEC to disburse funds for the purpose of attracting private equity investors and making private equity investments in new business opportunities in St. Lawrence County, New York. SPEC's agreement with the New York Power Authority includes the following investment criteria and procedures:

  • Eligible investments are limited to new technology companies that are headquartered in and principally operated in St. Lawrence County, New York; and based on renewable energy or environmental technologies (or others as approved by a two-thirds vote of the SPEC Board);
  • Maximum investment amount: $1,000,000
  • Minimum investment amount: $75,000
  • Total amount of investment capital available to SPEC: $10,000,000
  • Minimum amount of matching private investment: $2 for every $1 of SPEC funds

SPEC makes these investments only through Qualified Business Development Firms with whom it has contracted and who are responsible for attracting private equity investors.

Qualified Business Development Firms are companies that are headquartered in and principally operated in St. Lawrence County, New York, which have been approved by the New York State Power Authority. The Qualified Business Development Firms make early-stage investments in new technology companies as well as provide guidance through active participation in the management of the new technology companies in which they invest.

In addition, Qualified Business Development Firms maintain a qualified advisory board that include at least one senior executive from a multi-national company, at least one individual possessing significant experience working for a professionally managed investment fund and at least one professional with significant entrepreneurial experience.

Currently, SPEC contracts with the following Qualified Business Development Firm:
Golden Technology Management, LLC

If your firm meets the above requirements and wishes to seek approval as a Qualified Business Development Firm, contact us.

 

Investment Criteria

SPEC is only able to invest its funds in a Qualified Investment Opportunity, which is either a Qualified Enterprise or a Qualified Project.

  • A Qualified Enterprise is a business that is developing and/or commercializing proprietary, patented and/or patent-pending technology.
  • A Qualified Project is a special purpose entity that has formed for the purpose of owning a renewable energy or environmental project (or other project agreed to by a vote of two-thirds of the entire SPEC Board of Trustees) that utilizes the proprietary technology of a Qualified Enterprise.

Additional requirements for both Qualified Enterprises and Qualified Projects include:

  • Being headquartered in and principally operated in St. Lawrence County; and,
  • That will either directly increase employment opportunities or have the ability to attract new industry that will increase employment opportunities in St. Lawrence County.

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