Startup ecosystems “between the coasts” get a boost

Next Coast Ventures has raises $85 million for Austin’s startup scene. The firm’s founders said they want to boost Austin’s tech scene and support early-stage startups between the coastal tech hubs. “We are finding outsized opportunities between the coasts with talented, tech-savvy entrepreneurs with vision,” co-founder Mike Smerklo said. The oversubscribed fund already has invested in six

Congo Basin Blue Fund begins to come into focus

Climate Finance The Congo Basin forests are second only to the Amazon Basin as a natural carbon storage system. But for countries in the basin to make the transition from forest exploitation to ecosystem services will require both cooperation and capital. The Brazzaville Foundation is pushing forward with the nine-country Congo Basin Blue Fund introduced at

D.C. accelerator to boost minority- and women-own businesses

Nationally, minority- and women-owned businesses lag white- and male-owned businesses in value. In D.C. the gap is even wider. The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, a community development financial institution, is launching the Ascend Capital Accelerator to help women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color build their human and financial assets. The first 25 entrepreneurs will join

Startup ecosystems “between the coasts” get a boost

Next Coast Ventures has raises $85 million for Austin’s startup scene. The firm’s founders said they want to boost Austin’s tech scene and support early-stage startups between the coastal tech hubs. “We are finding outsized opportunities between the coasts with talented, tech-savvy entrepreneurs with vision,” co-founder Mike Smerklo said. The oversubscribed fund already has invested

Letter from Tanzania: Fighting Unemployment by Skilling Up for Problem-Solving Startups

In East Africa, small and growing businesses show promise in kick-starting local economies. A growing group of businesses and initiatives is helping young people acquire the skills needed by the region’s tech-driven social startups. Members of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations working to to promote entrepreneurship in emerging markets,

Samunnati raises $4.5 million to extend small ag finance in India

Chennai-based agriculture finance company Samunnati raised $4.5 million from Accel Partners, Elevar Equity and others. The company provides credit, loans, and other financial products to small and micro-agribusinesses, which have difficulty accessing services from banks. Samunnati looks at “cash flow patterns, seasonality and the nature of collateral in [agriculture] supply chains” and other nontraditional risk indicators.

Fledge’s Africa Eats fund makes first three investments

The Fledge accelerator, based in Seattle, is raising and managing a family of funds to support graduates of the program. Africa Eats provided a $200,000, four-year loan to East Africa Fruit, a Tanzanian produce aggregator. It extended $170,000 to Geossy, a Ugandan aquaculture venture, in the form of a blended fixed-rate loan. And Tanzanian poultry venture