State's startup fund has trouble getting started - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

State's startup fund has trouble getting started

A fiscal tug-of-war is taking shape over an ambitious state campaign that uses government dollars to attract venture funding for homegrown startup firms that can generate new jobs.

Gov. Nathan Deal didn't include money for the program, called Invest Georgia, in his proposed budget. And securing the $15 million that supporters want could trigger a battle over competing priorities this legislative session.

The initiative was launched in 2013 by supporters who hoped that ponying up state dollars could attract enough venture capital to help transform Georgia into a tech hub. Entrepreneurs have long lamented that Georgia doesn't have the financing network to keep promising startups from being pulled to places like Boston or Silicon Valley.

Since then, though, the program's champions learned how hard it is to start up a program — in state government.

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