Two start-up businesses are receiving support from Illinois' new venture capital fund and there will be more help on the way for other start-ups.  The first installments of the Invest Illinois Venture Fund will help support Chicago-based Buzz Referrals, which uses social media to help companies create customer referrals, and Evanston-based AuraSense Therapeutics, which is a biopharmaceutical company.  


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“The IIVF’s funding and resources will accelerate out growth and help Buzz Referrals be a leader within this space,” said Jordan Linville CEO and co-founder of the company.  The venture capital fund is part of the $78 million program launched last year called Advantage Illinois, which supports small businesses in the crucial first stages of becoming stable.  “We …recognize that there was a real need to provide equity investment financing,” said Warren Ribley, director Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  Ribley says the help is technically a loan and the state will see monetary returns that will be reinvested into the fund.  Part of the governor’s plan to pull the state out of debt is to grow businesses which in turn will grow the economy.


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