The state of Illinois plans to boost its investment in technology companies.
The state has $12 billion to $15 billion to invest at any moment, and since 2005, the law has allowed 1 percent of that to be invested in Illinois-based high-tech companies. In 2011, the limit became 3 percent, but the actual amount has never exceeded 1 percent.
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State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says now he’s going to try. “We’ve reached out to the Illinois Venture Capital Association, we’ve reached out to people who serve on advisory boards, and they’re very interested in working with us and we are working on RFP (request for proposals) right now to make sure we’re making those investments here in Illinois that not only get us a good rate of return, but also help grow our tech and biomed sector in this state,” he said.
He says venture capital investors from the coasts often urge startup companies here to move, whereas the state of Illinois would urge them to stay.
The amount of state funds currently invested in the Technology Development Account is $53 million.
Frerichs says the rate of return with these investments is better than with treasury bills or commercial debt.