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Contract for services to a Delaware Nonprofit, Private, or Experienced Fund Manager to Distribute Funding to Local Companies

Early-Stage Venture Capital Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Delaware Division of Small Business
United States Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative
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Geographic Focus
USA: Delaware

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/31/23 4:00 PM Local Time - Receipt Save

Grant Description
Contract for services to a Delaware nonprofit, private, or experienced fund manager to distribute funding to local companies. The program is intended to expand access to underserved business owners, expand startups and technology within the state, and build resident venture capital capacity. This RFP solicits proposals for a professional services contract regarding the engagement of fund managers with the capacity and experience to successfully promote the State of Delaware’s participation in the SSBCI, specifically with respect to Delaware’s Early-Stage VC Fund program.

The Delaware Division of Small Business desires to use SSBCI funds to strengthen the state’s economy by providing approximately $30 million toward venture and equity programs. Overall, the program goal is to see at least a 10:1 ratio of private capital leveraged over a 10-year period through subsequent rounds of funding and exits. The State of Delaware is seeking to leverage SSBCI funds to strengthen and sustain Delaware’s ability to provide venture capital to high-impact startup companies. Specifically:

  • Building resident VC capacity within Delaware to conduct and attract equity (VC) deals and catalyze new VC assets under management (AUM) in Delaware.
  • Increasing the deal flow of new technologies and startups that align with the state’s targeted industries.
  • Expanding access for founders of color, women and rural-based business to the capital and advisory services that accelerates their growth and success.

Selected fund management service providers will be expected to assume the following responsibilities in accordance with the U.S. Treasury SSBCI requirements and enabling legislation:

  • Fund Formation: Establish the legal and organizational structure of the Fund, including formation/management of the investment committee, establishment of the legal structure, institution of accounting processes, and reporting processes which satisfy the U.S. Treasury guidelines of the SSBCI program.
  • Strategic Operating Plan: Develop the Fund’s investment strategy, including how the fund will support investment opportunities for SEDI entrepreneurs and SEDI-owned businesses. 
  • Outreach: Establish relationships with a wide range of educational, research, economic development, venture development, and investment organizations, to ensure that investment candidates are aware of the Fund and that it can attract a wide range of coinvestors. This includes outreach to SEDI and Very Small Businesses as defined by U.S. Treasury SSBCI guidelines.
  • Investment Evaluation and Selection: Establish and manage the evaluation and selection process for investment candidates.
  • Oversight: Establish practices for oversight of portfolio companies, including as appropriate, board membership and advisory roles, and compliance with federal reporting.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Establish practices based on U.S. Treasury SSBCI guidelines to uncover and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
  • Reporting: Provide quarterly and annual reports on Fund activities in accordance with U.S. Treasury SSBCI guidelines. Reports shall include investment performance, leverage, and results, including employment, wages, and other measures of economic impact and well-being.
  • Compliance: Establish reporting mechanisms, audits, and other internal controls and compliance activities to enable compliance with the U.S. Treasury SSBCI program.

More information about the Scope of Work and Technical Requirements can be found at


Additional Eligibility Criteria
At a minimum, the proposing parties will be required to meet and comply with the following conditions:
- The definition of a venture fund as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission 17 C.F.R. § 275.203(l)-1.
- Be incorporated or qualified to do business in Delaware. Individuals responsible for providing management services to the Fund on behalf of the Applicant must have an established business presence in Delaware or perform such services primarily from within Delaware. If the potential fund manager is out of state, it must clearly demonstrate an ability to find and service Delaware startups.
- Have experience providing equity investment to early-stage companies in Seed through Series A/B rounds.
- Be able to support companies with direct or partnered advisory services relevant to the business stage of investments. Preference will be given to potential fund managers that have track record of investments in under-represented demographics or geographies, and which have a culturally diverse investment or decision -making team.

Organizations Ineligible to Bid:
Any individual, business, organization, corporation, consortium, partnership, joint venture, or any other entity including subcontractors currently debarred or suspended is ineligible to bid. Any entity ineligible to conduct business in the State of Delaware for any reason is ineligible to respond to the RFP.

Pre-Application Information
This request for proposals (“RFP”) is issued pursuant to 29 Del. C. §§ 6981, 6982, and 6986. The proposed schedule of events for this RFP is outlined below:
- Public Notice Date: April 5, 2023
- Deadline for Questions Date: April 21, 2023
- Response to Questions Posted by: Date: May 10, 2023
- Deadline for Receipt of Proposals Date: May 31, 2023
- Estimated Notification of Award Date: August 2023

The State of Delaware will allow written requests for clarification of the RFP. All questions shall be received no later than April 21, 2023. All questions will be consolidated into a single set of responses and posted on the State’s website by the date of May 10, 2023.

Each proposal must be accompanied by a transmittal letter which briefly summarizes the proposing firm’s interest in providing the required professional services. The transmittal letter must also clearly state and justify any exceptions to the requirements of the RFP which the applicant may have taken in presenting the proposal.

There is no mandatory pre-bid or pre-proposal meeting regarding this Request for Proposal.

All requests, questions, or other communications about this RFP shall be made in writing to the State of Delaware. Address all communications to the person listed below; communications made to other State of Delaware personnel or attempting to ask questions by phone or in person will not be allowed or recognized as valid and may disqualify the vendor. Vendors should rely only on written statements issued by the RFP designated contact. To ensure that written requests are received and answered in a timely manner, electronic mail (e-mail) correspondence is acceptable, but other forms of delivery, such as postal and courier services can also be used.

More information:

Term of Contract
The term of the contract between the successful bidder and the State shall be for 4 years with 2 optional extensions for a period of 3 years for each extension.

Contact Information
The Proposals may be delivered by Express Delivery (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.), US Mail, or by hand to:
Delaware Division of Small Business
Attn: Andrew Harton
99 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Direct questions to:
Andrew Harton

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