The SBA has recently (re)launched their Early Stage Program, designed to provide capital to funds focused on younger, riskier companies.
1. The Early Stage Program really is aimed at steering capital to existing funds with complete investment teams.
2. Those existing funds, if they were performers, would ALREADY be able to attract capital and wouldn't need to use SBA leverage. Likewise, these existing funds have been concentrating on already established market sectors, hence they won't be heavily invested in emerging technologies or disruptive sectors.
3. Therefore, by selection, the existing firms applying to the program are laggards, and shouldn't actually attract the capital.
I suggest that the SBA should focus less on the "Early Stage Funding" leverage and more on "Emerging Managers". There are so many transitions taking place in existing funds that the real opportunity is to identify and fund Emerging Managers, building new funds with new areas of expertise.
Emerging Managers are important, as they can disrupt the status quo of venture investing in so many of the markets outside of SV or NYC. Let's be frank; only in SV or NYC is there sufficient competition for deals such that the VC community has to actually compete for deals vs collude to compress valuations, or route capital to their "favorite" entrepreneurs. Hence why in so many areas you see the same people getting funded and new entrepreneurs going begging. A new class of Emerging Managers would disrupt these cabals,and create more competition for deals, as well as speed decision making of financing. That can only be good for entrepreneurs, VC's and emerging regions alike.