Colorado entrepreneurs and others who are looking for venture capital may be able to get it from Sony. The conglomerate corporation has created a $100 million pool called the Sony Innovation Fund. This fund, which was created in 2016, has invested in roughly 25 early stage technology companies in the United States, Europe and Japan. On average, those companies have received millions of dollars each from the fund.
A fund executive said that as these companies grow, they could receive more money if the circumstances are right. The purpose of the fund is to help Sony learn about new technology and business models that could provide current and future benefits. For example, Sony is currently invested in a startup called Fotokite that can fly for hours without a pilot. Another startup it’s funding called Shimmer allows musicians and fans to send messages directly to each other.
The messages can be customized by location, which can be ideal if a band has a concert in a given area or has other targeted news to share. In addition, Sony invests in new businesses in the robotics, artificial intelligence and sports industries. Sony had invested in startup companies prior to 2016, but it stopped doing so in recent years as it focused again on its core electronics business.
Entrepreneurs who need seed capital may have many options. In addition to corporate venture capital funds, startups could look to government grants, small business loans or loans from family and friends. An attorney could review a loan agreement to determine whether there are prepayment penalties or if a balloon payment is required. Understanding the terms of a loan or investment may help a business determine if accepting it is in its best interests.