Investment Bank Pulls Out of Montana Venture Fund

When the Montana Board of Investments last year agreed to put up $25 million to jump-start a regional venture capital fund and retained the investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston to raise another $15 million from private investors, it appeared that cash-starved entpreneurs in Montana and neighboring states might finally get a lifeline. But CFSB last month informed state officials that it had failed to secure a single commitment for the fund, effectively ending the effort before it had even started and rasing new concerns about the entrepreneurial environment in the state.

While the fund would have been free to finance startups not only in Montana but also in Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Nevada, and Wyoming, the responses received from the 64 possible funders contacted by CSFB ranged from "we’re already investing in the region" to "the potential investor is skeptical about the opportunity in the region".

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