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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Characteristics of Successful Venture Capitalist Investments Environments in Delta County Michigan

Developing local business while attracting national and international investment is a worthwhile pursuit that increases the opportunity that higher levels of quality of life and financial well-being . Yes there will need to be new industries in places like Delta County but that doesn't mean we can't attract new talent while still enhancing existing talent and businesses. The way in which we do this is dependent on our local culture and advantages but does follow existing literature on how to attract venture capitalism to the area by creating the right setting. 

Delta county is an ideal location because of its existing infrastructure, need for downtown enhancement and as a transportation hub with rail, road, air and a deep sea port present. Just looking at the downtown and how it could benefit from a paint job and new business investment will tell you something about the need to continue to grow the economy. If we add to that the local community college and the existing small industrial base with large contextual need to increase Great Lakes exports we can get a better sense of new opportunities. 

There are characteristics that mark high value cities for development (McDonald and Bailly, 2017):

1. Growth potential, skilled workforce, resilient economy.
2. Transportation connections (nationally and internationally).
3. Pro-investment city leadership.
4. Pro-investment planning. 
 
Let's see how Delta County fits within these categories.

1. High potential for shipping, manufacturing, and tourism. Local community college to train people, and somewhat isolated from short-term economic shocks.
2. Spider webbed railroad, connection of roads, close to import export airport, developing space launch site, and deep seaport.
3 & 4 City and county leadership has been talking and open about methods of growing the local economy but hasn't come up with a strategically viable plan.
 
Its not looking too bad for Delta County. There are other things that could be worked in on terms of start-up initiatives, improving the downtown offerings and decor, encouraging condos and seasonal housing, improving training of law enforcement, bikes and golf cart traffic, public transit and other gradations of change. However, a solid base has been created and now the county has to think about attracting new industry, business, and improving its overall public marketing image. 

One thing investors look for is quality information that leads to better decision making. This means that information is catered in a way that attracts and serves their needs. In marketing we learn that different information appeals to different types of people. If you are attracting vacationer the information is going to be significantly different than what investors need to conduct their analysis. 

The same can be said for research data and investment decisions. Investors look at different portfolios and information to make a decision about the type of businesses they would like to put their money. When that information is easy to find and fits their criteria they will have more incentive to continue to search out additional opportunities.     

Research has found that offering appropriate business information based in the needs of venture capitalism leads to more successful match between business needs and area investments (Croce, Francesca, and Ughetto, 2016). That same study also found that beyond the details found within the financial reports are soft characteristics such as owner information and the amenities of the area. In particular they looked at:

1. Facilities and Infrastructure: Product Transport, City Services, , Business Districts, Public Transportation, etc....
2. Local Labor Skills: Labor skills in the area and Bay De Noc College training.  
3. Institutions and Systems: Taxes, City/County Admin, Courts and Law Enforcement Performance, Entertainment, Etc...   

Thus successful investment decisions are not made simply from the businesses themselves but also the environment in which they exist. Investors want information on the area as much as they do on the specific business and their owners. The environment in which these businesses exist in terms of county administration, institutions, transportation and labor skill make make a big difference. Thus any turn around investment strategy may want to consider making information available on their institutions and other amendments to create investment context for specific businesses. 

Connecting to previous research:Creating an online investment space where businesses, administrators and investors can meet makes a big difference in successful investments. We now find that attracting the right kind of investors based on a successful cluster development strategy and in turn providing information on local institutions can foster further interest and local growth. That "investor online community" will also need proper marketing to reach large institutional investors and smaller venture capitalists.  

R. Mcdonald, R. and Bailly,  A. (July 2017). ―What investors want: A guide for cities. Center for Cities. https://www.centreforcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17-07-18-What-Investors-Want-A-Guide-For-Cities.pdf
 
Croce, A., Francesca, T, and Ughetto, E. (2016) How business angel groups work: Rejection criteria in investment evaluation. Sage Journals. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242615622675

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