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The Florida Senate

2017 Florida Statutes

F.S. 288.9624
288.9624 Florida Opportunity Fund; creation; duties.
(1)(a) Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall facilitate the creation of the Florida Opportunity Fund, a private, not-for-profit corporation organized and operated under chapter 617. Enterprise Florida, Inc., shall be the fund’s sole shareholder or member. The fund is not a public corporation or instrumentality of the state. The fund shall manage its business affairs and conduct business consistent with its organizational documents and the purposes set forth in this section. Notwithstanding the powers granted under chapter 617, the corporation may not amend, modify, or repeal a bylaw or article of incorporation without the express written consent of Enterprise Florida, Inc.
(b) The board of directors of the Florida Opportunity Fund shall have five members, appointed by vote of the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc. Board members shall serve terms as provided in the fund’s organizational documents. Within 90 days before an anticipated vacancy by expiration of the term of a board member, the board of directors of the fund shall submit a list of three eligible nominees, which may include the incumbent, to the board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The board of directors of Enterprise Florida, Inc., may appoint a board member from the nominee list or may request and appoint from a new list of three nominees not included on the previous list.
(c) The persons appointed to the board of directors shall include persons who have expertise in the area of the selection and supervision of early stage investment managers or in the fiduciary management of investment funds and other areas of expertise as considered appropriate.
(d) Members of the board are subject to any restrictions on conflicts of interest specified in the organizational documents and may not have an interest in any venture capital investment selected by the fund under ss. 288.9621-288.9624.
(e) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but members, the president of the board, and other board employees may be reimbursed for all reasonable, necessary, and actual expenses as determined and approved by the board pursuant to s. 112.061.
(f) The fund shall have all powers granted under its organizational documents and shall indemnify members to the broadest extent permissible under the laws of this state.
(2) Upon organization, the board shall conduct a national solicitation for investment plan proposals from qualified venture capital investment managers for the raising and investing of capital by the Florida Opportunity Fund. Any proposed investment plan must address the applicant’s level of experience, quality of management, investment philosophy and process, provability of success in fundraising, prior investment fund results, and plan for achieving the purposes of ss. 288.9621-288.9624. The board shall select only venture capital investment managers having demonstrated expertise in the management of and investment in companies.
(3) The board is responsible for negotiating the terms of a contract with the Florida Opportunity Fund investment manager; executing the contract with the selected venture capital investment fund manager on behalf of the Florida Opportunity Fund; managing the business affairs of the Florida Opportunity Fund, such as accounting, audit, insurance, and related requirements; soliciting and negotiating the terms of, contracting for, and receiving investment capital and loan proceeds with the assistance of the investment manager; receiving investment returns; paying investors and debtors; and reinvesting the investment returns in the fund in order to provide additional venture capital investments designed to result in a significant potential to create new businesses and jobs in this state and further diversify the economy of this state.
(4) For the purpose of mobilizing investment in a broad variety of Florida-based, new technology companies and generating a return sufficient to continue reinvestment, the fund shall:
(a) Invest in seed and early stage venture capital funds that have experienced managers or management teams with demonstrated experience, expertise, and a successful history in the investment of venture capital funds, focusing on opportunities in this state. The fund also may make direct investments, including loans, in individual businesses and infrastructure projects. While not precluded from investing in venture capital funds that have investments outside this state, the fund must require a venture capital fund to show a record of successful investment in this state, to be based in this state, or to have an office in this state staffed with a full-time, professional venture investment executive in order to be eligible for investment.
(b) Negotiate for investment capital or loan proceeds from private, institutional, or banking sources.
(c) Negotiate any and all terms and conditions for its investments.
(d) Invest only in funds, businesses, and infrastructure projects that have raised capital from other sources so that the amount invested in such funds, businesses, or infrastructure projects is at least twice the amount invested by the fund. Direct investments must be made in Florida infrastructure projects or businesses that are Florida-based or have significant business activities in Florida and operate in technology sectors that are strategic to Florida, including, but not limited to, enterprises in life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing processes, aviation and aerospace, and homeland security and defense, as well as other strategic technologies.
(e) Form or operate other entities and accept additional funds from other public and private sources to further its purpose.

The Opportunity Fund may not use its original legislative appropriation of $29.5 million for direct investments, including loans, in businesses or infrastructure projects, or for any purpose not specified in chapter 2007-189, Laws of Florida.

(5) By December 1 of each year, the board shall issue an annual report concerning the activities conducted by the fund to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The annual report, at a minimum, must include:
(a) An accounting of the amount of investments disbursed by the fund and the progress of the fund, including the progress of business and infrastructure projects that have been provided direct investment by the fund.
(b) A description of the benefits to this state resulting from the fund, including the number of businesses created, associated industries started, the number of jobs created, and the growth of related research projects.
(c) Independently audited financial statements, including statements that show receipts and expenditures during the preceding fiscal year for personnel, administration, and operational costs of the fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 2007-189; s. 26, ch. 2009-51; s. 191, ch. 2011-142.