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published on March 3, 2016 - 7:28 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The WET Center on the campus of Fresno State has been selected to participate in a program that promises to invest capital in underserved U.S. markets.

The Water, Energy and Technology Center has been selected as part of VilCap Communities, an initiative by Washington, D.C.-based Village Capital that partners with local communities that have committed to invest at least $50,000 in local ventures.

There are 16 VilCap Communities in total, according to today’s announcement, with the WET Center being the only California participating community.

The inaugural class of VilCap Pioneer Communities will gather in Salt Lake City, Utah next weekend to discuss the rise of startup activity in the U.S. In addition, community leaders will get an opportunity to pitch a plan to support and invest in entrepreneurs in their cities. Two of the leaders will be selected through a peer-review process to receive an additional $25,000 in program support.

“Entrepreneurs across the U.S. can solve society’s greatest problems — building their communities in the process,” said Ross Baird, executive director of Village Capital. “Yet most entrepreneurs across the U.S. today don’t have a shot at the resources they need to grow: 78 percent of investment capital in the U.S. goes to just three states. VilCap Communities will help close this gap.”

“Communities across America shouldn’t try and re-create what’s worked in Silicon Valley: they should build on what makes them unique,” added Baird. “We’re working with a strong group of leaders who know what makes their region great, and are building the next generation of entrepreneurs as a result.”

The WET Center is an independent nonprofit organization located on the Fresno State campus that provides an entryway for entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses at all stages to accelerate commercialization, launch and new development in the water, energy and technology realm.


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