Michael Tharp, Cimarron Capital – 501.223.3284
Gene Eagle, ADFA – 501.682.5905
Mike Blackburn, Petra Capital - 615-313-5999

ADFA Announces New VC Firm Serving Arkansas Entrepreneurs

AIF Invests $4.5M in Petra Growth Fund II

May 20, 2008 | Little Rock, AR -- The Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) announced today that its Arkansas Institutional Fund (AIF) has committed to a $4.5 million investment in Petra Growth Fund II, managed by Petra Capital Partners of Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, Petra Capital Partners will seek investment opportunities in growing Arkansas companies in the healthcare business and information services sectors. Arkansas companies in those sectors may benefit by contacting Petra (

Gene Eagle, Vice President of ADFA said, "Our team worked closely with Petra Capital Partners to make sure Petra and the Arkansas Institutional Fund receive full benefit of the SBA leverage available to their fund. By utilizing the SBA’s venture capital program Petra will be able to more than double the available capital they have to invest.”

Mike Blackburn, Petra Managing Partner, said, "We look forward to working with Arkansas entrepreneurs. We believe there are companies here with whom we can partner to accelerate their growth. We will be looking hard to find them and to help them realize their full potential."

In addition to Petra Capital Partners, ADFA, through it's Arkansas Institutional Fund, has entered into similar agreements with Noro-Moseley Partners (, MB Venture Partners (, Prolog Ventures (, Meritus Ventures (, SSM Partners ( and the Fund for Arkansas's Future (

Arkansas entrepreneurs are invited to visit these websites for more information.

About the Arkansas Development Finance Authority

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority is committed to responding to the changing needs of Arkansas’ growing, increasingly diverse population and business community. Since its creation in 1985, ADFA has become the state’s largest source of low-cost financing for low-to-moderate income housing development, small industries, government, education, agricultural business enterprises and healthcare. Through the issuance of taxable and tax-exempt bonds and notes, the administration of private and public grants and partnerships with state and federal agencies, ADFA gives Arkansans the most cost-effective financing choices possible. In 2001, bond guaranty legislation was modified to allow ADFA to utilize credit enhancement and state tax credits to finance “fund of funds” venture capital investments. At this time the $70 million Arkansas Institutional Fund (AIF) was created.

About the Arkansas Institutional Fund

In an effort to strengthen the venture capital network in Arkansas and promote economic growth within the State, the Arkansas Institutional Fund (AIF) is authorized to invest in professionally managed venture capital funds that in turn make risk capital more accessible to promising Arkansas firms.

About Cimarron Capital Partners

Cimarron is a leading national investment management firm specializing in regional private equity. The firm serves as fund manager for the Arkansas Institutional Fund (AIF).