Arkansas Backs Petra

The Arkansas Development Finance Authority has committed $4.5 million to Petra Growth Fund II, a $150 million-targeted venture capital fund. The deal mans that Nashville-based Petra will seek investment opportunities in Arkansas-based IT and healthcare companies. 


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 its 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.


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.


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.


Cimarron Capital Partners ( is a leading national investment management firm specializing in regional private equity. The firm is the fund manager for the Arkansas Institutional Fund.