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Back in August, Connect CEO Duane Roth outlined an initiative to address a dearth of venture capital investment by seeking to develop alternative funding sources for San Diego’s early-stage technology companies. A key part of the non-profit group’s initiative is to pursue additional federal support—and now that effort is facing its first major test as Congress takes up a bill that would provide funding through the Small Business Administration for equity investments in certain types of technology startups.

A House bill dubbed “The Small Business Early Stage Investment Act of 2009” would basically make the federal government a limited partner in qualified investment firms that make venture capital investments in early-stage companies in targeted industries. Roth tells me the bill, which was introduced by Democratic Rep. Glenn Nye of Virginia, fits his initiative “perfectly.”

Plan to Provide Federal Funding for Early-Stage Investments Perfect for San Diego’s Innovation Economy, Says Connect’s Roth