The NDDF selected the nationally acclaimed generalist venture capital investment platform, O’Leary Ventures (OLV) as a partner to manage a $45 million direct investment program aimed at bolstering economic growth throughout the state. The program coined as Wonder Fund North Dakota will position the state as a powerhouse for small businesses by providing early-stage investment opportunities for financial and operational growth through the expertise and management at OLV. Funds from the program will be used by OLV to invest in early-stage businesses headquartered in North Dakota with less than 500 employees. Wonder Fund North Dakota will consider companies based outside the state if their product and service have a material impact on North Dakota.
OLV was selected to manage the direct investment program through a competitive request for proposal process in 2022. Funds for Wonder Fund North Dakota were provided through the U.S. Department of Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). An approximate total of $58.6 million of SSBCI funds were allocated to the State of North Dakota for two equity and venture programs, the Angel Match Program and Wonder Fund North Dakota. Both programs are direct investment programs that will provide equity support directly to small businesses and startups by co-investing alongside private investors.