Tech20/20 has devoted incredible energy and attention to establish capital sources for technology at many different stages of development. One of Tech20/20’s earliest initiatives was Pathway Lending.

Pathway Lending was created in 1999 to increase access to capital for small businesses in Tennessee that were unable to access traditional sources of financing. Originally headquartered in Oak Ridge as a subsidiary of Tech20/20, Pathway Lending now is an independent entity with offices across the state and headquarters in Nashville. Pathway Lending has provided more than $20 million in loans to Tennessee small businesses, and recently announced the Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund, a $10 million pool of capital to assist small businesses in rural areas throughout the state.

The Southern Appalachian Fund (SAF) was established by Tech20/20 and Kentucky Highlands in 2003 as one of America’s six New Markets Venture Capital Companies. This $12.5 million fund focuses on early stage companies located in low income census tracts in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Appalachian counties of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Meritus Ventures is a $36.441 million venture capital fund formed to make equity investments in expansion stage companies in rural areas of central and southern Appalachia. Meritus is America’s first Rural Business Investment Company. In addition to providing a return for investors, Meritus was designed to create jobs and wealth and to promote economic development in rural areas. Operations commenced in late 2006 and the fund made its first investment in June 2007.