The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds has formed a partnership with the Capital Formation Institute, Inc. in order to conduct research and educational programs for those in the early stages of capital financing.

The last three years have proven difficult for entrepreneurs seeking capital to launch their enterprises. More than $370 million was invested in seed stage deals in 2003, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers-led "Money Tree" survey. While this was an improvement over 2002, it was less than half the 2001 level and a far cry from the record $3.3 billion invested in seed stage deals in 1999. Though many sources expect that 2004 will see an uptick in venture investing overall, the first quarter proved challenging, still, with a 20 percent drop from the first quarter 2003.

The research organization will conduct both sponsored and independent research, in addition to staging conferences, seminars and workshops.

The first research project will be a general survey of public and private early-stage capital funds. CFI is seeking fund managers to participate. Those interested can contact Dr. Richard T. Meyer at