Binational investment funds and foundations proved to be the main growth driver in providing funding for seed stage companies, research conducted by business development and marketing consulting firm Trendlines Group revealed. Trendlines released its 2006 'money raising' report, providing early stage companies a comprehensive directory of "where to go" to find funding outside of the traditional VC market. The report was an update of Trendline's 2004 directory. "Raising capital for early-stage companies is challenging at the best of times, and funding the youngest business is always the most difficult of funding efforts," the report said. Aiming to ease that process, Tina Ornstein, managing director of Trendlines, said the focus of the report is on the non-equity market, giving information on government funds, technology incubators, binational funds, foundations and VC firms with an emphasis on the seed stage companies. Ornstein noted that while the number of government funds and incubators remained stagnant between the 2004 report and the report's release, significantly more binational funds and foundations were established in the two-year period. New funds include the Finland-Israel Fund, the EU-Israel Galileo Fund, the Maryland-Israel Development Fund, and Australian fund Vistech. In total, the directory provides details for 21 government funds; 10 binational funds; eight foundations; 12 VC seed funds; and 24 technological incubators. While the report brings no disillusions to the prospective fundraiser over the difficulty in raising money, Ornstein noted that the market showed far more positive indicators than when it first issued the report two years ago. "This time we bring good news to the seed stage companies," she said.