Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kentucky Helps High Tech Firms

Capital is needed to help high tech firms grow since product development can be expensive and it may be difficult to raise private investment funds. The state of Kentucky provides assistance to help high tech companies find funds and opportunities.

Governor Beshear recently announced that five Kentucky high tech companies will share over $1.3 million in state funds as part of a Kentucky initiative to attract and support technology-based small businesses located in the state. The state of Kentucky helps companies by matching up to $100,000 for SBIR awards for either a Phase I award or up to $500,000 per year for up to two years for a Phase II award. If a single company receives both a Phase I and Phase II award, that company can receive up to $1.1 million.

“To date, the SBIR-STTR program has made a total of 71 awards to 44 Kentucky companies for a combined $15.5 million which has helped to bring eight new high-tech businesses to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Beshear.

One company Louisville Bioscience received SBIR funding to develop a blood test to profile a patient’s blood plasma proteins. This will help to detect autoimmune and infectious diseases, as well as cancer in the early stages, since many deadly diseases including cancer are inaccurately or inadequately diagnosed.

Another awardee SureGene of Louisville is developing and commercializing its AssureGene ™ test, the first in a planned series of proprietary tests designed to help physicians provide more precise and individualized diagnoses for patients with bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.

SBIR funds went to EndoProtech to develop and commercialize unique therapies for organ transplantation and cardiovascular surgery, including a product that will protect cells, tissues, and organs that can be damaged when blood flow is restored following the procedures.

In addition, the Kentucky Enterprise Fund provides seed-stage capital to Kentucky based companies that are commercializing a technology-based product or process. The Fund awards grants for $30,000 with investments up to $750,000 to go to small and medium-sized Kentucky based companies for business development activities.

To further help Kentucky attract high tech companies, the Cabinet for Economic Development administers high tech investment pools to help build and promote technology-driven industries with loans and grants. Also, the Kentucky Innovations and Commercialization Center Program a statewide network of regional innovation and commercialization centers is helping businesses obtain funding.