New SBIR Targeted Technologies “START” Program to Help Fuel Innovation Economy

New $6 million state fund supports small business growth 
and provides extension of MTDC funding

March 23, 2012, Boston, MA – The Patrick-Murray Administration, along with Massachusetts Technology Development Corp. (MTDC), announced today the launch of the START program to help fuel the Massachusetts innovation economy. START is a $6 million initiative that will help growing companies commercialize technologies developed under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. The START program will not only provide financial support but also coaching, business planning and introductions to potential investors, thereby driving job growth within the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts has long been a national leader in SBIR grants and dollars received; ranked second in the nation in dollars received, first in dollars received per capita and more than $3 billion in commercial sales of SBIR technologies generated to date. The new START program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, is aimed at helping fund the transition of technologies developed under SBIR Phase II awards into commercial products and services. The SBIR program funds feasibility studies in Phase I, technology development in Phase II and leaves commercialization to the private sector.

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made a strong investment in making Massachusetts a world leader in the innovation economy,” said Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “START is focused on activities essential to successful commercialization, to help support promising Massachusetts companies looking to grow and stay here in the Commonwealth.”

MTDC will initiate the START program with Stage I grants of up to $100,000 each to 10 Massachusetts applicants that have won Phase II SBIR contracts and whose technology innovations have prospects for creating high-growth commercial products or services. Based on progress demonstrated over the first year, an additional Stage II grant of up to $200,000 will be awarded to the five most promising companies. At the end of the second year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment based on their potential for growth and profitability. The program is open to any Massachusetts applicant that has received Phase II SBIR contracts within the last 3 years. Life sciences and energy/clean-tech will not be considered under START as other Massachusetts programs support them.

START is consistent with the MTDC mission to fuel the innovation economy in the state. We are looking to address opportunities where, for many reasons, the private sector is not providing adequate development capital. The program will help pay for patents, build prototypes, perform market research and write fundable business plans and thereby grow our workforce and the economy,” said Jerry Bird, President of MTDC. “In addition to funding, MTDC has a track record of helping companies grow and achieve profitability and we expect to use our skills and knowledge to move START award recipients closer to commercialization, faster.”

For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process please visitwww.mtdc.com/start.

About Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation
Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), is a leading edge venture capital firm that addresses the “capital gap” for start-up and expansion of early-stage technology companies operating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MTDC has invested in many of Massachusetts’ most promising new technology-based companies. More information is available at www.mtdc.com.

Contact Information:
Mass Technology Development Corporation
Jerry Bird
President
617-723-4920
jbird@mtdc.com

John Fitzpatrick
START
Program Manager
jfitzpatrick@mtdc.com