MassVentures & the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Announce New Partnership will Increase Funding to Massachusetts Companies
Boston- MassVentures and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced a new partnership to increase the capacity of the MassVentures START (SBIR TARgeted Technologies) Program. The START program helps growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under SBIR and STTR contracts. Recognizing that innovation, invention, and disruption take time, the START program provides up to three years of additional funding for grantees.
MassCEC has committed up to $400,000 to START in 2017 to increase the scope and impact of the program. START will now award up to $1.2 million for twelve companies in Stage I and up to $1.2 million for six companies in Stage II. Stage III remains at $1 million, resulting in a total START funding stream of $3.4 million for 2017.
The new MassVentures and MassCEC cooperative endeavor is the result of the success of the 2016 pilot program to expand START eligibility to recipients of US Department of Energy SBIR grants. After opening the funding process in 2016, with assistance from MassCEC, several clean energy companies applied to the START program. Cambrian Innovation (Boston), NewGrid, Inc. (Somerville), and MTPV Power Corporation (Medford) were awarded Stage I funding.
“MassVentures and MassCEC are making strategic investments in an important, emerging tech sector here in Massachusetts,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Clean energy production has immense potential, and programs like START ensure we are capturing the opportunities for job creation and growth here in the Commonwealth.”
“Increasing the capacity of the START program will provide needed capital to Massachusetts entrepreneurs who are working hard to develop and produce new, innovative clean energy solutions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this partnership, the Baker-Polito Administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s growing innovation economy, which is driving technology breakthroughs that spur job creation and support Massachusetts’ energy goals.”
“We know that innovation will drive our energy future, and it is clear from last year’s applicant pool that capital is needed to help promising clean energy ideas become real-world solutions,” said Jerry Bird, President, MassVentures. “With the generous support of MassCEC, the START program will be able to help more Massachusetts start-ups with the funding, experience, mentoring and networks they need to potentially transition to high-growth companies.”
“Massachusetts is a national and international innovation destination and our partnership with MassVentures supports the entrepreneurs fueling high-tech economic growth across the state,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “This program will help startup companies bridge persistent funding gaps and lead to increased business opportunities in the future.”
MassVentures is a quasi-public venture capital firm focused on fueling the Commonwealth’s innovation economy by funding early-stage, high-growth Massachusetts startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The MassVentures START program, founded in in 2012, has provided $12 million in funding to 50 SBIR/STTR projects and helped winning companies raise additional capital of $278 million. The MassVentures’ START program received the prestigious 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since it began operating in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations, creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017
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