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MassVentures Awards $1M to 2015 START Stage III Program Winners

START Program Spurs Growth for Winners 
Boston Engineering and Metamagnetics 
MassVentures announced today the 2015 START Stage III program winners. Each company has received $500,000 to help grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. The winners of the Stage III awards are:
Boston Engineering
Boston Engineering is a product development and engineering consulting company that is using its START funds to commercialize its underwater vehicle technology, including the BIOSwimmer™. Boston Engineering’s unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) systems replicate the dynamics of a biological fish to move rapidly and accurately in areas inaccessible by other vehicles for operations including port security, and underwater search and inspection. Waltham, MA.
Metamagnetics
Metamagnetics develops and markets leading-edge commercial and defense electronic products. It is using its START funds to deploy cost-effective, self-biased ferrite circulators, which reduce electromagnetic interference in dense communication and sensing environments. Canton, MA.
START is a $3 million annual State initiative administered by MassVentures to help growing Massachusetts-based companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts.
During the past three years, Boston Engineering has increased its revenues 52% and has expanded its workforce 22%. START funds contribute to Boston Engineering’s outside investment of $7 million to help commercialize its underwater technology. Over the past 4 years, Metamagnetics has grown revenues by 60%, increased employment by 140% and leverages their START funds into $2,470,000 in additional outside capital.
“Boston Engineering thrives on solving client challenges and making a difference in the way that people work and live. It’s through programs such as START that we can take our creative ideas and bring them through to commercialization,” said Mark Smithers, CTO of Boston Engineering. “We’re very thankful to MassVentures for this funding, recognition, and the expertise they have provided to help scale our technology during the past three years.”
“We are focused on enhancing the performance and driving down the cost of critical sensing, Earth science and communication systems. Remaining focused on our technology and scaling the company can only happen when you have the right mentoring and guidance surrounding you,” comments Anton Geiler, President of Metamagnetics. “In addition to the funding, MassVentures has provided just the right amount of support and guidance to help us scale and thrive.  We look forward to the continued partnership.”
“The START program is a significant recognition. For the past four years, Boston Engineering and Metamagnetics competed against some of the most promising companies in Massachusetts,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “This award is a testament to not only the technology they have created but the business opportunity ahead for each of them.”
For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process for 2016, please visit our website.

MassVentures Jumps in to Support BoardOnTrack

MassVentures announced it participated in a $1.7 million seed round in BoardOnTrack. The finance round included MassVentures, Launch Capital, Hub NY and Cherrystone Angel group. BoardOnTrack, founded by a strong management team with significant start-up and consulting expertise, has developed a web-based, cost-effective and convenient way to build and optimize charter school boards using a data-driven approach.

BoardOnTrack is from the inaugural class of Constant Contact’s new small businessInnoLoft, an accelerator focused on small business innovations. It was here that BoardOnTrack refined its business and prepared itself for scalable growth.  “It’s a great time to be part of the Boston tech ecosystem. We started in Constant Contact’s InnoLoft where we positioned ourselves for growth and have since formed a strong partnership with MassVentures,” said Marci Cornell-Feist, Chief Executive Officer at BoardOnTrack. “With both the financial and knowledge support we have received to date, we can now focus on growing our product offerings and broadening our position in the market. We’re thankful for the funding and expertise that the MassVentures’ team has provided.”

 BoardOnTrack enables volunteers to work strategically and efficiently to transform charter schools and non-profit organizations across the country. Utilizing BoardOnTrack’s web-based tools, boards are able to develop goals and track accountability, optimize board performance, monitor progress and assess accomplishments at year end.

“After a thorough market analysis, it was quite clear that BoardOnTrack’s comprehensive, data-driven solution was filling a real need in the market, and is a key component in optimizing board performance,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President at MassVentures.  “Marci and her team have demonstrated domain knowledge that is unparalleled in the industry and are poised to scale BoardOnTrack.  We look forward to supporting their continued success.”

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