MassVentures Announces 2012 "START" Program Winners
New funding to help 10 Massachusetts companies commercialize technologies
MassVentures, the venture capital arm of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, announced today the 10 winners of the 2012 START program. START is a $6 million initiative funded by the Patrick-Murray Administration to help growing companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. The program is intended to help high-growth companies grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.
The winners selected from more than 90 applicants are:
- Artaic - Custom artistic tile mosaics, using proprietary CAD software and advanced robotic manufacturing systems
- BioMimetic Systems - Design and manufacturing of digital acoustic detection and localization systems
- CapeSym - Novel materials for advanced radiation detection
- CeraNova - Providing technological advantages with advanced nanograin, transparent ceramics for optical, structural and electrical applications
- Incom - Supplier of rigid fused fiber optics for commercial applications
- KaZak Composites - Value-added composite materials engineering and production
- Locately - Mobile technology to engage with shoppers while they're making decisions
- Metamagnetics - Advanced materials and electronics to develop novel microwave materials and device solutions
- Muzzy Lane - Creator of innovative, award-winning educational games
- Physical Sciences Inc. - Developing Instant Eye - a personal micro-air vehicle for surveillance and security applications
"Small businesses are the engine of the Massachusetts economy and the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to supporting small businesses throughout the commonwealth to grow and create good paying jobs," said Secretary Greg Bialecki. "Through programs like START, our small businesses are at the forefront of the 21st century economy and today's START winners are a prime example of why Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than the nation."
The 10 winners will receive $100,000 immediately and then 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 will be repeated annually with the application process opening again in early 2013.
"The success of the START program is due in part to the vision and commitment of Bob Weiss, President of Technology Transitions. With his help, MassVentures is one step closer to meeting its mission to help fill the funding gap and fuel the innovation economy," said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. "This year's winners are a strong indicator of the depth and breadth of innovative technologies coming out of the Commonwealth to support the economy and job growth."
For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process, please visit www.mass-ventures.com/start.html.
MassVentures meets critical capital needs in the Massachusetts innovation economy, providing seed and early stage venture funding to high-growth startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The Boston-based venture firm was formed in 1978 as a quasi-public corporation by the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, governed by an independent Board of Directors, and managed by experienced venture capitalists. Leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit, educated workforce, and centers of innovation of Massachusetts, MassVentures has a track record of success with early-stage ventures. For more information on MassVentures and details on our new programs, please visit www.mass-ventures.com.
START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist Massachusetts-based companies, which have received SBIR Phase II funding, in turning their technologies into commercialized, promising technologies. The program helps high growth companies grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. In addition to financial commercialization assistance, START provides coaching, business planning and introductions to potential investors.
Jerry Bird John Fitzpatrick
President Program Manager