Connecticut Innovations Supported 100 Companies in 2014

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CI’s investments and loans provide critical funding to entrepreneurs and growing businesses throughout the state.

Over the past year we’ve continued to help companies with both early-stage investments and loans, enabling them to grow operations, hire employees, and commit resources to business essentials such as office space and R&D.

Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced that it has awarded support to 100 companies during 2014. CI’s investments and loans provide critical funding to entrepreneurs and growing businesses throughout the state.

During 2014, CI invested $20.2 million in 44 startups in the areas of bioscience, information technology, clean energy technology, and financial technology, attracting $61.8 million in additional capital from venture capitalists and angel investors. Of the 44 companies, 32 were existing portfolio companies that received additional growth capital, while 12 were newly identified opportunities. CI also provided $15 million in loans to 22 companies to assist in their growth, attracting $37.4 million in additional capital from Connecticut banks.

“CI has proved to be a vital element in the state’s innovation scene. Over the past year we’ve continued to help companies with both early-stage investments and loans, enabling them to grow operations, hire employees, and commit resources to business essentials such as office space and R&D,” said Claire Leonardi, CEO of CI. “What we offer goes beyond just a dollar figure – our companies benefit from the many intangible assets under our umbrella, and we look forward to building on the energy we see in the marketplace.”

Other highlights of the 2014 investment year include:

  • CI’s Specialty Finance Group provided $32.4 million in tax exempt financing to nine companies. The group is an important collaborator with other state agencies to help recruit companies to the state and to help Connecticut-based companies invest for growth.
  • The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF), one of two funds CI manages under BioInnovation Connecticut, has awarded nearly $4 million to bioscience projects in 2014, which is intended to speed up the commercialization of bioscience breakthroughs. CBIF is a $200 million fund that will make investments over the next 10 years in the form of grants, equity investments and loans. CI also funded 18 projects totaling $9.9 million through its other bio-innovation fund, the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund (RMRF), formerly the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Fund.
  • CI awarded $216,000 to 21 Connecticut startups through its Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIAs), a competitive pitch event held four times a year throughout the state. Over the course of the year, more than 450 attendees watched 33 companies compete at the Shark Tank-like event, which provided up to $10,000 to entrepreneurs in Connecticut for growth-related activities.
  • Through CTNext, Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem whose goal is to build the state’s startup community, CI awarded $2.4 million to support 21 partners who, by providing assistance such as co-working space, technology education, networking events, mentoring and business guidance from entrepreneurs-in-residence, helped 240 young companies advance.
  • In addition to funding, CI provided support to hundreds of Connecticut companies through its expansive resources, including its executive-in-residence program that allows companies in its portfolio to use CI experts for help in areas such as operations, and public relations and marketing; its strategic partnership initiative that connects big and small businesses to each other and to customers, university researchers and more to assist in their growth; and the new resources section on its website, which contains articles, videos, podcasts and other educational materials that address Connecticut business owners’ most pressing questions on topics related to patents, HR, finance, operations, marketing and more.

“Increased CI investment levels and entrepreneurial community building efforts of the past several years have created incredible momentum, spurring the growth and development of young companies in Connecticut. In particular, we look forward to more commercialization and company spinouts from our universities, which has been a focus here at CI,” Leonardi added.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut's innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring $4 billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs. For more information on CI, please visit http://www.ctinnovations.com.

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Kelsea Michael
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