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Award Winning TBED Groups Garner Praise, Support to Expand Reach

April 02, 2014

SSTI Excellence in TBED award winners produce real results that are changing the landscape of their communities, expanding infrastructure to grow high-tech sectors and improving the competitiveness of their regions. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed in the broader innovation community. Over the past couple of months, award winners have grabbed headlines – and funding – for their impressive work. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker stopped by Clemson University’s Center for Automotive Research to tout its success in workforce development. In St. Louis, Monsanto recently awarded $2.5 million to BioSTL to support bioscience startups and, in Arizona, a $1 million grant will help fund ASU accelerator programs.

Commerce Secretary Touts CU-ICAR Model

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has prioritized workforce development as part of her platform – particularly focusing on matching worker skills with industry demands. As she toured CU-ICAR last week, Secretary Pritzker said ICAR's campus “is a tremendous example of an educational institution conducting the type of leading-edge research that will keep America competitive in the 21st century and also working directly with industry to train workers for in-demand, high-skilled jobs.”

Secretary Pritzker outlined the progressive approach to educating and training students for jobs in the automotive industry that won the group national recognition. CU-ICAR offers both master’s and doctoral programs designed with input from the auto industry, including BMW and Michelin. They also work closely with private sector partners to conduct research and training that meets industry needs. Read the press announcement.

CU-ICAR was a 2012 Excellence in TBED award winner for Improving Competitiveness of Existing Industries. Listen to our exclusive interview with Fred Cartwright: http://www.sstiawards.org/?p=148.

$2.5M Corporate Grant Awarded to Expand St. Louis Bioscience Startups

Diversified funding sources, including corporate and philanthropic donations, have helped grow and sustain BioSTL since its formation. Last week, the group announced a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the Monsanto Company that, in part, will help launch new bioscience startups through the BioGenerator. As a subsidiary of BioSTL, the BioGenerator is a catalyst to grow the region’s life sciences cluster by providing pre-seed and seed investment funds, shared lab space with specialized equipment, and strategic support and access to networks for emerging bioscience startups. Grant funding also will be used to support other BioSTL programming, such as promoting inclusion in biosciences and increasing the availability of investment capital for St. Louis startups by growing investor awareness. Read the announcement.

BioSTL and BioGenerator were recognized for their success in Building Entrepreneurial Capacity as a 2013 Excellence in TBED award winner. Check back soon for our exclusive interview with Eric Gulve: http://www.sstiawards.org/?page_id=53.

VC Fund Established for ASU Accelerator Programs

A $1 million grant from the Maricopa County Industrial Authority will be used to establish a venture capital fund to support early stage manufacturing startups coming out of ASU’s accelerator programs. The fund was developed by the ASU Foundation, the award-winning Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group, and Arizona Technology Enterprises. It is designed as an evergreen fund that will take small equity positions in companies that receive investments, which range from $50,000 to $250,000. The goal is to build the fund to $10 million through private donations.

“More than half the startups we have worked with over the last two and a half years have been manufacturing-related, and this new fund will support their growth and development as job and wealth creators,” said Gordon McConnell, ASU's associate vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation and a general partner of the new fund.

ASU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group was named Most Promising TBED Initiative in 2013. Listen to our exclusive interview with Gordon McConnell: http://www.sstiawards.org/?p=352.

Help us spread the news about the program!

SSTI’s open call for applications for the 2014 Excellence in TBED awards is April 16. Learn more: http://www.sstiawards.org/.

Arizona, Missouri, South Carolinadept of commerce, ssti, higher ed