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State and Local Tech-based ED RoundUp

November 09, 2001

Atlanta, Georgia 

A task force for the biotech industry is underway in the metro Atlanta region. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce announced the task force would be co-chaired by Dr. Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs and director of the health sciences center at Emory University, and Parker Petit, chairman, president and CEO of Matria Healthcare. With business and academic leaders, public health organizations and researchers, the task force is meeting monthly to develop a long-range strategy and five-year business plan to position the region as a center for biotech innovation, capital, talent and business. Implementation of the Atlanta region strategy is expected to begin later in 2002.

Baltimore, Maryland 

The newly formed Baltimore Venture Mentors (BVM) recently announced it is accepting applications for its pro bono mentoring program. BVM will help companies implement their ideas into viable business models, with emphasis on polishing funding presentations and assisting with strategic positioning. All work will be done on a pro bono basis at meetings held on the third Wednesday of every month, when two companies will present for half an hour followed by a 30-minute critique and discussion with the BVM team. Within a week of each meeting, the companies will receive a written summation of the team's feedback and counsel. To participate, companies must submit a one page executive summary of their business plan and receive a preliminary review by a mentor partner.

Orange County, California 

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to the Rancho Santiago Community College District for the construction of the Digital Media Business Accelerator, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 20,000-square-foot incubator will offer space for 10 to 15 businesses that will receive help from Venture Point, a small-business development program in Orange County. Participating companies also will benefit from broadband and fiber-optic communication systems and computers.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Adding to the efforts to build a system-on-a-chip tech cluster in Pittsburgh, Gov. Mark Schweiker delivered $6.2 million in state funds to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to help construct a $31.4 million office and research building on the campus. The 120,000 sq. ft. facility will house the Pittsburgh Research Lab, a recently announced partnership between Intel Corp. and CMU to conduct research for the next generation of computer data storage. The state investment includes $5 million in capital budget redevelopment assistance funds and a $1.2 million Infrastructure Development Program grant through the Department of Community and Economic Development. 

Other tenants for the space will include the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, which announced last week that, during its first two years of operations, it had already helped to create 661 new tech jobs for the area.

Roanoke, Virginia 

EDA also awarded a $2 million grant for the expansion of a business incubator in Roanoke, Va., according to the Roanoke Times & World News. The New River Valley Competitiveness Center will add more than 20,000 sq. ft. to its existing 31,000 sq. ft., thanks to the EDA grant, a $250,000 state grant and a $1.3 million loan from The National Bank in Blacksburg. Presently, the incubator situates 12 businesses in 16,000 sq. ft. available office space. Construction of the new space, which could house up to 15 offices, began Sept. 20.  

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