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CI Starting Funds to Encourage IT Jobs in Connecticut

Posted on September 28, 2010

CI has announced they are establishing funds to encourage the growth of IT jobs in Connecticut.

A new $4 million fund has been established to support the formation of very early-stage technology companies and jobs, Connecticut Innovations announced Monday.

Called the Connecticut Innovations Pre-Seed Fund, the pool of general obligation bonds can be used by start-up tech companies to cover expenses such as accounting and legal, intellectual property development, prototype development, business plan assistance and development, technology reviews, assessment or development, market analysis, market entry strategy development or hiring resources, consultants or employees.

CI is the state’s quasi-public authority that administers technology investing and innovation development. President and Executive Director Peter Longo said the fund was created in this year’s General Assembly session under Public Act 10-75, “An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Majority Leader’s Job Growth Roundtable,” and replaces CI’s former Pre-Seed Support Services Program.

“This definitely helps accelerate the formation of these businesses,” Longo said. “This helps spurinnovationaspeoplebecome displaced. People become much more entrepreneurial.”

CI has a portfolio of about 50 active companies, valued at about $42 million. The number of businesses in the portfolio has grown over the past year, but the value remained flat, Longo said.

The authority invests in early-stage, state-based tech companies, university/industry research collaborations, technology transfer and clean energy initiatives through the Connecticut Clean Energy Funds.

The new terms raise loan caps to $150,000, and applicants now must show evidence of private matching funds equal to 50 percent of their loan request.

Longo said CI is accepting applications and more information about terms and conditions and the loan application may be found at www.ctinnovations. com/preseed.

CI also oversees the Eli Whitney Fund, which provides financing for later-stage companies that are beyond the steps of proving concepts and are involved in commercialization. Longo said the authority’s relationship with entrepreneurs goes beyond closing the loan. CI also provides coaching and mentoring services.