PITTSBURGH, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Innovation Works today announced it has made commitments to invest in 9 companies from its March round. A total of 22 proposals were received and, after initial screenings, 14 were considered for investment and underwent due diligence and review by an expert panel. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991012/PHTU030 ) Applications were received for both the Innovation Fund, which provides funds for alpha-stage development; and the Commercialization Fund, which targets beta-stage projects. Total investment for this round is $1.69M bringing the size of Innovation Works investment portfolio to $5.2M. Investment Fund Technology Area Company County Investment Amount Innovation Fund Biotechnology CASurgica Allegheny $100,000 Inc. Sentek Group Allegheny $100,000 Inc. XACTIX Inc. Allegheny $99,938 Computer OnGuard Systems Allegheny $100,000 Hardware Inc. Computer PanGo Networks Allegheny $100,000 Software Inc. Commercial- ization Fund Biotechnology Sequel Genetics Allegheny $300,000 e-Commerce True Commerce Allegheny $300,000 Computer Fusionworks Allegheny $300,000 Hardware Digital Corp. Computer Entelechy Allegheny $287,753 Software Health Systems Two applicants, PanGo Networks and Sentek Group Inc., were also finalists in the EnterPrize Business Plan Competition with PanGo receiving a $10,000 second round prize. This competition has been effective in encouraging individuals with business ideas to become entrepreneurs, giving them an efficient conduit to local business people (coaches), management talent, and sources of capital like Innovation Works. "We continue to see an increase in the number of new, early stage technology companies in the region," said Douglas Goodall, President and CEO of Innovation Works. "We are also seeing an excellent mix of bio tech, software, robotics, and computing hardware companies which is evidence of the high potential for future technology clusters in southwestern Pennsylvania. With this current round of investments, the new Innovation Works client list has now grown to 27 exciting new companies -- in just nine months! We have great expectations for these companies and look forward to continued growth of the IW program as we prepare to enter our second year of operation." OnGuard Systems, Inc., who received a $100,000 investment in October 1999, also received assistance through both the IW Internship Program and the IW Mentoring Program. "I am very pleased that Innovation Works has decided to increase its investment in OnGuard, and am appreciative for other help it has provided our company," said Joshua Ziff, President and CEO of OnGuard Systems. "The decision to provide greater resources, including non-financial ones, to fewer client companies, which came with Innovation Works' emergence from the old Ben Franklin program, has proven to be very beneficial to us. For example, it is important for a small company to focus only on the best market opportunities. Several Innovations Works programs have helped us identify our focus areas. Their Mentoring Program linked us with an experienced, technically proficient, semiconductor industry executive, who has been working with us to answer key strategic marketing questions. The Innovation Works marketing intern who worked with us last summer helped us develop a short-list of market segments where our technology has considerable competitive advantage. I believe these efforts have increased OnGuard's likelihood for success." Innovation Works is a non-profit, community-funded investment organization that invests in firms that develop technology products or services for high- growth markets; have fewer than 100 employees; and reside in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington or Westmoreland county. Please call 412-681-1520 or visit www.innovationworks.org for more information.
SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.