Innovation Works Announces Investment Commitments

    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.

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