PITTSBURGH, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Innovation Works, the
Pittsburgh region's most active and largest seed-stage investor in
technology start-ups, invested in its 100th company since the inception of
the organization's seed fund in late 1999. The portfolio companies also
reached an unprecedented single-year milestone of attracting more than $100
million in follow-on investment from private and other sources in 2007.
In total, Innovation Works (IW) has invested more than $35 million
since 1999, with portfolio companies going on to raise more than $425
million in follow-on financing in the same period. Some of the earliest IW
investments are now paying off in terms of additional venture capital,
company growth, product sales, and local employment.
Innovation Works made more first-time investments in 2007 than any
other single year since its inception, adding 17 new companies to the
state-sponsored organization's investment portfolio and surpassing the
100-company mark. "With 17 new companies added to the investment portfolio
in 2007 -- and more than 100 since its inception -- Innovation Works has
proven to be a statewide leader in early-stage technology investment," said
Dennis Yablonsky, Secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Community &
Economic Development. "The milestones reached by Innovation Works and their
portfolio companies demonstrate the organization's ability to develop
companies that affect the most innovative industry sectors in the world."
One of those innovative companies is Aethon, Inc., maker of the robotic
"Tug" that automates supply chain logistics in hospitals. Aethon received
one of IW's first investments in 2000. Since then, the company has doubled
revenues every year, employs over 100 people (75 employed at the company's
headquarters in Robinson Township), has more than 100 client hospitals
throughout the country and has raised $20 million in venture capital. "The
entire start-up community has grown substantially since our first
investment from Innovation Works," says Aldo Zini, President and CEO of
Aethon. "It's fantastic that 100 start-ups have received investment from
Innovation Works and that those companies have hit a milestone like
attracting $100 million in outside money in a single year. It really speaks
to the growing strength of our technology community in every way -- the
research, entrepreneurial growth, availability of capital and the talent
that is here."
In 2007, Innovation Works added the following companies to the
-- Accipiter Systems, Inc.
-- Alertek, LLC
-- BIOSAFE, Inc.
-- Bossa Nova Concepts, LLC
-- CastGrabber, LLC
-- Ciespace Corporation
-- Cognition Therapeutics, Inc.
-- Concurrent Electronic Design Automation, LLC
-- Coventina Healthcare Enterprises, Inc.
-- ImpactGames, LLC.
-- MobileFusion, Inc.
-- Pertuity, Inc.
-- RedPack Logistics, Inc.
-- ShowClix LLC
-- Sim Ops Studios, Inc.
-- ThermalTherapeutic Systems, Inc.
In addition, Innovation Works re-invested in the following portfolio
companies to continue fueling their growth in 2007:
-- ClearCount Medical Solutions, Inc.
-- DesignAdvance Systems, Inc.
-- Knopp Neurosciences Inc.
-- Proteopure, Inc.
-- Cellatope Corporation (formerly StageMark, Inc.)
-- TowerCare Technologies, LLC
"2007 was a banner year for Innovation Works; but more importantly, it
was a strong year for the young technology companies here that hit
extraordinary milestones of their own," said Rich Lunak, President & CEO of
Innovation Works. "In previous years, IW invested in seed-stage companies
that became the region's technology powerhouses: FORE Systems, Automated
HealthCare, VoCollect, Precision Therapeutics, and others. These companies
have had a significant impact on the region's economy and talent pool. Now
there are strong signs of growth in the current portfolio of start-up
companies -- one of the best indicators being that the majority of local
companies that received venture capital in the past two years have been
Innovation Works portfolio companies. This bodes well for their future
growth and solidifies Pittsburgh as an area for additional private
SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.