Innovation Works New Investment Approach and Organization Formally Launched Announces Target Technologies for First Funding Cycle

    PITTSBURGH, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Innovation Works, Inc. formally
 launched its new organization and streamlined approach for investment in
 southwestern Pennsylvania's young high-technology companies.  Innovation Works
 is a community-funded investment organization that was created to provide the
 funding and entrepreneurial services previously arranged under the Ben
 Franklin Technology Center of Western Pennsylvania and The Enterprise
 Corporation.
 
     Innovation Works Investment Approach
     Innovation Works strategy is to invest exclusively in early-stage,
 technology-based enterprises with a strong market outlook and path to
 commercialization.  Funding decisions are made quickly; Innovation Works
 funding decision cycle is designed to take approximately 30 days from proposal
 submission to investment recommendation.  Investments are structured to
 support key business milestones, and are coupled with the know-how and
 resources that are critical for success.
     "This investment approach is new for southwestern Pennsylvania, but it is
 patterned after other areas with very successful high-tech entrepreneur
 communities like Silicon Valley.  It will provide capital and expertise early
 and quickly, when companies need it most," explained Douglas Goodall,
 President and CEO of Innovation Works.
 
     Target Technologies for First Funding Decision Cycle
     Innovation Works began its first cycle for funding decisions under the new
 investment process on September 1, 1999.  Finalist technologies from this
 cycle include:
 
           -- 3D visualization
           -- biotech
           -- hardware systems
           -- robotics
           -- e-commerce
           -- multi-media self-help
 
     Investment recipients will be announced in early October.
 
     Innovation Works Organization
     Innovation Works mission is to increase the new-enterprise success rate in
 southwestern Pennsylvania by insuring that high-potential technology companies
 have efficient access to the right people, expertise, and risk capital.
     The Innovation Works organization has three key components: the Innovation
 Works Investment Fund, providing three levels of funding to young enterprises;
 Innovation Networks, a network of business expertise and services; and the
 Enterprise Advocates, who assist companies with proposal submission and
 coordinate support resources to facilitate execution.
 
     Innovation Works Investment Fund
     The Innovation Works Investment Fund has three investment programs:
 
    -- Innovation Investments, which provide up to $100,000 to develop a
        prototype or proof-of-concept.
    -- Commercialization Investments which provide up to $300,000 to develop a
        prototype into a commercially-ready solution.
    -- Emerging Company Investments that offer up to $500,000 to launch a
        commercialized offering to the market place.
 
     Innovation Works Investment Criteria
     Innovation Works invests in high-technology enterprises that develop high-
 technology based products or services; employ less than 100 employees; exist
 as a business for fewer than three years; and are located in Allegheny,
 Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington or
 Westmoreland county.
 
     Visit www.innovationworks.org or contact Kelly Coticchia at 412-681-1520
 or kellyc@innovationworks.org. for more information.
 
 

SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.

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