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Friday, June 17, 2011

Fate of Emerging Technology Fund Tied Up In Special Session Negotiations

With education and health programs facing steep cuts in the face of an estimated $27 billion shortfall in the state budget, there was never much hope that lawmakers would find extra money to allocate for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) this session.

Therefore supporters of the ETF, which provides early-stage financing for promising technology start-up companies, have been hoping the Legislature would simply leave the program alone rather than raiding its unexpended funds and/or shutting it down altogether.

But so far they are still waiting on a final resolution. The fate of the ETF is tied up in House Bill 1, the big appropriations bill that was filibustered at the end of the regular session. Jim Poage, president and CEO of San Antonio-based Startech, the nonprofit entity that works with start-up companies to help them to grow and gain access to capital, says he is fairly confident that things are going well. But he won’t know for sure until the final details get worked out during the Special Session that is currently underway.

“They are debating a number of riders with details that must be worked out,” Poage says. “I still think we are in great shape, but it would have been nice if we had gotten this passed during the regular session.”

The ETF, which was established five years ago, has already invested about $193 million in 131 early stage companies. Startech is one of the entities that helps to manage those investments. Poage says it would not make much sense to walk away now.

The ETF is one of the highest profile jobs programs in the U.S., Poage says. The ETF needs to continue nurture those companies to protect and watch over the investment that has already been made.

Fate of Emerging Technology Fund

Gov Rick Perry Explaining Fund

What Is EFT?

TETF Advisory Committee

The Governor has appointed a blue-ribbon ETF Advisory Committee composed of individuals who are industry leaders in Texas and or who are nationally recognized researchers from public or private institutions of higher education in Texas.

Commercialization Awards

The goal of the ETF Commercialization Awards is to grow new small businesses and existing businesses to accelerate new products and services to the marketplace. Through these investments, the goal is to ensure a vibrant economy for Texas and a global leadership position. Commercialization awards provide selected, early-stage investments in new, technology-based, private entrepreneurial entities that collaborate with public or private institutions of higher education in Texas, and which, if successful, may provide significant economic benefit to the state.

Research Superiority Acquisition Awards

The ETF Research Superiority Acquisition goal is to bring the best and brightest researchers in the world to Texas. This enables our Texas academic institutions to continue to build expertise in key research areas, attract and encourage students to pursue advanced degrees in math, sciences, and engineering, and provide an invaluable resource to the community, especially fostering innovation and commercialization in our companies.

Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization

Seven regions of the state have been established to administer the program through a "Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization." In addition, a statewide Life Science Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization also was formed.

Helps Texas Meet Future Energy Challenges

The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the urging of Gov. Perry to provide Texas with an unparalleled advantage in the research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies.Your feedback is always welcome. Thank you!

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