OTHER STATES LOOKING AT WISCONSIN'S BIOFUELS INDUSTRY
Wisconsin has been a good place to start an innovative biofuels business, but competition from other states for the chance to build the first plants could draw away the industry, Virent Energy Systems CEO Lee Edwards says. But he says Virent isn't leaving.
VIRENT PROJECT WINS FEDERAL FUNDING Virent Energy Systems Inc. was awarded up to $4 million on Tuesday for a project to accelerate the development of drop-in biofuels as well as bio-based chemicals. Virent's was one of three small-scale projects awarded funding by the Department of Energy, the agency announced.
GREEN BOTTLE GETS A BOOST FROM NEW PLANT-BASED PET
The search for a fully renewable PET drinks bottle has moved a step closer with the development of a PET feedstock from plant sugars. By using its own catalytic process, the US-based Virent, a Wisconsin CAPCO program portfolio company, has created paraxylene (PX), a new feedstock created entirely from plant-based sugars.
U.S. INVESTING $9 MILLION IN ISRAELI ALTERNATIVE FUELS START-UPS
The grant is the second U.S. government award that HCL Cleantech has received this year. In January HCL Cleantech and its American partner, Wisconsin-based CAPCO program company, Virent Energy Systems Inc., received a $900,000 grant from BIRD Energy, a program for U.S.-Israel joint renewable energy development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, and the BIRD Foundation.
VIRENT'S BIOFUELS PROCESS WINS MORE RESEARCH FUNDS
Madison-based Virent Energy on Monday was one of two companies selected to proceed with additional research and development of "drop-in" biofuels. The National Advanced Biofuels Consortium was funding six different technological processes that are being developed to replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, and is now moving forward with a second phase of research.
DOE DROPS $12 MILLION ON DROP-IN BIOFUELS
The money was awarded to three firms. LanzaTech of Roselle, Ill., will receive up to $4 million to develop a cost-effective technology that converts biomass-derived ethanol into jet fuel using catalysts. Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina will receive up to $4 million to integrate two processes: a thermochemical process that produces a bio-crude intermediate from biomass, and a hydroprocessing technology that effectively and efficiently upgrades the bio-crude into gasoline and diesel. Virent Energy Systems of Madison, Wisc., a CAPCO Program company, will receive up to $4 million to convert biomass into oxygenated chemical intermediates which can then be refined and blended into gasoline and jet fuel.
LEGISLATORS SHOULD ACT TO CREATE JOBS HERE
I understand that the political climate has been less than cordial to say the least, but we are talking about new jobs. That part of the bill was called a "CAPCO" (CAPCO Program) - an acronym for "certified capital companies" - and it encouraged insurance companies to invest some of their money here in Wisconsin rather than, for instance, buying Treasury bills from Goldman Sachs in New York.
DISTRICT-BASED TECH FIRM RECEIVES $1.6M INVESTMENT FROM ADVANTAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS Washington DC CAPCO Program enables business growth for agencyQ. Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, has invested $1.6 million in agencyQ, Inc., an interactive technology services firm based in Washington, D.C. The funds, raised in connection with the DC CAPCO Program, will enable the company to continue to grow and create additional high-tech jobs in the D.C. area.
VIRENT RECEIVES DOE AWARD FOR JET FUEL DEVELOPMENT Virent announced it has received its largest single federal award to date, up to $13.4M subject to final contract negotiations with the DOE, to employ its patented catalytic process in the conversion of corn stover to jet fuel. The award is part of $36M that the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) is using to fund projects aimed at improving the economics and efficiency of biological and chemical processes that convert nonfood biomass feedstocks into replacements for petroleum-based feedstocks, products and fuels.
50 COMPANIES TO WATCH
Choosing just 50 companies to watch in the medical device industry is no easy task. After all, the industry is known for its diversity, not to mention its daily innovations. The challenge for MD+DI editors was to identify not only those companies that have achieved success, but also to find those manufacturers with the potential to revolutionize care practices. To that end we found some companies you may not have heard of, and we found some that may not even have products on the market. One of the businesses highlighted is NeuWave Medical Inc., a CAPCO program portfolio company located in Wisconsin.
NeuWave Medical Inc., Madison, WI Key products: Microwave ablation Reason to watch: NeuWave Medical's Certus 140 is a soft tissue ablation system with pending FDA clearance. It was designed to minimize invasiveness and provide an ergonomic user interface. NeuWave is the result of an academic collaboration between engineers and physicians who wished to improve clinical outcomes. Raising venture capital enabled NeuWave to attract a strong leadership team, driving product conception to submission within 24 months.
MADISON DRUG COMPANY CELLECTAR TO MERGE WITH BOSTON'S NOVELOS
Cellectar Inc., a CAPCO program a CAPCO program portfolio business located in Madison that is a pharmaceutical company working on cancer-fighting drugs, has merged with a publicly traded Boston-area firm, Novelos Therapeutics Inc. The transaction essentially grafts Cellectar's research onto the upper management of Novelos. With the merger, Novelos will shift its official headquarters from Newton, Mass., to Madison..
VIRENT WINS FEDERAL GRANT FOR FUEL STUDY Virent Energy Systems Inc. of Madison was awarded up to $13.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Friday for research that seeks to produce renewable jet fuel from nonfood crops. The Virent project is the largest of six advanced biofuels projects across the country that together were awarded up to $36 million. The projects aim to improve the economics and the efficiency of processes that convert feedstocks such as corn stalks into biofuels, the department said.
GREEN BOTTLE GETS A BOOST FROM NEW PLANT-BASED PET
A CAPCO program portfolio company, Virent, has been working on a new feedstock. The search for a fully renewable PET drinks bottle has moved a step closer with the development of a PET feedstock from plant sugars. By using its own catalytic process, the US-based company Virent has created paraxylene (PX), a new feedstock created entirely from plant-based sugars.
ACCURAY'S CYBERKNIFE AND TOMOTHERAPY SYSTEMS HIGHLIGHTED AT WORLD CONFERENCE ON LUNG CANCER
Accuray Inc., a Wisconsin CAPCO program portfolio business that is the premier radiation oncology company, announced new clinical data highlighting the ability of its CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System and its TomoTherapy® Radiation Therapy System to treat a wide range of patients with lung cancer and lung metastases. The new outcome data was presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer, the leading global forum for lung cancer and thoracic oncology research and practice, which took place July 3-7, 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
EMERGING MARKET FOR GREEN COMPANIES PROMINENT IN DC
Skyline Innovations, an energy savings solar company, has emerged as the winner of 2011 Washington, DC Economic Partnership's (WDCEP) annual Business Plan Competition. The company, which competed against a pool of stand-out startups and other DC business ventures, was selected by a panel of judges over the course of the last month to receive the $150,000 award: a $100,000 investment made possible through Enhanced Capital Partners and Advantage Capital Partners via the CAPCO program, and $50,000 of in-kind services.
HOSPICE PARTNERS OF TEXAS OBTAINS $3.3 MILLION IN FUNDING FROM ADVANTAGE CAPITAL Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, has provided $3.3 million in financing to Hospice Partners of Texas. The funding, raised in connection with the Texas Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) program, will allow the company to expand through the acquisition of Alamo Hospice, maintaining 70 full-time staff and a dozen part-time staff in the San Antonio region. Further growth is expected in the coming months, as Hospice Partners intends to expand Alamo Hospice and create additional jobs.
ENVIRELATION WINS BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION, SECURES $100,000 INVESTMENT VIA THE DISTRICT'S CAPCO PROGRAM
EnviRelation, an environmentally sustainable food composter, won the $100,000 Business Plan Competition at the WDCEP's 2010 Small Business Awards.
CAPCO PROGRAMS AT WORK NATIONWIDE
In 1983, Louisiana became the first state to pass CAPCO-enabling legislation, and the nation’s first program began there in 1988. Since then, eight more jurisdictions have approved certified capital company programs. Observing the beneficial impact of the Louisiana program, Missouri (1997), New York, (1998), Florida (1999) and Wisconsin (1999) passed their own versions. In recent years, Colorado (2002), Alabama (2004), Washington D.C. (2005) and Texas (2005) also have adopted programs. In a convincing indication of support for certified capital company programs, several of these jurisdictions have gone on to renew their programs—some on multiple occasions—including Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, and Texas.
CAPCO PROGRAMS GROW JOBS AND FUNDING
Through fall 2008, total CAPCO investments amount to more than $1 billion nationwide, which has attracted an additional $6 billion in follow-on capital into portfolio companies. The ratio of certified capital company funding to follow-on investment is 1:6.34; meaning each dollar of CAPCO funding attracted an additional non-CAPCO investment of more than six dollars. This funding has enabled these companies to continue growing and resulted in the retention and creation of more than 21,000 jobs. These findings must be viewed as conservative projections of the total amount of jobs and follow-on capital that CAPCO programs have generated nationwide to date. Furthermore, because some of these programs have more capacity to invest and are far from fully mature, these numbers are expected to grow significantly in coming years.
CAPCO PROGRAMS FUND A WIDE RANGE OF INDUSTRIES
Industries that have received investments under CAPCO programs include technology, telecom, manufacturing, life sciences, business services, agriculture, transportation, oil and gas and financial services.
CAPCO PROGRAMS ENABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT through TARGETED VENTURE CAPITAL
Access to venture capital is not only recognized as critical for business startups and expansions, but also for state and local economic development. Tax credits have been an effective incentive tool in these efforts, and certified capital company programs show considerable advantages over other programs. CAPCOs alleviate political pressure to place state monies in specific projects and allow experienced investors to prudently invest in promising businesses and development projects. Certified capital company programs also have the advantage of being less burdensome on the state than other capital formation policies since state premium tax credits do not require current state budget expenditures or bond sales, and allocating the tax credits over time reduces the cost.
In the states in which they operate, CAPCO programs have brought a tremendous amount of capital to small businesses and helped to bolster and develop local economies. Legislatures ought to be deliberate and thoughtful about enacting economic development programs, and the CAPCO program is a proven and effective tool in a time of critical need.