ALISO VIEJO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - Orange County's technology entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to flourish. Today OCTANe, the Orange County startup accelerator dedicated to connecting people and ideas with capital and resources to fuel technology growth, announced that investment in startups involved in its LaunchPad SBDC program increased by 30 percent in the first half of 2012 over the same period last year. From January through June 2012, the total investment in LaunchPad-affiliated companies reached more than $25.3 million.
Since the inception of OCTANe's LaunchPad program, initial investment in affiliated startups has surpassed $114 million. When aggregated with follow-on funding and equity exit activity, total investment in OCTANe LaunchPad companies since 2004 now approaches $250 million.
"Increased interest across all of OCTANe's regional innovation clusters is driving a significant increase in investment activity in our LaunchPad companies," said Matthew Jenusaitis, president and CEO of OCTANe. "The Orange County technology ecosystem continues to thrive in medical devices, information technology, and cleantech, and we are optimistic that the trend will continue through the rest of the year."
The increased funding activity includes companies such as:
- STROMA Medical Corp. - $840,000 - develops laser medical device that gives patients permanent eye color change
- BioPhotas - $650,000 - develops and sells light energy medical devices for addressing dermatological and musculoskeletal conditions
- Cirro Inc. - $1.27 million - Big data integration platform
- Harbor MedTech Inc. - $610,000 - Biologics infused with anti-microbials for use in wound healing
- NudgeRx - $650,000 - develops web-based hospital recovery support solutions
- MelRoK - $2 million - System for energy monitoring and management in commercial and industrial facilities
- OncoSec Medical - $7.75 million - develops therapies to treat solid tumors
- Pivotshare - $1 million - Platform for monetizing digital media
- For the full list, click here
Through its non-profit LaunchPad SBDC program, OCTANe has helped more than 120 early-stage technology companies raise hundreds of millions in investment capital. The pro-bono program is OCTANe's hands-on accelerator for startups in the technology, life science and clean tech industries. LaunchPad is a part of the Orange County/Inland Empire regional SBDC network and partially funded by a grant from the US Small Business Administration. "We are delighted with the impressive results that the LaunchPad SBDC has achieved in the first half of 2012," said Priscilla Lopez, Regional Director Orange County / Inland Empire Regional SBDC. "Building innovative new companies is the foundation of our economic recovery. Our regional SBDC is very proud of the work being done at OCTANe and the LaunchPad Small Business Development Center, and very encouraged by the progress that they are making in creating jobs in Orange County by building the high tech ecosystem," she said.
"My background is in academia, and LaunchPad was like a crash course MBA," said Dr. Nazli Azimi, a LaunchPad alumna and founder and CEO of Bioniz, which received $500,000 in funding in the first half of 2012. "While I understand the science aspect of my company, OCTANe helps me to better understand the business components. LaunchPad helped me turn my scientific discovery into a promising business."
Entrepreneurs interested in learning about LaunchPad can visit the OCTANe website for more information.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2012, OCTANe connects people and ideas with capital and resources to fuel technology growth in Orange County. Its members represent Orange County technology executive leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, academicians, and strategic advisors, all working together to fuel innovation in the OC. The organization has helped over 120 companies receive nearly $250 million in investment and equity exits, enabled over 500 companies to connect via the LaunchPad accelerator, and annually welcomes more than 7,000 people to its programs and events. Over 2,000 business leaders throughout the Orange County region are OCTANe members. For more information, visit www.octaneoc.org.