COLUMBIA, SC – December 7, 2007 – SC Launch!, an SCRA affiliate, announced today that Progress Energy has directed $650,000 to the SC Launch! Industry Partnership Fund, which helps fuel the knowledge economy through strategic investments in technology start-ups within the state.
The Progress Energy allocation is the largest received by the fund. The State of South Carolina created a program that allows taxpayers to designate a portion of their state income tax to the S.C. industry partnership fund. The maximum total allocation allowed by the 2006 legislative act for 2007 is $4 million.
“Progress Energy is proud to again support the S.C. Industry Partnership Fund,” said Emerson Gower, Progress Energy Southern Region Vice President.
“We are committed to promoting economic development in South Carolina and to supporting the future of our state’s knowledge economy. We applaud the
leadership of Senator Hugh Leatherman and Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell for introducing and advancing the legislation to create the Industry Partners
Act. This initiative provides opportunities for entrepreneurial development throughout the Pee Dee and in all of South Carolina.”
SC Launch! utilizes the funds to accelerate entrepreneurial growth of technology start-ups that are creating high-paying jobs and building equity in the future for all of South Carolina. SC Launch! supplies high-potential entrepreneurs and researchers with key tools for success by supporting their companies with a mix of mentoring and seed money of up to $200,000. In addition, SC Launch! provides matching grants of up to $100,000 for companies awarded SBIR/STTR Phase I awards.
“The initial success of the Industry Partnership Fund symbolizes the commitment of insightful legislators, individuals and businesses like Progress Energy in South Carolina to drive growth in the Knowledge Economy,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “Our business, economic and political leaders in this state
understand the need to build a competitive, dynamic Knowledge Economy that will invigorate South Carolina business. This support provides the foundation
for South Carolina’s future success.”
SC Launch! has provided 34 companies with seed funding in the form of grants, loans or equity investments and provided counsel and support to more than 60 start-ups. The average salary of jobs created to date by these start-ups is $77,000. Additionally, SC Launch!-supported companies have to date secured
more than $30 million in follow-on venture capital and private equity financing.
Funds directed to the Industry Partnership Fund are combined with the $12 million from SCRA’s strategic cash reserves already committed to SC Launch! to
execute the Innovation Centers Act. Under this legislation, SCRA collaborates with Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the
University of South Carolina to advance the commercialization of research and technology.
In calendar year 2008, and for calendar years thereafter, the individual limit eligible for tax credit is $2 million, and the maximum allowed is $6 million.
Inquiries concerning 2008 tax credits are already being received, according to Dave McNamara, SCRA Senior Vice President and SC Launch! Program Executive.
“With such enthusiastic response in 2006 and 2007, we are preparing for successfully soliciting $6 million for the 2008 Industry Partnership Fund
drive,” McNamara said. “Tax dollars eligible for designation to the Industry Partnership Fund are being accepted on a first-come, first-accepted basis, so
we encourage early commitments by individuals and corporations. These earmarked funds are important for all South Carolinians because they help
create new technology businesses, higher paying jobs and a stronger knowledge economy.”
About Progress Energy (www.progress-energy.com)
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $10 billion
in annual revenues. The company includes two major utilities that serve more than 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy is
the 2006 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute’s Edison Award, the industry’s highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence. The
company also is the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder’s Award for customer service. Progress Energy serves two
fast-growing areas of the country, and the company is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance
includes increased energy efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information
about Progress Energy, visit the company’s Web site at www.progress-energy.com.
About SC Launch (www.sclaunch.org)
SC Launch!, an SCRA affiliate, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful Resource Network.
The SC Launch! mission is to help generate knowledge economy jobs in South Carolina, enhance the state’s quality of life and provide opportunity for all
South Carolinians in the new economy.
About SCRA (www.scra.org)
SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in Anderson, Charleston, and Columbia. SCRA collaborates to
advance technology with industry, government, and research universities like Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical
University of South Carolina.