SCRA Garners $6,000,000 in Industry Partnership Fund Contributions on Behalf of SC Launch! Program

June 17, 2008

Companies, Individuals Invest to Spur Knowledge Economy through S.C. Tax Credits

COLUMBIA, SC, June 16, 2008 – SCRA , in partnership with its affiliate, SC Launch!, has garnered $6 million in private donations toward the Industry Partnership Fund, which will help fuel the Knowledge Economy through strategic investments in technology start-ups within the state.

The $6 million figure represents the maximum amount of tax-creditable donations for calendar year 2008 allowed by the 2006 Industry Partners Act, which went into effect in July, 2006. Businesses and Individuals who contributed to the fund received tax credits toward their South Carolina income tax for 100 percent of the donated amount. Seventeen corporations and 145 individuals contributed to the Industry Partnership Fund in 2008. The total of 162 contributors compares to 116 in 2007 and 16 in 2005.

SCRA 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 South Carolina. SCRA support of the SC Launch! program supplies high-potential entrepreneurs and researchers with key tools for success, a mix of mentoring and seed money of up to $200,000. The SC Launch! program also provides matching grants of up to $100,000 for companies awarded SBIR/STTR Phase I awards. Additional SC Launch! programs include grants for pre-company and university start-up initiatives, landing parties and demonstration projects.

“The sustained success of the Industry Partnership Fund symbolizes the commitment of insightful legislators, businesses and individuals 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 Knowledge Economy that invigorates South Carolina. Support of the Industry Partnership Fund provides the foundation for South Carolina’s future success.”

SC Launch!, a private nonprofit SCRA affiliate has, since its April, 2006 inception, provided 53  companies with seed funding in the form of grants, loans or equity investments and provided counsel and support to more than 80 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 $42 million in follow-on venture capital and private equity financing.

Funds contributed to the Industry Partnership Fund are combined with the $12 million from SCRA’s strategic cash reserves committed through SCRA’S execution of the Innovation Centers Act.  SC Launch! was created by SCRA to effect this legislation. SC Launch! is an unprecedented collaboration with the research foundations of 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 donation limit eligible for tax credit is $2 million, and the total maximum in tax creditable donations allowed is $6 million. Inquiries concerning 2009 donations are already being received, according to Dave McNamara, SCRA Senior Vice President and SC Launch! Program Executive. The intent of the Industry Partnership Fund is to sustain Knowledge Economy development beyond 2008, when SCRA’s cash reserves are fully deployed. “These donated funds are important for all South Carolinians because they help create new technology businesses, higher paying jobs and a stronger knowledge economy,” he said.

“With such enthusiastic response in 2006,2007 and 2008, we are preparing for successfully soliciting $6 million for the 2009 Industry Partnership Fund drive,” McNamara said. “It’s remarkable that we’ve already raised the full state tax-creditable amount in the first half of the calendar year.” Tax dollars eligible for designation to the Industry Partnership Fund are being accepted on a first-come, first-accepted basis. SC Launch! encourages early commitments by individuals and corporations.

About SC Launch (

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 (

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. 

SC Launch! ™ is a trademark of SC Launch!, Inc. SCRA® is a registered trademark of SCRA.