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Home › News & Events › Venture capital funding grows to over $37 million for early-stage companies in the Bluegrass
Venture capital funding grows to over $37 million for early-stage companies in the Bluegrass
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2008) − Fifty five early-stage companies in the Lexington area reported an 82% increase in funding and 35% growth in jobs for 2007 as part of an annual survey conducted by the Lexington Venture Club. Survey results and individual company achievements will be featured this evening at the annual event celebrating Bluegrass Region entrepreneurs and early-stage companies.
“These phenomenal increases in activity tell us that the Lexington area is a very healthy location to grow these early-stage tech companies,” said Bob Quick, Commerce Lexington President and CEO. “Venture capital and a skilled workforce are the two most important issues to these companies, 40 percent of which are biotech and health-care related.”
The companies also represent the information technology & software, food & consumer products, advanced manufacturing, businesses services, and education & media business sectors.
Bluegrass early-stage companies attracted a record $64.5 million in funding during 2007, with more that half coming from venture capital. Additional funding came from angel investors, federal grants, Kentucky state funds including a new state matching program, strategic partners, and the entrepreneurs themselves. Venture capital investment has grown from zero dollars in 2003 (the first year of the survey) to over $37 million in 2007.
"This survey demonstrates the strong growth that is possible if we focus our economic development efforts in key areas, such as the horse, healthcare and high-tech industries," said Mayor Jim Newberry. "The growth in these young companies and the good-paying jobs they have produced are very encouraging signs for the future of our economy."
A total 422 people were employed in these early-stage companies in 2007 — 341 held full time positions with an average salary of $61,300. A record 162 new jobs were created.
“This is a case where the numbers speak for themselves,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “Being able to invest $64.5 million in early-stage companies right here in the Bluegrass is amazing – and it shows how much this community is starting to understand the value of the knowledge economy. It also shows how much value a research university adds to its community. Thirty-two of the 55 companies that received funding are based on UK research or are associated with UK through a collaborative agreement. Providing new ideas, innovative breakthroughs, and high-tech career opportunities is precisely what a Top 20 public research university can and should do for this community. And we look forward to doing more of it in the years ahead.”
Dan Kloiber, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Exstream Software will be the keynote speaker at the Venture Club celebration. Hewlett Packard Co. announced this week the purchase of Exstream Software, ranked as one of the world’s fastest growing technology companies. The Lexington-based company recently opened its new international headquarters at UK’s Coldstream Research Campus.
The Lexington Venture Club was founded in 2002 by Commerce Lexington, the University of Kentucky, and the Lexington Innovation and Commercialization Center to bring entrepreneurs, investors and service providers together to share new business opportunities. Survey results are available at www.lexingtonventureclub.com.