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Venture Funding Hits Record $69 Million for Lexington Area Companies
Lexington, Ky – (Jan. 29, 2009) Venture funding, including angel and venture capital investments and mergers and acquisitions, totaled a record $69 million last year according to the annual survey by the Lexington Venture Club. The 68 early stage companies that participated in the survey also reported 230 new jobs in the Lexington-Bluegrass region. Over the past two years more than $133 million in venture funds was raised.
“Record investments of $69 million in the current economic climate are an indicator of the resilience of Lexington’s economy,” said Bob Quick, President & CEO of Commerce Lexington. “Initiatives like the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, that includes local government, the University of Kentucky and Commerce Lexington, have helped strengthen Lexington’s position in the marketplace.”
Last year, Forbes ranked Lexington the 5th Best Place for Business and Careers, and Business Facilities named Lexington the 2nd Most Educated Workforce.
The companies, with a total 532 full and part time employees, reported total annual revenue of $37.8 million, an 18% increase over 2007. The average full-time salary was $65,000. The majority of the companies are in the biotech & healthcare, IT & software and advanced manufacturing industry sectors.
“We’re pleased that 39 of the 68 companies were associated with the University of Kentucky either through licensing UK technologies or collaborative projects with UK,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “This illustrates the value of a top research university to both local and state economic development initiatives.”
The Lexington Venture Club will release the annual survey results at the Celebrating Entrepreneurs 2008 event today at Coldstream Research Campus.
Mersive Technologies, producers of large, high resolution digital displays, will be recognized with the “Most Money Raised” award. Recently, Mersive closed a $4.6 million Series B round of venture capital financing lead by Hopewell Ventures and including existing investors Adena Ventures, the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation and the Bluegrass Angels Venture Fund. Bill Sutter with Hopewell Ventures, and Jeff Doose, Adena Ventures, will be keynote speakers for the event.
Other awards will go to UK alumnus Davis Marksbury for his recent $6 million donation to develop UK’s Digital Village, LevTech for its $27 million acquisition by ATMI Inc., and Coldstream Laboratories Inc. for the most new jobs created.
Celebrating Entrepreneurs 2008 will be hosted by Woodford Webb, Chairman of Commerce Lexington, and include remarks from Lee T. Todd Jr., Mayor Jim Newberry, and Bob Quick.
The Lexington Venture Club was founded in 2002 by Commerce Lexington, UK’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship 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.