2013 ANNUAL REPORT
SC Launch is advancing the Knowledge Economy through investment of its net revenues and private donations into qualified, high-tech companies. Since 2006, SCRA Technology Venturesâ€™ flagship SC Launch program has helped over 280 technology-based companies form and grow in South Carolina. SCRA and SC Launch have helped create approximately 15,000 technology-related jobs in the state, with annual wages averaging between $55,000 and $77,000.
Follow-on capital secured by SC Launch Portfolio Companies
SCRA funding supporting early-stage, high-tech companies
Average salary of the jobs created
Contributors to the Industry Partnership Fund
Entities receiving funding
Entities currently receiving support services
Entities receiving portfolio investments
SBIR/STTR matches awarded
Demonstration projects funded and executed
Companies relocated to South Carolina
National and International Economic Development Awards
COMMERCIALIZATION SERVICES RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT DISCOVERY NEW IDEAS CONTESTS
SC Launch fosters entrepreneurial thinking through support of regional idea pitch contests. Innovative thinkers are rewarded with tools to support their business ideas.
DUE DILIGENCE QUALIFICATION
Companies must pass through a rigorous qualification process to gain entry into the SC Launch Program.
SC Launch awards matching funds that have been granted either through Federal Small Business Innovation Research Awards, Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I Awards or University Start-up Assistance Program Awards.
Many discoveries that are seeds to new big ideas begin in research university laboratories. SC Launch works with research universities to assess the viability of new ideas.
SCRA Innovation Centers offer homes for emerging knowledge-based SC companies. Each of these centers is a catalyst for business development and commercialization of research discoveries.
SC Launch helps commercialize innovative technologies, from the lab to the marketplace; guiding and mentoring emerging companies as they continue to grow.
SUPPORTING GROWTH GUIDANCE & SUPPORT
COMPANY INVESTMENT SEED FUNDING
After due diligence and board approval, SC Launch provides investments to qualified SC-based technology companies.
Companies gain access to business and risk reduction expertise through a powerful Resource Network and strategic relationships.
Assistance, support and networking opportunities are offered to companies wishing to relocate to South Carolina and take advantage of the favorable business environment and quality of life the state has to offer.
SC Launch positions companies to seek additional capital from angel and venture sources. Our companies have secured over $260 million in follow-on funding.
FROM DISCOVERY TO COMMERCIALIZATION SC Launch supports each stage of the Innovation Pipeline by providing support, resources and funding.
VoterHeads Zumur EcoDual Care.IT
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SC LAUNCH SUPPORTS COMPANIES IN TECHNOLOGY SECTORS IDENTIFIED AS HAVING THE GREATEST Information Technology 9 42% Chemical & Engineering Process 5 24% STATEWIDE BENEFIT. Life Sciences 5 24% Energy Transportation Advanced Materials Defense
1 1 0 0
5% 5% 0 0
2013 SC Launch Investments 5%
Chemical & Engineering Process Life Sciences Energy
TECHNOLOGY CLUSTERS Information Technology Chemical and Engineering Process Life Sciences Energy Transportation Advanced Materials and Fibers Defense
BOARD OF DIRECTORS The SC Launch Board is an experienced commercialization forum that ensures SC Launch supports companies that will have a lasting, positive impact on South Carolinaâ€™s economy.
SC LAUNCH BOARD SC Launch is a nationally recognized program.
The SC Launch Board of Directors evaluates early-stage companies and qualifies them for program investments. Board members have significant experience with: entrepreneurial endeavors, managing companies in technology industries, research university activities and investing in or serving on the board of early-stage companies.
Timothy J Reed Managing Partner Margin Holdings
Andrea H. Marshall
President Alliance Consulting Engineers
Vice President and Chief Legal Officer BlueCross BlueShield of SC and its Companion Companies
Thomas Strange Sr. Director R&D Saint Jude Medical
Executive Administrator Charleston Angel Partners
John J. Warner
Vice President of Finance and Administration SC Governorâ€™s School for the Arts and Humanities
Joe Wischerath Principal Zinia
THE TEAM SC Launch staff members are a small, committed and efficient team with an impressive array of results. The staff members understand the challenges that face entrepreneurs.
SC LAUNCH TEAM Our team is committed to helping create a Knowledge Economy and has a desire to see our client companies succeed.
The SC Launch Team guides client companies through a rigorous due diligence process that is comparable to that of private equity firms. Our focus is to help high-tech start-ups succeed in commercializing innovative technologies, growing the Knowledge Economy. Our team is experienced, capable, thorough and flexible.
From left to right: Tiffany DuPree, Greg Hillman, Ambrose Schwallie, Derek Willis, Marty Ettlemyer, Greg Clark, Lindsay Kuhnhein
COMMITTED RESOURCE PARTNERS Our resource partners are experienced organizations that provide services to our Client Companies in an effort to help these companies grow.
RESOURCE NETWORK Our Resource Partner Network is constantly growing and consists of 63 members across the state.
SC Launch has built an extensive network of partners that provide essential expertise and services for our Client Companies. Their critical areas of expertise are key to successful company growth and stability-particularly as many of these small companies have limited resources in early stages. Our Resource Partner Network is made-up of remarkable individuals and companies that are truly contributing to the Knowledge Economy of South Carolina in a very real way. They offer time, services, know-how and other creative solutions for Client Companies as they transition from start-up to small business and beyond.
Areas of Expertise Accounting Banking Business Services Engineering Human Resources Information Technology
Insurance/Risk Management Legal Sales & Marketing SBIR/STTR Assistance Trade Associations
INNOVATION CENTERS SCRA Innovation Centers are a sustaining component of South Carolinaâ€™s Knowledge Economy. These offices and laboratory spaces accelerate the commercialization of research discoveries.
INNOVATION CENTERS Our award winning Innovation Centers offer world-class office and lab space for emerging companies.
USC Innovation Center
MUSC Innovation Center
Duke Energy Innovation Center
The Columbia-based Innovation Center supports research and advanced, high-tech manufacturing operations with a large economic and low environmental impact. It is designed to stimulate and sustain clean, next-generation manufacturing.
Located in Charleston, this Innovation Center is a component of the growing bio-based cluster in this region. The 28,400 square foot facility consists of flexible use, multi-tenant laboratory and office space fully-equipped for bioscience research and commercialization.
The Duke Energy Innovation Center houses SCRAâ€™s advanced materials applied research operations and a state-of-theart nanotech lab. The design of this Innovation Center was recognized in the Outstanding Specialized Facilities category of the American School & University Magazineâ€™s 2011 Architectural Portfolio.
The Industry Partnership Fund was formed by SCRA under a state mandate to sustain and grow South Carolina’s Knowledge Economy. Funds are carefully invested by SCRA’s SC Launch affiliate to generate the most favorable outcomes for client companies and the state.
SOURCES AND USES OF SC LAUNCH FUNDS $7.0
Program Operations Mandated Services $6.0
Direct to Entrepreneurs Program Returns/ Reserve
Millions of Dollars
Since inception, 93% of SC Launch funds have been directly invested and used to support start-up companies.
$0.0 FY 2013 Sources
FY 2013 Uses
Industry Partnership Contributions
Integro Ear th Fuels Chooses SC for Plant Location
Director of SC Launch Elected to Silver Crescent Foundation Board
Integro Earth Fuels received project demonstration funding from SC Launch to assist in construction of a manufacturing plant in Greenville County.
The Silver Crescent Foundation, the South Carolina non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the vitality of SC’s manufacturing industry, has elected Greg Hillman, Director of SC Launch , to its board of directors.
SC Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers stated, “Integro Earth Fuels represents an important step toward realizing new opportunities in the Agribusiness industry in our state.”
Selah Genomics Announces Acquisition of EnGenCore
Trade Administration Honors Awarded to SC Launch Companies
“I am very appreciative of the support that USC Environmental Health Sciences, the Darla Moore School of Business, SC Launch and the FastTrac TechVenture programs provided me when I founded EnGenCore. This exciting growth opportunity can be directly attributed to these folks and our state leaders who set out years ago help build robust support network for life science entrepreneurs.” - John Busch Co-Founder Selah Genomics
The United States International Trade Administration honored Terressentia and Sabai Technology, both SC Launch Companies, with export achievement certificates.
VidiStar Secures Distributor and Reseller SC Launch Company VidiStar signed on Charlotte‐based GMI as a distributor and reseller of its reporting software for the medical industry. “VidiStar delivers a highly flexible platform that gives our physicians the capability to read and diagnose studies from anywhere in the world with just an Internet connection.” - Dave Lamoureux Director of Sales & Marketing at GMI
CreatiVasc Attains Capital Funding
KIYATEC Receives Grainger Grant KIYATEC, Inc. received a $30,000 Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grant. The grant was awarded to further work to more accurately understand and predict human response to drugs.
Integrated Biometrics Receives Innovation Award Integrated Biometrics received The Reserve Group Innovation Award for development of the world’s smallest non-optical FBI Appendix F fingerprint scanner.
“This connection was made possible because of the recognition that CreatiVasc received from our relationships with the FDA, SC Launch and InnoVision. These three organizations added credibility to our work and validated our opportunity to compete as a viable high-tech firm within our target market.” - Steve Johnson CEO of CreatiVasc
Audia Health Awarded Patent Audia Health, LLC, a provider of patient engagement solutions, has been awarded a United States patent for its Talking HealthCard product. Awarded Gold for Tech-based Economic Development SC Launch was presented with a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for Technology-Based Economic Development in populations of over 500,000. The award was given by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Proterra Inks $24 Million Investment & Largest Sales Order Proterra, a zero-emission bus manufacturer secured $32 million in financing from existing investors and two new funders. 2013 revenue is projected to be up 225%. During 2013 they also finalized the largest-ever US sales of electric buses to Foothill Transit.
GreenWizard Closes Series B Funding GreenWizard Inc closed a $4 million Series B round of financing to fund its future growth. The company offers a software platform to manage products and project tools for LEED and green construction.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY SINCE 2010
PROTERRA Greenville, SC
PROTERRA SIGNED $32 MILLION IN FOLLOW-ON FUNDING DURING 2013.
Portfolio Company and Landing Party
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
SC LAUNCH RESOURCES:
Proterra has become a leading innovator of zero emission commercial vehicles. The company’s EcoRide BE35™ bus is made of lightweight composite materials and is made with state-of-the-art battery technology that allows for a full recharge in less than 10 minutes.
The financing provided by SCRA Tech Ventures flagship program SC Launch helped Proterra relocate to South Carolina. Also, the investment provided a bridge to venture capital co-investment which lead to future private investments. SCRA also provides a market channel to US federal clients.
The technology is so innovative that the bus is the first full-size composite battery-electric transit bus to ever pass a stringent federal test that simulates 12 years of vehicle life. The extensive test, known as Altoona testing, evaluated the bus on structural integrity and durability, reliability, maintainability, noise, fuel economy and emissions.
Proterra used the initial investment to relocate their facility to South Carolina. Follow-on funding was used to fund production growth and product development efforts.
The EcoRide BE35™ has the highest fuel economy and the lowest noise of any full-size passenger bus ever tested. The successful test results demonstrate the quality of the buses, but they also enable Proterra to sell them to transit agencies that can purchase them using federal transportation grants.
In December 2013, Proterra announced that they secured $34 million in follow-on financing from existing investors and new funders. 2014 revenue is projected to increase by more than 100%.
CLIENT COMPANY SINCE 2013
TARIAN ORTHOTICS Charleston, SC Industry: Engineering Processes
University Start-up Assistance Program Match
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
SC Launchâ€™s Greg Hillman with Co-founders of Tarian Orthotics Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie and Riley Csernica (as shown).
Tarian Orthotics is a woman-owned business formed out of Clemson University. The company developed a shoulder brace to lower the risk of dislocations in individuals looking to return to high-impact activities post-injury. The Tarian Stabilizer is made from lightweight, breathable materials, allows for functional arm motion and offers customized, compressive support directly to the shoulder joint. Upon releasing the Tarian Stabilizer to the market, Tarian Orthotics will work to expand the product line to provide options to treat shoulder injuries associated with stroke, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
Tarian Orthotics is participating in the Charleston Harbor Accelerator program and hopes to be positioned for Series A follow-on funding by the end of the program. The company received first place at both the South Carolina Bio pitch event and the Charleston Chamber of Commerceâ€™s Perfect Pitch event. Their first sholder brace was sold to a SC Stingrays hockey player, who is using the product during games and practices.
SC LAUNCH RESOURCES:
Tarian Orthotics is using SC Launch funds for general and Intellectual Property legal fees and licensing fees.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY SINCE 2007
HIGHWAVE ENERGY Blackville, SC
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
HighWave Energy, formerly known as Climax Global Energy, has developed a method for converting mixed-waste plastics into high-quality, usable products such as oil-based lubricants, diesel fuel and commercial waxes.
SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney presenting a Big Check to HighWave Energy, formerly known as Climax Global Energy.
The company takes plastic waste from recycling companies and landfills, shreds it and then using a process involving large microwave emitters, the plastics are chemically broken down into synthetic crude oil. The only byproducts from the conversion are a charcoal-like carbon and light gases, such as butane, methane and propane, which the company intends to use as a source of heat to make the conversion process more efficient.
Once the facility is fully online, the production line is expected to turn 10 tons of plastics into 50 barrels of usable synthetic crude oil per day. The crude oil can then be further broken down for use in an industrial setting.
Received an InnoVision Technology Award, which recognizes businesses, individuals and organizations that have demonstrated significant advancements in the areas of innovation and technological progress.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY SINCE 2013
INTEGRATED BIOMETRICS Spartanburg, SC
Industry: Advanced Materials
“Integrated Biometrics’ relationship with SCRA has been stellar. From our first meeting, we were impressed with speed, quality and character of the SCRA team. We couldn’t be more pleased to know and work with them. The work they do in South Carolina for new companies is impressive”. Steve Thies, CEO
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
Integrated Biometrics, LLC is the developer and manufacturer of FBI Certified fingerprint biometric sensors that utilize patented LES (Light Emitting Sensor) Film. With multiple applications, the technology offers best in class performance in mobility, durability and affordability. Integrated Biometrics technology is used by law enforcement, military, homeland security and national ID programs for identification purposes and security. Founded in 2002, Integrated Biometrics offers dramatically better performance to the more common optical and silicon technologies. Through its first product, Sherlock, the company provides FBI Certified two-finger direct and single-finger roll scans in the world’s smallest package.
CEO Steve Thies joined the company five years ago and has led the start-up through growth, new products and processes, all while achieving a significant increase in revenue.
Integrated Biometrics was awarded The Reserve Group Innovation Award in October for the development of Sherlock, the world’s smallest non-optical FBI Appendix F fingerprint scanner. Integrated Biometrics received The Reserve Group Innovation Award in 2012 as well.
CLIENT COMPANY 2012
NUBAD Greenville, SC
Industry: Life Sciences INVESTMENT TYPE:
SBIR/STTR Phase I Match and USAP
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
Located at Greenville Hospital Systems-Institute for Translation Oncology Research (GHS-ITOR), NUBAD, LLC is a drug discovery company working to identify therapeutic agents that target nucleic acids. Through novel probes and assays, NUBAD is facilitating targeted small molecule therapeutics. The companyâ€™s assay can significantly lower the time for performing initial screening of compounds to deliver therapeutics faster. NUBAD, LLC was founded in 2009 by Clemson University researcher Dev Arya, Ph.D. Dr. Arya is a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award(2002) and the ACS Horace S. Isbell Award of the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry (2007).
The Small Business Innovation Research program and matching funds from SC Launch will be used to expand on the development and research of the therapeutics agents that target RNA and DNA structures identified as targets in human disease.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY SINCE 2006
CREATIVASC MEDICAL Greenville, SC
Industry: Life Sciences
FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT FROM BROOKHAVEN MEDICAL, INC IN JULY 2013.
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
Founded in 2004, CreatiVasc is one of the earliest companies in the SC Launch portfolio. CreatiVasc Medical is creating innovative implantable vascular technologies that improve the quality of life for dialysis patients. The company’s Hemoaccess Valve System was selected by the FDA as one of three technologies to be accelerated to market as part of the agency’s Innovation Pathway program. CreatiVasc has also received prestigious awards including the History Channel “Invent Now” innovation award and three InnoVision Awards. CreatiVasc is managed by a nationally-recognized experienced team including Dr. David Cull, a renowned vascular surgeon with the Greenville Health System, and CEO Steve Johnson, who has led two successful technology start-ups and was awarded the InnoVision Charles Townes Individual Achievement Award in 2012. The company has continued to expand its technology base and meet critical milestones leading to two additional tranches of SC Launch funding.
CEO Steve Johnson said, “The timeline to mature an implantable medical device from concept to market is long and arduous. At three critical times during the life of our company, SC Launch provided valuable infusions which allowed us to continue our progress and innovation plan. Life sciences in South Carolina are alive and expanding in no small part to the vision and support of SC Launch.”
During 2013, the company received a $5 million capital investment from Atlanta-based Brookhaven Medical.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY SINCE 2009
HOOWAKI Pendleton, SC
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing Technology
FOLLOW-ON INVESTMENT AWARDED IN 2013.
SBIR Match & Portfolio Company
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
Hoowaki transforms the surfaces of common materials through micro technology on extruded and molded products and processes, reducing sliding friction and controling surface tension along with other custom capabilities. Hoowakiâ€™s proprietary technology can be applied to many products that are molded or in turn made from tools that are molded and has the potential to improve or create new products in a wide range of markets including automotive, packaging, medical, household, consumer products and industrial products.
SC LAUNCH RESOURCES:
Hoowaki received a SBIR match in 2009 and received a portfolio investment in 2011. Funds were used for customer demonstration sample preparations, technology development, patent, licensing and legal fees.
In the past year, Hoowaki received $200,000 in follow-on capital from private investors. The company added two employees this year and plans to add additional employees in the upcoming year. In 2013 it was announced that Hoowakiâ€™s extrusion dies with microstructures was listed as a top product for 2012 by Wire & Cable Technology International.
CLIENT COMPANY SINCE 2011
NITEK Columbia, SC
Industry: Engineering Processes INVESTMENT TYPE:
SBIR Match and Innovation Center Tenant
SC LAUNCH COMPANY SINCE:
Founded in 2007 by University of South Carolina Professor Dr. Asif Khan, Nitek is a pioneer in the field of III-Nitride semiconductors with special emphasis on manufacturing ultraviolet light emitting diodes using novel material substrates, such as, high quality aluminum nitride (AlN) and aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN). The companyâ€™s technology provides sustainable, portable, mercury-free ultraviolet light sources. Nitekâ€™s product development team has an extensive background in III-Nitride materials, devices and application systems development.
In 2011, SC Launch awarded Nitek Inc. with a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Match to develop high power UVLEDs for water and air purification. Nitek is located in the SCRA-USC Innovation Center in Columbia, SC and has continued plans for expansion in 2014.
Leading the company as CEO is Ms. Rubina Khan and as an exclusive adviser and consultant, Dr. Asif Kahn, a Distinguished Professor of Engineering and the Director of Photonics & Microelectronics Laboratory at the University of South Carolina. The company will initially employ around 14 high-tech, high-wage employees. The number of employees is expected to double in the next three years.
ENGAGED IN SC LAUNCH SINCE 2006
OF SABAL MEDICAL “We are pleased that Bill and David have chosen to focus their entrepreneurial successes and broadened experiences on establishing another SC-based company embodying the goals of the SC Launch Program.” Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO
WHO THEY ARE:
Bill Park and David Duranceau were drawn to Charleston from the Seattle area in 2006. Veterans of the medication dispensing arena, Bill and David felt that the state of South Carolina, specifically Charleston, was an ideal location to grow a company, both from quality of life and business perspectives.
PREVIOUS SC LAUNCH ENGAGEMENT:
In 2006, Bill and David became involved in the SC Launch program as the cofounders of Sabal Medical, a medical technology company that designs and manufactures medication distribution systems to increase patient safety and workflow efficiency. In 2010, Sabal Medical was purchased by Swisslog, an integrated medication management product strategy for healthcare facilities, for $9 million. This successful exit allowed the SC Launch program to re-invest in other companies, further growing South Carolina’s Knowledge Economy.
After successfully leading one company through the SC Launch Program, Bill and David, along with Randy Parker, have a new venture: PharmRight. A recent SC Launch Client Company, Pharmright Corporation offers products and services designed to maximize medication adherence in the home. Their dispensing appliance, PharmMate, holds up to a 90-day supply of oral solid medications. It is programmed and monitored via software and cloud computing applications.