Senator Farley And Governor Pataki Awards $500,000 In Venture Capital To Transtech Systems And Inverters Unlimited

 

Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) joined Governor George E. Pataki on Wednesday in announcing that TransTech Systems Inc. and Inverters Unlimited Inc., both of Schenectady, have been approved to receive a total of $500,000 in equity investments from the Small Business Technology Investment Fund (SBTIF).

The SBTIF was created to provide a source of venture capital to promote job creation and economic growth to early-stage high-tech companies throughout New York State. The Empire State Development (ESD) Board of Directors recently voted to approve the investments.

"The Small Business Technology Investment Fund has proven to be a highly effective investment tool for fostering new high-tech development in communities across New York State," Governor Pataki said. "By making smart investments in emerging high-tech companies like TransTech Systems and Unlimited Inc., we are taking real, tangible steps to promote new high-tech growth and job opportunities for the people of Schenectady."

"In today's rapidly changing economy that is increasingly being driven by new technologies, it is critical that we keep New York at the forefront of high-tech innovation and development," Governor Pataki added. "By keeping our State one step ahead of the competition through our nationally-acclaimed Centers of Excellence program and other key high-tech initiatives, we will be well-poised to meet our ambitious goal of creating one million new jobs in New York State by the end of the decade."

Senator Hugh Farley said, "These investments confirm Governor Pataki's commitment to the growth of high technology firms in Schenectady. We are blessed with a number of innovative entrepreneurs and a highly qualified workforce. The SBTIF investments will help these cutting-edge companies to increase employment, and to better compete in the global marketplace."

Assemblyman Paul Tonko said, "Small businesses and high-technology will generate the jobs that will help revitalize the Upstate economy, this investment complements earlier capital investments that the Assembly Majority has made in Transtech and other Schenectady-based high-technology companies. For over a century, Schenectady - the Electric City - has been at the forefront of research and development in the energy arena. The Small Business Technology Investment funding will help Inverters Unlimited continue that tradition of excellence and innovation."

Assemblyman James Tedisco said, "Today's announcement emphasizes New York State's commitment to help small hi-tech businesses thrive and expand in our communities. More importantly, it demonstrates that Schenectady and the Capital Region are great places to locate and expand in this growing industry, and I look forward to seeing more hi-tech job creation and growth coming to our area."

Brian U. Stratton, Mayor, City of Schenectady, said, "Schenectady is on its way back; poised to be a vital part of the Capitol Region's and Tech Valley's job growth. The State's $500,000 investment in two of our outstanding high tech companies provides the support they need and proves that Schenectady is moving forward."

TransTech Systems Inc. was approved to receive a $200,000 equity investment from the SBTIF. The company, which has 28 employees, provides research and

development services to a variety of industrial and governmental clients and produces a range of advanced technology based proprietary products to a world-wide construction and civil infrastructure market. Thirty-five percent of its current production is sold overseas, primarily in Europe and Asia. The company also provides material testing and verification for construction projects through QCQA Labs Inc., a TransTech subsidiary.

Harry Apkarian, President and CEO of TransTech Systems said, "The investment by the Small Business Technology Investment Funds is yet another example of the efficacy of government/industrial collaboration for creating jobs and generating economic benefit for the Capital Region. The Fund's investment will help to maintain the more than 50 percent sales growth achieved in the past two years. Moreover, combined with an additional investment of approximately $590,000 by Capital Region investors, the new capital will be used to fund the start-up of QCQA Labs, Inc., a subsidiary of TransTech, double the size of our facility, support our technology and new product development programs, and expand our work force.

"The anticipated growth rates over the next several years will require the steady infusion of resources in terms of qualified personnel, expanded facilities and financial investment. ESD's investment is particularly gratifying in view of its confidence that investing in a small and growing high-tech company can support its mission to stimulate economic growth in New York State," Apkarian added.

Inverters Unlimited Inc. (IUI) was approved to receive a $300,000 equity investment from the SBTIF. IUI is commercializing the IUI Sun-AC 3000, a 3kw, low-cost, high-efficiency, grid-parallelable inverter, specifically developed for the photovoltaic (PV) or solar energy generator market. Improvements in inverter technology are crucial to the successful widespread commercialization of renewable and environmentally friendly solar energy, and to reduce domestic reliance on foreign oil and the aging electrical grid.

"Solar energy has come of age and the number of residential and light commercial installations is growing at an increasing pace," said Suresh Bhate, President of Inverters Unlimited Inc. "Our inverter is one of a few being produced by a U.S. company. With New York State's Small Business Technology Investment Fund support we believe we will be well positioned, based on our performance and pricing, to be the inverter supplier of choice. New York State's investment demonstrates the Governor's and States recognition and commitment to stimulating the growth of alternative energy technologies."

Charles A. Gargano, Chairman of Empire State Development, said, "The Small

Business Technology Investment Fund is but one of the state's many innovative programs to help New York lead the way into the high-technology world of tomorrow. Supporting early-stage high-tech companies with new investment capital will create new jobs and have a positive economic impact on Schenectady and the entire Capital Region."

These two SBTIF investments will bolster the State's high-tech efforts in the Capital Region. In his recent State of the State message, Governor Pataki recently announced that IBM -- along with six global giants that include Sony, Toshiba, and Samsung -- will invest $1.9 billion to build the next generation chip plant. The Governor said this investment represents one of the largest of its kind in the world.

At the Albany Center of Excellence, the Governor announced that IBM and a consortium of the largest nanoelectronics equipment suppliers will fund an unprecedented $450 million expansion of that center's R & D capabilities. Also in Albany, he added that ASML, the world's leading chip equipment manufacturer, will invest over $325 million to create it's first-ever R & D center outside of Europe.

Together these projects will bring a staggering $2.7 billion in new private investment to Tech Valley, bringing jobs and optimism to communities throughout the region.

Since 1981, the Small Business Technology Investment Fund has invested in more than 95 early-stage high technology companies. The Fund's success has allowed it to continue to satisfy the original legislative intent of using its revolving returns to make investments in promising companies like TransTech Systems and Inverters Unlimited, at no expense to the taxpayer.

The Fund makes debt and equity investments and offers technical assistance and managerial guidance to growing technology-based early-stage businesses. Information about the Small Business Technology Investment Fund is available by visiting the Empire State Development web site at www.nylovesbiz.com, by calling 1-800-STATE NY or via email at sbtif@empire.state.ny.us.