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Business Leaders Welcome New State-Funding For Technology Startups

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R.Benk
/
WFSU-News

Business leaders gathered Tuesday to laud the ceremonial signing of a bill that tweaks an existing statute matching technology startups with in-state investors. The new law sets up a matching grant program to help get new businesses off the ground.

The original 2007 law set up a program to match researchers at public universities with businesses willing to invest in their products. Those businesses will now be able to apply for matching grants from the state. Bing Energy Chief Financial Officer, Dean Minardi remembered the governor first proposing the idea to him a couple years ago. Since then, Minardi’s business has blossomed.

“We have pressed ahead to develop our manufacturing technology, utilizing loan funds from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, one of the awkwardest acronyms in the world, to produce tooling that is allowing us to launch our first commercial product,” Minardi said.

That product is a solar-energy generator for cell phone towers. Besides matching grant money, companies hoping to receive funding must use research based in public colleges and universities in Florida.