Huge Handouts for Louisiana Biotech Startups Thanks to Local Biofund
The New Orleans BioFund, a low-interest loan program targeting biotech startups, has loaned $3 million to more than a dozen local startups.
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development provided the first round of funding in late 2012 for the loan program. Loans ranged from $50,000 to $250,000 and went to small businesses in the 12-parish area affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The BioFund, based in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center downtown, have helped create 185 full-time equivalent jobs in south Louisiana through its investments in 15 startups.
The BioFund said the initial HUD funding is fully loaned out and is now being revolved for continued investments. The fund plans to move to a micro venture capital model moving forward.
Startups will be able to exchange ownership in the company for financing or secure a short-term loan. The fund will also offer loans that can be converted into ownership shares in the company at a later date, known as convertible debt financing.
Recipients of BioFund investments include Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies, a Tulane University-incubated company that has developed technology to improve industrial polymer production and pharmaceutical drug development. The startup received multiple investments to help it develop its technology.
InnoGenomics Technologies, which develops products for use in human forensics, used a BioFund loan to hire new staff and bring its first forensic testing kits to market. The startup is now exploring potential uses for its products in diagnosing certain cancers.
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