~Prestigious Program Provides up to $15,000 to Two Different Companies Each Year with the Mission to Promote Tech Commercialization, Start-ups and Job Growth in Leon County~


(Tallahassee, FL)– The Leon County Research and Development Authority (LCRDA), the entity that governs Innovation Park of Tallahassee is now accepting applications for its prestigious TechGrant Competition. Each year, the competition awards two start-up companies in Leon County up to $15,000 dollars to aid in their technology commercialization. The deadline to submit an application is March 13, 2017.

“The number and quality of entrepreneurs in our community is growing, and we want to continue to help them be successful by providing much needed funding for early stage companies trying to commercialize new technologies and create jobs in Leon County” said Ron Miller, Executive Director of the LCRDA.

Last Year, NP Group took home the grand prize of $15,000 for their optical fiber sensor.

On Monday, February 13 at 4:00pm, Innovation Park will host an orientation session to discuss the application and selection process, and to answer questions. Anyone interested in submitting an application should plan to attend this session at the Knight Administrative Centre in Innovation Park (1736 W. Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL, 32310).

Once the applications are submitted, five finalists will be selected to present their elevator pitch at the 2017 Elevator Pitch Night on May 17, 2017.  During the event, a panel of judges and audience members will cast their vote to determine the winners of this year’s competition.

Launched in 2005, the TechGrant Program demonstrates Innovation Park’s commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the incredible research happening in our own local community. Since its inception, the competition has awarded 22 different companies a grand total of $387,000 to help push  them to the next stage.  Most of our previous winners have successfully commercialized their technologies in Tallahassee.

Barbara Wescott, Founder and CEO of Swellcoin, a buy local platform, was a winner of the 2016 TechGrant Program. Wescott says, “The funds and visibility provided through the LCRDA Tech Grant have been instrumental in Swellcoin’s ability to soon launch a dynamic buy local cash-back platform here in Tallahassee, that will later be scaled nationwide. During the critical pre-revenue startup period, the $10,000 grant allowed us to acquire bank-level-secure technologies and high-level software development, and a meaningful bridge to revenue generation. Together with the visibility afforded through the program, Innovation Park has helped Swellcoin’s future shine even brighter!”

The 2016 grand prizewinner, David Olawale, Co-Founder and President of Nanotechnology Patronas Group states, “The TechGrant helped our company (NPGroup) with the cash flow needed to successfully complete our National Science Foundation-sponsored STTR Phase 1 project. We were able to get funds to supplement that required for research materials, rent at the Domi Station, tax and accounting services. With the TechGrant, we have been successful in moving our sensor technology closer to commercialization.”

The TechGrant Competition is one of several exciting events hosted throughout the year by Innovation Park. The application can be downloaded from the Innovation Park website at https://innovation-park.com/innovation-park-techgrant-program/.