TCIP helps big ideas get off the ground

Pete CodellaArticles

If you want to really know what’s new in innovation and “hot” in Utah’s economy, look no further than GOED’s Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP). TCIP provides competitive grants to small businesses and university teams to help bring new technologies to market. True to the “I” in its name, TCIP awards funds to some remarkably innovative technologies in life science, software, natural resources and other industries. Excellent news: The grant is open again for applications and will be through Nov. 20.

TCIP funding often opens the door to later private investment and can make all the difference in ensuring these companies’ long-term success. In the past three years, 63 companies have received grant funds totaling $5.4 million. Thanks to an increase in funding from the Utah Legislature, TCIP has $2.5 million to distribute among qualifying companies in this round.

GOED seeks to help these entrepreneurs share their game-changing ideas with the world. Past TCIP grant recipients include successful homegrown companies such as Myriad Genetics, BioFire and ENVE Composites. Each of these companies is quickly becoming a leader in their industry. What’s not to like? If that’s not enough, take a look at a few more examples:

GoReact, a web-based presentation feedback service, spun out of Brigham Young University after receiving a TCIP grant in 2011. CEO Ken Meyers credits the grant with the company’s success in closing a $250,000 seed funding round that same year. GoReact recently closed $4 million in venture capital funding, and the company has grown to include 30 employees.

iVeena, a company developing drug delivery solutions for treatment of common eye diseases that lead to blindness, received a TCIP grant in 2013. In September 2015, iVeena closed a $2.2 million seed round led by Park City Angels, with contributions from the Salt Lake City Angels, University of Utah Technology Venture Corporation, and several prominent ophthalmologists and physicians.

Xenocor developed a new ultra-low cost high definition medical imaging platform. Thanks to TCIP funding, the company was able to advance its technology from prototype to an FDA-cleared device.

Verum TCS uses laser light to determine the precise location of the tip of a catheter as it approaches the heart. TCIP funding helped the company secure a working research relationship with Utah State University to perform surgical studies.

TCIP supports some of the best, brightest and most promising technologies in the state. Sit in on any TCIP presentation or meeting, and you may find yourself saying, “Oh, cool!”

First-time grant awardees may receive up to $100,000 in funds, and companies that have previously received TCIP funding may qualify for a grant of up to $200,000. To qualify, a technology must be affiliated with a Utah university or must be a Utah-based small business (as defined by the Small Business Administration).

Here’s an extra hint for success: The TCIP review board also considers team management experience, the product’s viability and competitiveness, as well as the potential for economic impact such as the number of jobs and salary it will produce.

Are you or someone you know eligible for the grant? Click here to apply.