ATLANTA, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Research Alliance has received national recognition for its venture development program which builds high-growth companies around research at Georgia's universities.
The award was announced by the State Science Technology Institute (SSTI) at its annual meeting in Columbus Ohio this week. Chaired by former Governor Tom Ridge, SSTI is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. SSTI selected GRA along with three other state programs that have demonstrated innovative approaches to growing their economies and creating high-paying jobs. GRA was recognized for the GRA Venture Fund, LLC (GRAVF) which was created in 2009 to provide critical seed-stage capital to companies emerging from Georgia's universities. Investors in the fund include the state of Georgia, private Georgia-based investors, foundations and companies. "Investing in our universities' research enterprises strengthens Georgia's position as a global leader in higher education," said Gov. Nathan Deal. "The Georgia Research Alliance and the GRAVF serve as national models for other states wanting to expand their economies by seeding and shaping university start-ups." Since its inception, the GRAVF has raised over $45 million, and has invested $17.5 million in 11 companies. GRAVF's investments have leveraged an additional $441 million from 10 in-state and 31 out-of-state co-investors and strategic partners. In all, GRAVF's portfolio companies have annual revenues of $21 million and have created 526 high-value jobs so far. "One of the outstanding aspects of GRA's program is the level of impact it has been able to achieve, building on decades of partnerships and aligning and connecting programs," said Dan Berglund, SSTI's president and CEO. "The Georgia-specific focus on venture capital shows the possibility for impressive outcomes through a well-crafted entrepreneurial approach." The Georgia Research Alliance has previously received awards from SSTI for its Eminent Scholars Program and its Ventures Program.