Financial Lifeline for Biotech Companies in Florida
The federal government funds the startup research of most biotechs. After that, private investors step in with R&D funding.
» Florida Growth Fund: In 2008, the Legislature created the Florida Growth Fund, a portfolio within the Florida Retirement System. The fund — which has invested $176.5 million to date — is required to invest in Florida companies and private equity funds likely to invest in the state. Last year, it gave $3 million to a Miramar-based biotech company and $15 million to a Florida venture capital fund focused on biotech.
» Florida Opportunity Fund: Started in the spring of 2009, the program invests in venture funds that are likely to target industries such as biotech. To date, the fund has committed $27 million to seven venture funds. One of the firms, 5AM Ventures, has invested in a Scripps spinoff company.
» Institute for Commercialization of Public Research: Created by the Legislature in 2007, the institute has spent $3 million on a matching grant program started in 2010 that is aimed at startups developing technology from state universities. Thirteen companies have received matching grants. The institute also has a Seed Capital Accelerator Program, which lends between $50,000 and $300,000 to companies developing technology from state universities.
» The state spent $2.3 million in 2011 to attract and encourage growth of biotech and medical device companies through programs like the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund, the Quick Action Closing Fund and the Innovation Incentive Program.