MassVentures selects Artaic for new Massachusetts funding program to help commercialize technology
Boston, Massachusetts – MassVentures, the venture capital arm of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, named Artaic LLC as one of 10 winners of the 2012 START program. START is a $6 million initiative to help growing companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. Artaic’s SBIR funding is focused on developing design software and a robotic assembly system that will automate the tedious centuries-old manual process of creating “hand cut” mosaic artworks.
The newly developed technologies enhance Artaic’s capabilities for designing and fabricating cut tile mosaics, accelerate production and lower costs, ultimately increasing societal impact through broader distribution of the unique art form. The START program will help Artaic hire a new employee and bring the new mosaic product to the architecture and interior design market through additional marketing initiatives.
The other 9 winners selected from more than 90 applicants were:
BioMimetic Systems - Design and manufacturing of digital acoustic detection and localization systems
CapeSym – Novel materials for advanced radiation detection
CeraNova – Providing technological advantages with advanced nanograin, transparent ceramics for optical, structural and electrical applications
Incom - Supplier of rigid fused fiber optics for commercial applications
KaZak Composites – Value-added composite materials engineering and production
Locately – Mobile technology to engage with shoppers while they’re making decisions
Metamagnetics – Advanced materials and electronics to develop novel microwave materials and device solutions
Muzzy Lane – Creator of innovative, award-winning educational games
Physical Sciences Inc. - Developing Instant Eye – a personal micro-air vehicle for surveillance and security applications
The START program is intended to help high-growth companies like Artaic grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. “Small businesses are the engine of the Massachusetts economy and the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to supporting small businesses throughout the commonwealth to grow and create good paying jobs,” said Secretary Greg Bialecki. “Through programs like START, our small businesses are at the forefront of the 21st century economy and today’s START winners are a prime example of why Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than the nation.”
The winners receive $100,000 immediately and then based on progress demonstrated over the first year, an additional Stage II grant of up to $200,000 will be awarded to the five most promising companies. At the end of the second year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment based on their potential for growth and profitability. The program will be repeated annually with the application process opening again in early 2013.
“The success of the START program is due in part to the vision and commitment of Bob Weiss, President of Technology Transitions. With his help, MassVentures is one step closer to meeting its mission to help fill the funding gap and fuel the innovation economy,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “This year’s winners are a strong indicator of the depth and breadth of innovative technologies coming out of the Commonwealth to support the economy and job growth.”
About Artaic – Innovative Mosaic
Artaic is a Boston-based MIT spinout company revolutionizing the design and fabrication of the mosaic art-form. Using unique software and robotic technology, Artaic minimizes the time constraints and labor barriers of traditional mosaics, making it once again possible for architects and designers to create unique tile statements to transform space into captivating environments.
MassVentures meets critical capital needs in the Massachusetts innovation economy, providing seed and early stage venture funding to high-growth startups as they move from concept to commercialization. The Boston-based venture firm was formed in 1978 as a quasi-public corporation by the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, governed by an independent Board of Directors, and managed by experienced venture capitalists. Leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit, educated workforce, and centers of innovation of Massachusetts, MassVentures has a track record of success with early- stage ventures. For more information on MassVentures and details on our new programs, please visit www.mass- ventures.com.
START is a program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assist Massachusetts-based companies, which have received SBIR Phase II funding, in turning their technologies into commercialized, promising technologies. The program helps high growth companies grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. In addition to financial commercialization assistance, START provides coaching, business planning and introductions to potential investors.
For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process, please visit www.mass- ventures.com/start.html.