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LaunchTN and America’s Seed Fund boast nearly $350 million in economic impact

For immediate release

June 29, 2023 

LaunchTN and America’s Seed Fund boast nearly $350 million in economic impact

New applications for funding open July 10

Nashville, TN – In the past year, LaunchTN has leveraged federal funding to create an economic impact of nearly $350 million — doubling year-over-year since its inception in 2017. 

“These results indicate the success of the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund in both seeding and catalyzing technology commercialization,” LaunchTN Technology Advancement Manager Charles Layne said. “Furthermore, they validate our long-term vision to foster an ecosystem where technologies not only originate but are also able to thrive and grow as well.” 

Applications are opening again soon for Tennessee founders, who have received federal SBIR/STTR funding and now would benefit from early stage funding for research and development. 

Quick background — SBIR/STTR Matching Fund
LaunchTN works to bolster startup activity and increase participation from Tennessee entrepreneurs in what’s colloquially known as America’s Seed Fund. 

Every year, 11 participating federal agencies allocate capital totalling $4 billion to the SBIR/STTR programs. 

The programs are the country’s biggest source of early-stage funding for research and development. LaunchTN supports founders’ applications to the federal programs, and if the founders land that funding, then LaunchTN invites the company to apply for matching funds.

As part of LaunchTN’s mission to be the most startup friendly state in the nation, the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund is a strategic initiative to support entrepreneurs able to secure highly competitive federal awards for the research and development of their innovative technologies to accelerate their commercialization and business development in the State of Tennessee.

Open applications
Starting on July 10, Tennessee companies that have received federal SBIR/STTR awards between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 can apply to the LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Fund.

To be eligible, companies should be startups in Tennessee that contribute to the state’s overall economic development, and they should also align with LaunchTN’s mission to support entrepreneurship and innovation. 

By accepting a Matching Fund award, a company commits to remaining headquartered in Tennessee for at least 24 months post-award and to semiannual reporting with LaunchTN. 

To apply, companies submit a short application to provide company and award information, including proof of award and a use of funds.

Interested companies can learn more about the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund here.

By the numbers, in the past year

  • The SBIR/STTR Matching Fund has created 289 jobs and supported 37 Tennessee companies.
  • Wage growth in those jobs has increased by 10.71 percent year-over-year. 
  • Capital raised and federal funds secured more than doubled year-over-year, $127 million and $169 million to $302 million and $310 million, respectively.
  • Over the last year, companies supported by the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund have raised an additional $175 million in follow-on capital and procured an additional $143 million in non-dilutive capital. 

Since 2017
To date, LaunchTN SBIR/STTR Matching Fund companies:

  • boasted $695 million in economic impact to the state of Tennessee
  • created 939 high quality jobs with an average wage of $91,082
  • raised $302 million in follow-on capital
  • acquired $310 million in non-dilutive capital

Notably, the number of these early stage companies generating revenue in the last year increased by 8.17% demonstrating the continued maturation of the Tennessee innovation ecosystem.

Learn more from the SBIR/STTR Matching Fund Impact Report

This photo shows the Whisper Jet, which looks like a big drone. There are people standing outside the vehicle.
One of the Tennessee companies that has benefited from the federal funding and LaunchTN matching support is Whisper Aero, pictured here. Whisper Aero is building an electric thruster that is meant to blend noise that comes from delivery drones into background levels so it becomes undetectable to the human ear. In early June, the company also revealed more details about its Whisper Jet, which shows how its small, quiet fans could make electric flight at higher speeds and lower costs a reality.

Contact:
Chloé Morrison
LaunchTN Communications Director
chloe@launchtn.org

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