Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tech Entrepreneurs Have New Funding Source

A new loan program is aimed at helping early-stage tech businesses. The Pittsburgh Entrepreneur Growth Fund will provide up to $200,000 to help high-tech startups make the jump from commercialization to growth. The revolving loan fund will focus on businesses in the life sciences, information technology and green sectors.

Half of the funding for the program, $500,000, is coming from Pittsburgh's Community Development Block Grant money. Federal stimulus dollars provide the other half of the funding. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which is administering the loan program, will apply for another $1 million from a separate pot of federal stimulus money.

The Entrepreneur Growth Fund begins about a month after the city launched the Metropolitan Loan Fund of Pittsburgh, which is aimed at helping minority and women-owned businesses. That program is supported with $1.5 million in investments.

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