Tech firms receive financing from state program

In 1998, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology created a state-funded program to provide capital for developing technology companies.

The Technology Business Finance Program, now operated by i2E, has issued about 10 $100,000 awards annually funded by the Legislature.

So far during the fiscal year beginning July 1, four companies have been approved for Technology Business Finance Program funding.

With the latest awards, 90 financial awards totaling $9.65 million have been presented since the program started in 1998. The four companies receiving awards during the current fiscal year are iDea Mill Technologies, Impact Slurry Technologies and Tornado Studios, all of Tulsa, and Shryk LLC of Oklahoma City.

The $100,000 in TBFP state funding will allow Idea Mill Technologies, developer of Breeze Legal Software, to speed up product development.

The company must match the $100,000 and has investors in line.

“We already have people at the table and ready to back Breeze,” said Simon Aleman, a native Oklahoman and president of iDea Mill. “They believe in it, and this grant proves that Oklahoma does, too.”

Breeze Legal Software is a downloadable, digital-imaging processing program for law firms to manage digital documents.

Breeze was developed to convert documents into digital form so they can be managed in one computer database instead of a paper-bulging file cabinet.

Technology Business Finance Program financing was created for entrepreneurs at the early development stage of commercializing an advanced technology.

The business must be classified as a small business based on SBA guidelines. At least 50 percent of the employees or assets must be located in Oklahoma. The award can be used for refining a prototype, hiring employees, purchasing equipment and creating marketing materials. When companies pay back awards, the money returns to the program to fund additional developing technology companies.

“iDea Mill has identified a clear need, and the fact that they have already demonstrated the ability to sell the product in the marketplace bodes well,” said Greg Main, CEO and president of i2E, a nonprofit company created by OCAST to help develop technological business in Oklahoma.

© Copyright 2008, The Journal Record

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