To: Sen. Mayne, K.,
Subject: Senate Bill 212 - USTAR Amendments
Dear Senator Mayne,
I was recently made aware that there is a senate bill in the queue (212) that will eliminate funding for the USTAR SBIR/STTR program. I am writing to let you know what a major impact it has had for life science and technology companies in Utah. As a community participant in this space, it would be a major mistake to discontinue funding as it will hurt future companies developing innovative technologies.
Angel investors and venture capitalists often times will not invest in companies to fund technology development, particularly life science companies. SBIR/STTR grants offer a way for these companies to fund development without diluting their equity position and will often times create many high paying jobs. I appreciate that the SBIR/STTR Grant Program is federal and that money will still be available, Utah companies are less likely to apply and even less likely to be awarded grants without the USTAR SBIR/STTR program.
Additionally, the money center has assisted companies raise is a significant multiple of the taxpayer money provided for the program. That return will only increase as these companies continue to develop, close investment, and enter the market. I believe that this program is the only part of USTAR that has provided a real return on the taxpayers investment and would be a major mistake to let go.
I am unavailable to attend the committee tomorrow but am available to visit via phone or email if you have additional questions.
Thank you and have a great day,
Chief Operating Officer