MassVentures Wins National Tibbetts Award for Driving Innovation in Massachusetts

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PHOTO: Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures; Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Massachusetts Office of Business Development; and Javier Saade, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation.

Congratulations to Boston-based MassVentures, one of just three organizations across the United States to receive the 2015 Tibbetts Award for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).

MassVentures was recognized for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Targeted Technologies (START) program, which has awarded $6 million to 27 Massachusetts technology companies over the past three years.

Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Chair of the MassVentures board, praised START for providing “a diverse group of high-tech companies with the resources and guidance they need to reach their potential and enjoy sustained growth. START is catalyst for our innovation economy and sends a resounding message to high-tech businesses around the world that we are creating a supportive and productive environment in which these companies can thrive.”

Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, said, “By helping companies utilize their SBIR/STTR Phase II funding to grow employment and stimulate innovation, the START program shows that the Commonwealth will not sit idly by while high-tech companies wait for capital to help commercialize their technologies. It is critical that we continue to work with entrepreneurs and actively demonstrate the state’s commitment to these industries.”

Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development, said, “The emphasis that MassVentures has placed on small business development has been vital to making Massachusetts a world leader in innovation. This administration is privileged to have such an adept investment team working to assist these developing companies.”

Bird and Pham attended the awards ceremony at the White House.

The award is named for Roland Tibbetts, acknowledged as the father of the SBIR program, and is presented to companies, supporting organizations, and individuals which have leveraged, or helped others leverage, SBIR/STTR investment to generate measurable value to their firm or the nation.

In addition to the three organization winners, the SBA also recognized six individuals and 23 small businesses, including Aspen Aerogels Inc. of Northborough.

The keynote address at the awards ceremony was delivered by Massachusetts resident and NASA flight engineer Catherine “Cady” Coleman, an accomplished scientist and astronaut noted for her six month expedition to the International Space Station.

In addition to helping high growth companies increase employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across Massachusetts, START brings together an ecosystem of companies, expert reviewers, service providers and company advisers. Companies receiving START awards during the first two years of the program have grown revenues by 20%, and have used, or will use, their START grants to secure an additional $24,000,000 in funding.