BTBC wins competitive award

Kansas University’s Bioscience and Technology Business Center received a $50,000 federal grant for its role as a business accelerator and economic engine for northeast Kansas, officials reported Friday.

BTBC was one of only 50 winners from a pool of more than 800 applicants nationwide for the grant awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“For us to be named a recipient of this funding from a high-profile organization like the SBA is a tremendous external validation of the BTBC and our role as an engine of economic growth,” said G.R. Underwood, president and chief operating officer of the BTBC.

“We’re clearly succeeding in our mission to grow the high-tech and bioscience industries in northeast Kansas to create quality jobs that increase the local tax base and create wealth in the community,” Underwood said.

This is the second major national recognition for the BTBC in two years. In 2013, the BTBC was named one of four finalists for outstanding community economic development collaboration by the University Economic Development Association, which represents higher education, private sector and community stakeholders.

Underwood said the BTBC will use the award to create a fund to provide capital for KU spinouts, startups and student-created businesses based on intellectual property.

The BTBC has three separate facilities — two in Lawrence and one at the KU Medical Center. It has 31 tenant companies, ranging from KU startups to Fortune 500 companies. The BTBC offers tenants infrastructure, business services, and access to university, government and business partners and resources.

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