Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hollison investment demonstrates high tech potential in Owensboro

The latest investment by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. of $200,000 in Hollison Technologies, a startup biotech company that will have its headquarters in the Owensboro, shows just how far Owensboro has advanced in developing the infrastrcuture to support high tech company growth.

Hollison's Kevin Humphrey indicates it was the infrastructure in Owensboro that made the difference for the company. "That was fantastic," Kevin Humphrey of Utica, one of four partners in the company, said of the state investment. "I credit Madison and eMerging Ventures as much as I do our idea."

The Emerging Ventures Seed Fund, created two years ago by the City of Owensboro, invested $50,000 in Hollison. That investment opened the door for the KSTC investment of $200,000 and has created other opportunities. The EDC hosted a reception for the company to help identify additional angel investors.

Hollison will also be a tennent in the new Centre for Business and Research, the 37,000 square foot high tech business accelerator located in a former tobacco warehouse on Allen Street. The Centre is scheduled to open later this year.

Hollison has developed technology for the detection and identification of chemical, biological and radiological contamination in food commodities, processed food and beverages.

"It's exciting to see that kind of state investment," said Madison Silvert, vice president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. and executive director of its eMerging Ventures Center for Innovation.

"That's a good-sized investment," he said. "It's the largest award we've secured from them so far. We're seeing the emergence of a high-tech atmosphere in Owensboro."

An emeging high tech atmosphere --thanks to investments by the local community in infrastructure such as the eMerging Ventures Seed Fund, the Centre for Business and Research, and the eMerging Ventures program at EDC-- will help Owensboro to nurture the growth of high tech startup companies like Hollison.

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