TechAmerica recently applauded Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for signing Senate Bill 107, the Technology Development Act (TDA II), legislation critical to the expansion of the state's technology sector. The new law expands a program to increase the amount of venture capital funds available through the Treasurer's Technology Development Account which is focused on supporting early stage technology and entrepreneurial businesses in Illinois.
"TDA II further illustrates the commitment of the Illinois' legislature and Governor Quinn to strengthen our economy through innovation and support of our technology-based businesses," said T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman, CEO, VASCO Data Security International, Inc., member of the Illinois Innovation Council, and Chair of TechAmerica Midwest. "TechAmerica and our members are proud to have supported this legislation as part of our continued efforts to improve and strengthen the business environment in Illinois."
Originally established in 2003, the Treasurer's Technology Development Account has invested $32 million of state money into venture capital firms investing in Illinois companies. Those firms, in turn, invested more than $115 million in Illinois companies, which attracted another $465 million from additional investors. Companies receiving TDA investments created more than 3,300 direct and in-direct jobs in the state.
TDA II will replenish and increase the amount of the state's investment portfolio allowed to be invested in Illinois-based technology-focused private equity/venture capital funds. SB 107, sponsored by Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and Representative Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), will also seek capital from private institutional investors to be invested side-by-side with the Treasurer's capital.
"The highest priority in Illinois is putting people back to work," said Senator Kotowski. "This law will help create a healthy business climate that ensures economic vitality and spur job growth. Encouraging the development of innovative Illinois-based businesses will truly benefit our state. These businesses create high-paying, long-lasting jobs. I have been pushing for this legislation for the last three years because I believe these businesses can lead to a stronger Illinois economy."
In addition to the strong support and leadership from Governor Quinn, the Illinois legislature, Treasurer Rutherford, and IVCA, members of the Illinois Technology Alliance (ILTA) collaborated to support the passage of this critical legislation. Formed in the first part of 2011, the members of ILTA work to advance policy initiatives that support job creation and economic strength for critical industry sectors, including high tech manufacturing, information technology, biotech, life sciences and venture capital. Founding members of the Illinois Technology Alliance include the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA), Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), Illinois Biotech Industry Organization (iBIO) and TechAmerica.
"Access to early stage capital is critical in driving innovation, high quality job growth and economic strength for our state," said Ed Longanecker, Midwest Executive Director, TechAmerica. "We commend and thank Governor Quinn for his strong commitment to innovation. TechAmerica believes this new law will enhance our State's competitive advantage and we look forward to continuing to support his efforts to grow the Illinois technology industry."