Lexington officials celebrate new tech companies

To kick off Global Entrepreneurship Week, city and state officials on Monday highlighted five technology companies that have opened operations Lexington in recent months.

The companies took advantage of a state program that matches awards, up to a certain amount, from two federal grant programs: Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer. The state offers as much as $150,000 for Phase 1 federal awards for the grants and as much as $500,000 a year for up to two years for Phase 2 federal awards.

"No matter where I go in the country, it's a big deal," Bob Quick, CEO of Commerce Lexington, said of the matching grants program. "That is a real good buzz for us and puts our name out there."

Another program administered through the local Bluegrass Business Development Partnership offers rent subsidies of up to $10,000 the first year a company is in Lexington. The program is funded by the city government through the partnership, which also includes Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky.

"All of the resources of the university where they come in and work with startup companies are a huge deal, too," Quick said. "That connectivity, that assistance, that support speaks volumes."

The five companies, which are expected to create more than 50 local jobs, are:

Biomedical Development Corp.: The health care technology company has products in development including a medical mouth rinse that fights gingivitis and improves heart health.

Innovative Energy Solutions: The company is developing waste-to-energy technologies for the petroleum and coal industries.

Invenio Therapeutics Inc.: The biopharmaceutical business is researching and developing drugs to target leukemia.

Minerva Systems and Technology: The company is focused on navigation and guidance technologies, and wireless communications.

TeleHealth Holdings: The company specializes in health-monitoring devices, with its core product being a smart pillbox that sends alerts to people about a loved one's medications.