Perry's tech fund shows $6M in potential losses

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2013 at 11:52 am •  Published: February 4, 2013
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"Continued funding for this program is essential to innovative economic development in Texas," Perry's budget says.

The tech fund has given $184.1 million to 137 companies the past six years. The state takes an equity position in companies awarded funding, and Perry's office puts the current value of those assets and total investments at $192 million.

But that's before $6 million in what the report calls "potential bad debts" — failed investments the state might not recoup. Nashed said Perry's office wanted "to give lawmakers a clearer picture of where the fund stands" but says those losses are unrealized at this time.

Twelve companies in the fund — about 9 percent of the entire portfolio — are listed as having ceased operation, filed for bankruptcy or referred to the Texas attorney general's office for contract breaches. Among the most recent was SeprOx Corporation, which was developing home oxygen generators with the help of a $750,000 state investment before the company closed in December, according to the report.

Total jobs within the tech fund are reported at 1,236 — a 16 percent drop from a year ago. But that tally does not include 10 companies that Nashed said would not provide employment data due to "confidentiality concerns." Last year, the state used other sources to project employment at those companies.

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