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Houghton high-tech companies receive COVID-19 support funding: 58 early-stage tech companies receive $3 Million in support from state’s Tech Startup Stabilization Fund

58 early-stage tech companies receive $3 Million in support from state’s Tech Startup Stabilization Fund

HOUGHTON — Two Houghton-based, high-tech companies are among 58 across the state to receive direct investments or loans from the state’s Tech Startup Stabilization Fund. The funds are to assist them during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced on June 25. Announced in mid-April, the Tech Startup Stabilization Fund has been administered by ID Ventures in Detroit to support early-stage tech companies in Michigan with fewer than 50 employees and a demonstrated need for support due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.

The two Houghton businesses are Stabilux Biosciences, and Sightline Systems, Inc.

StabiLux Biosciences is a Michigan Technological University spinoff company that has developed proprietary, high-brightness dyes. Its products target biomedical applications, particularly for use in multi-color flow cytometry, a staple technology for biomedical research and clinical diagnostics. The brightness of the dyes can be customized to meet the needs of cell samples.

Sightline Systems was founded by Ashley Kern, a data scientist turned student advocate. She has been able to apply her data science expertise to a field that can impact students’ everyday lives and long term success. Her experience with health challenges and medical bills as a student has given her a unique perspective into solving retention, financial insecurity, and even enrollment decision challenges and inspired her to make a difference in how institutions can support students.

Mark A. Burton, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said the COVID-19 outbreak presented unprecedented challenges for businesses of all sizes over the past three months.

“The technologies and discoveries these small businesses are pursuing,” said Burton, “will have an invaluable impact on our ability to strengthen and rebuild our state’s economy over the coming months as we work to enable economic prosperity across all corners of our state.”

The Tech Startup Stabilization Fund prioritized support for early-stage companies that are headquartered in Michigan and that demonstrated a strong customer value proposition, comprised a team with proven execution capability, and pre-COVID-19 were on a path for an additional round of funding, in addition to other criteria. Support through the fund ranged from $10,000 to $125,000 depending on demonstrated need and allowed recipients to retain their workforce, advance vital high-tech research initiatives and support operating costs, in addition to meeting other critical needs.

This is the first installment of a series in Which the Daily Mining Gazette will explore the two Houghton-based companies, and the state’s Tech Startup Stabilization Fund, and what high-tech companies like these mean to the area’s future.

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