BATON ROUGE, La. -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined TraceSecurity Inc. CEO Pete Stewart at the company's Baton Rouge headquarters to sign House Bill 597 into law, restarting the Angel Investor Tax Credit program. The tax credit spurred the investment of $62 million in early-stage Louisiana companies from 2005 through 2009 and attracted more than 250 investors who helped 57 companies -- including TraceSecurity -- fund their operations.
Gov. Jindal said, "The Angel Investor Tax Credit will help Louisiana generate even more business success stories involving high-growth, young companies that create good-paying jobs for our people. We want our children to have the opportunity to pursue exciting careers with innovative companies right here at home. The Angel Investor program is a critical way we can help early-stage companies overcome financing hurdles so they can grow and prosper in Louisiana."
"This incentive has proven its worth for the Capital Region, and will continue to spur economic activity from industries that are ahead of their time," said Rep. Michael Jackson, the Baton Rouge legislator who authored the bill. "We need these kinds of businesses to attract the sort of innovators and entrepreneurs that make Louisiana more economically competitive -- and this bill will go a long way in accomplishing that goal."
HB 597 restarts the Angel Investor Tax Credit program that expired at the end of 2009. The legislation the governor signed makes the program effective from Jan. 1, 2011, through July 1, 2015. The program provides a transferable tax credit set at 35 percent, which is projected to raise more than $14 million annually from angel investors, who typically fill a role that banks and conventional financers are unwilling to play for startups in the early, higher-risk stage of growth.
TraceSecurity, a software-based security compliance company with more than 1,300 corporate customers, grew from its 2004 founding at the Louisiana Technology Park. Angel investment was a key tool for raising money in the company's early years as it developed proprietary software products.
"We benefited from the Angel Investor program when TraceSecurity was still just an idea on a whiteboard and today is the global leader on governance, risk and compliance solutions -- helping over 1,300 corporations protect their networks from being hacked," said Stewart. "We know what a critical piece this incentive plays in the formation of innovative companies at the early stages. It's exciting to know that other companies will benefit from the important role played by angel investors. What this really represents is an opportunity for Louisiana to become known as a place where entrepreneurs can thrive and attract talent. There is no reason why Louisiana cannot be the home of the next Google or Facebook, as it is for TraceSecurity."
"The passage of the Angel Investor bill is a great step for the state of Louisiana and the Baton Rouge area," said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. "Access to capital is always an issue for entrepreneurs building growth companies. The Angel Investor program will make us more competitive by driving more risk capital into promising startups in the Capital Region and across Louisiana."
"Passage of the Angel Investor program was the top priority of the Louisiana Innovation Council because of its role in increasing access to early stage capital in Louisiana," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary and LIC Chairman Stephen Moret. "We are delighted that Gov. Jindal and the Legislature have supported the re-creation of this important program that supports both entrepreneurship and innovation in our state."
"NiFTy TV has been able to grow and expand thanks to investments from angel investors, who have taken advantage of Louisiana's Angel Investor Tax Credit program," said Marcus Morton, NiFTy TV president. "The program has helped to promote entrepreneurialism and incentivize investments in companies starting up right here in Louisiana. The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program has certainly made a difference for our company, and we're pleased that the Legislature and Gov. Bobby Jindal have extended the program."
About TraceSecurity Inc.
Based in Baton Rouge, TraceSecurity Inc. is a leading provider of corporate security compliance and risk management solutions to more than 1,300 organizations. The company's comprehensive patent-pending methodology helps clients address all critical components of a successful security compliance program -- including people, processes and technology. For more information, visit www.tracesecurity.com.