Technology fund is getting back in action

The state’s Emerging Technology Fund is open for business again.

The Houston groups that screen local applicants for the fund said they will start taking new applications by Oct. 12.

The Houston Technology Center and Gulf Coast Center for Innovation stopped accepting applications in July, when the fund ran out of money.

The state had allocated federal reimbursement payments for Hurricane Ike- related expenses for the program. But the money had not arrived by July.

The state has since received almost all of the $70  million in reimbursements, which should allow for funding through the next three quarters, said Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office.

The state is still waiting for about $1.1 million in payments, she said.

Regional committees review applications from their areas and make recommendations to the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker, who pick the winners.

Locally, that duty falls to the Gulf Coast Center for Innovation, which is housed in the Houston Technology Center, a local startup incubator.

Companies must commit to stay in Texas for at least 10 years or repay the money, with interest.

The South Texas organization accepting applications never stopped taking them, said James Poage, president of Startech Foundation, a technology accelerator in San Antonio.

“What we passed on to clients was we were uncertain about the state review cycle,” he said, adding that applications that come in now will reviewed in the fall with presentations made to state officials in January.