3 area tech firms to seek investors at Orlando forum

Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 at 9:48 p.m.

A trio of local companies on the hunt for financial assistance have been selected to tout their products at a forum this month in Orlando.

The 2003 Florida Venture Capital Conference, an annual event that connects investors with tech-related companies, will showcase more than 20 of the state's up-and-coming firms. Those companies will have the chance to make presentations to investment bankers, venture capitalists and other investors with the goal of gaining future financing.

The area firms - MaxxVision LLC of Gainesville, Florical Systems Inc. of Gainesville and Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. of Alachua - will attend the Jan. 15-16 conference at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando. The annual event, sponsored by the Florida Venture Forum, has generated more than $453 million in investment capital for state companies since it began in 1992.

MaxxVision LLC specializes in digital imaging for the medical and industrial markets. When financing is obtained, the company expects to target the mammography market with its technology, which is designed to magnify and enhance images from electronic screenings.

MaxxVision is a subsidiary of Gainesville-based Nanoptics Inc., which is in the process of spinning off another company, Digital Optronics Corp.

The company is renovating a manufacturing facility in Alachua for Digital Optronics, which will manufacture high-speed cable for the telecommunications industry.

Florical Systems Inc. works with broadcast automation systems for the television industry. The company's technology is used by cable companies, television stations and PBS stations around the country.

Florical's ShowTimer product, for example, positions satellite antennas, tunes receivers and routes signals for television networks. The company's ShareCasting technology helps in broadcasting control between a central network site and its regional stations, and Florical lists NBC as a client for the ShareCasting product.

Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. is a biotechnology firm that is researching cures for alpha-1-antitrypsin disease, an inherited cause of emphysema. About 200,000 people are estimated to have A1AD, according to Applied Genetic's research.

The company is located in the Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Institute in Alachua. Its staff is developing protein cells to cure anemia in cats, and gene therapy treatments for Huntington's disease, obesity and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Joe Coombs can be reached at 338-3102 or coombsj@gvillesun.com.

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