Two Tech Companies, Pitney Bowes Get Money From Bond Commission
The state Bond Commission released funding Friday for a number of projects, including $25 million for two technology companies and Pitney Bowes.
Datto Inc. of Norwalk received a $1 million grant and $5 million loan at 1 percent interest for 10 years. The loan would be forgiven if the company keeps 150 jobs and adds 200 within five years. The technology company provides backup and disaster recovery solutions for businesses. According to its website, it has grown 300 percent annually for the past four years.
“This is a perfect example of the kind of investment in strategic sectors that we look for,” Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith said. “We know that most job creation comes from young, small companies, and Datto is a leader in one of the hottest sectors of the Internet and information technology industry.”
Core Informatics in Branford, the second technology company on Friday’s agenda, will get a $250,000 grant and $2.75 million loan at 2 percent interest for 10 years, with $1 million of that forgiven if the company keeps 15 jobs and adds 69 more. The company is run by Josh Geballe, the son of Shelley Geballe, who founded Connecticut Voices for Children.
In 2010, Shelley Geballe co-authored a paper critical of Connecticut’s spending tax credits for industries and corporations. That was before Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took office and decided that instead of giving tax credits to these companies he would give low-interest loans and pay for it with borrowing. It’s a slightly different approach than the one Geballe criticized in her paper on the topic.
Josh Geballe, who was asked to stand and be acknowledged at the meeting Friday, said they are working aggressively to scale up their business and the state funding will help.
“We’re adding more employees to our team to help us serve more clients,” Geballe said. “What we do is we build cloud-based software products that help scientific researchers get more insight and value out of their data and research.”
Their target market is the sort of absent minded professor who is taking notes while experimenting. Geballe said their cloud-based solution takes the place of the notebook for these scientists. It also gives them a way to analyze the notes.
“These funds will help us support rapid scale of the business,” he added.
Pitney Bowes, which announced earlier this month that it would be keeping its headquarters in Connecticut, will receive a $15 million loan at a 2 percent interest rate for 10 years. The company will be eligible to have the loan forgiven if it retains 1,600 jobs and creates 200 new full-time jobs by 2019.
“We negotiated to keep the highest number of jobs in Connecticut and we were successful in doing that,” Malloy said. “We then focused on keeping the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company in Connecticut. We’ve done that.”
The state Bond Commission also approved funding for an upgrade to the state police gun licensing and registration computer system.
The upgrade will incorporate e-government and online self-serve capabilities that will allow the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to manage the “increased volume of applications.” In January, state police were processing 50,000 assault rifle registrations and 38,300 declarations of high-capacity magazines in response to legislation passed last year.
The fiscal note for the legislation passed following the Sandy Hook school shooting estimated that improving the background check and permitting system would cost about $2 to $3 million this year, and $695,000 in 2015.
The $2.57 million approved Friday for the project will also help the Departments of Developmental Services and Administrative Services upgrade their computer systems.
The Bond Commission approved $5.7 million for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to repave and resurface roads and parking lots in state parks.