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March 23, 2000

Governor Ryan Commences First Annual Illinois Technology Conference In Chicago

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today kicked off the Illinois Annual Technology Conference by promoting Illinois' VentureTECH program to representatives of technology companies and venture capital firms from throughout the nation.

"Last month, I proposed a bold agenda for this state," said Ryan. "The Illinois VentureTECH initiative is a $1.9 billion investment in our future and will bring Illinois to the head of the class nationally as the leader in technology."

VentureTECH is a commitment to research and development, biotechnology, health sciences, information technology and advanced physics. In the next five years, the program is expected to generate an additional $1.9 billion in federal and private investment activity in Illinois. VentureTECH includes an additional $800 million in state-directed venture capital.

Ryan noted that when the Illinois General Assembly approves the appropriations for the VentureTECH, Illinois will be positioned as a leader in the technology revolution. "I see what other states are doing and where Illinois needs to be. VentureTECH puts the pieces in place," he said.

Sponsored by the Illinois Coalition, the Annual Technology Conference promotes Illinois' growing technology community and highlights Illinois' investment opportunities for venture capitalists. Shaye Mandle, President of the Illinois Coalition, noted that the conference provides a forum for technology companies to share ideas and provide guidance to the state on ways to improve its business climate.

"Government has tried to keep up with technological changes in order to do its part to create the best environment possible for entrepreneurial growth," Mandle said. "But state government has found it difficult to move at Internet speed. Rather than accept this as a roadblock to government assisting the growing demands of business, business leaders are advising on what we could do to help," he said.

Represented at the conference were the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Divine InterVentures, MVP.com, vcapital.com, ARCH Venture Partners, Red Herring, Levenfeld Pearlstein, Porter Novelli Convergence Group, and KMPG.

Ryan presented VentureTECH as an investment in people and programs that also addresses the need for capital investment in technology infrastructure. "It's the wires, the chips, the machines that harness incredible computing power, as well as the buildings, laboratories, and classrooms which house them." The program also includes state government technology initiatives that will improve the delivery of government services and customer service, maximize taxpayer resources, and make the state more performance-driven, efficient, and accountable.

The first annual Technology Conference was created by the Illinois Coalition. After six months of meetings, the Coalition presented the "Tech and Jobs Agenda" report, which was formulated into Illinois VentureTECH. The Coalition will continue to work with state, national and international business leaders on technology issues and report to the governor.


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