Gainesville is well represented with more than a dozen of the the 58 tech companies funded throughout the state so far, such as Shadow Health, Altavian and Paracosm.

Florida is getting back way more than it is spending from the economic impact of investing in technology companies and that return is accelerating as the companies mature, according to an economics study.

The Washington Economics Group, based in Coral Gables, conducted the study of companies funded by the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, which has an office at the University of Florida Innovation Hub and another in Boca Raton.

The institute was created by the state Legislature in 2007 to mentor and invest in Florida companies built around inventions to come out of state universities and private research institutions.

The institute receives about $5 million a year from the state and in the 2015-16 fiscal year the companies had a $129 million impact to the state’s gross domestic product, according to the study.

Last year’s impact made up nearly 40 percent of the six-year impact of $335 million.

The companies also supported the creation of 1,618 new jobs last year, and 4,091 over the six years.

The numbers include direct jobs and income created by the companies and a multiplier effect used by the state on their spending that creates additional jobs and spending, according to economist Tony Villamil of The Washington Economics Group.

The companies paid an average salary of $77,843.

“The employment creates ripple effects and a lot of this employment is high-wage, high-skill because it’s software, bioscience — high-level professional services,” Villamil said.

About $23 million has gone into the seed-capital fund, which has been matched by five times that amount of private capital, according to Jackson Streeter, CEO of the institute.

The seed fund provides between $50,000 and $300,000 and requires at least a one-to-one match of private funding.

Streeter named SharpSpring in Gainesville as an example of a company growing as it matures. The institute funded the company in 2012 and it has since hired 75 employees and recently moved into the new 15,000-square-foot Nimbus building at Southwest Sixth Street and Second Avenue.

Gainesville is well represented with more than a dozen of the the 58 companies funded throughout the state so far, such as Shadow Health, Altavian and Paracosm.

Just this month the institute funded BioTork, a biotech company based in the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center, and Social Evidence, a tech company led by former UF Law Dean Jon Mills that collects and analyzes the social media history of people involved in lawsuits.

Streeter said the institute funds companies through an early-stage period known as the “valley of death” when there is typically a funding gap between research funding from the likes of the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation and the company maturing enough to lure venture capital.

“If they don’t get that funding there might not be a company that ever forms. It’s high risk but it can lead to some successful outcomes,” he said.

Streeter would like to see the institute funded on a recurring basis rather than relying on an annual expenditure every legislative session. He also said the state’s funding lags behind others, such as Connecticut, which provides several hundred million dollars in an innovation fund.

“The opportunity in the state is huge," he said. "We have a lot more deals we could do if we had more resources.”

“To the state’s credit, at least they’re doing this much. It could be more but at least we’re doing what we can.”