The Innovation Center, Ohio University’s business incubator, has received two major awards of excellence from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).
At its annual conference in Minneapolis, the InBIA named the Innovation Center the 2019 Rural-Based Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and honored the center with the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award. The latter award is InBIA’s highest honor and is sponsored by the Friends of University City Science Center of Philadelphia. The award recipient receives a cash prize.
“The Innovation Center is a national example of how Ohio University works with the region to serve as a positive catalyst of economic change for Appalachia,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “We are proud of our innovation ecosystem’s ability to support the growth of local companies and to develop successful partnerships and initiatives in our surrounding communities.”
The Innovation Center offers customized business assistance, including capital access planning, human resource development and market analysis. Its 36,000-square-foot facility features seven biotechnology labs, 33 offices and an Additive Manufacturing Lab. The business incubator works closely with University and regional partners, including TechGROWTH Ohio, a program funded by Ohio University and the state’s Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Services Provider Program to provide business expertise, services and investments for startup companies in Southeast Ohio.
In 2018 alone, the Innovation Center served 24 clients that employed 154 high-wage workers. The incubator also attracted hundreds of attendees to 35 events, including open houses for its Additive Manufacturing Lab, workshops for entrepreneurs, plus networking and learning opportunities for startup companies and innovators in Southeast Ohio.