Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Dec. 4 newspaper on Page A3.
TechGROWTH Ohio, Ohio University’s Ohio Third Frontier entrepreneurial services provider, has been awarded $5.05 million by the state for venture development services. The grant will be matched by OU and private organizations, allowing TechGROWTH to continue and expand services through 2022.
“Innovation is in Ohio’s DNA, it’s who we are,” said Lydia L. Mihalik, director of development and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, in a release. “We are investing in the ideas and businesses making Ohio the most innovative, creative and entrepreneurial state in the Midwest.”
TechGROWTH Ohio, which is led and managed by OU’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, has developed an large network of executives and entrepreneurs-in-residence, as well as strategic partners, to identify and assist aspiring new companies and entrepreneurs throughout the region. The program also has a goal to help with new venture capital and technology commercialization partners like the Ohio Innovation Fund and I-Corps@Ohio.
“TechGROWTH’s leadership team and partners have built a very competitive program in southeast Ohio,” said Voinovich School Dean Mark Weinberg, in a release. “The program has had major spinoffs and impacted the Voinovich School’s approach to regional investment and development.”
At OU, collaborators include: Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, College of Business, Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation Center, Technology Transfer Office and Edison Biotechnology Institute. Regional partners include Shawnee State University, Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, Belmont County Community Improvement Corporation and others.
“Ohio University takes its leadership role in boosting economic development in this region of Appalachian Ohio very seriously,” said OU President M. Duane Nellis in a release. “In making its ongoing investment commitment, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission clearly agrees that funding TechGROWTH Ohio is essential to ensuring job creation and entrepreneurial support for this underserved region.”
TechGROWTH was founded in 2007 and provides professional services and seed-stage investment capital to technology companies and entrepreneurs in Southeast Ohio. With the additional funding, TechGROWTH Ohio will be a $62 million public-private partnership.
The services and investments have helped companies in Southeast Ohio generate more than $560 million in additional economic activity, including co-investments, loans, grants, increased sales and new jobs. Every $1 of state money invested generates almost $24 in economic activity.