Twelve, young companies receive over $42M in support from the state’s economic development engine, Ohio Third Frontier (OTF). OTF has led the nation as an example of what a robust approach, via both funding and support programs, can do for technology and start-ups. Their model works closely with partnering corporations and investors to expand the potential and leverage of each dollar spent in the program.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Twelve Northeast Ohio companies received word Wednesday that they have collectively been awarded nearly $42.3 million in grants and loans from the Ohio Third Frontier, a state economic development driver that invests in new technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.
That’s half of the more than $84.9 million that the Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved statewide for promising startups, cutting-edge technologies and efforts to bring innovative ideas to fruition.
“This is a great outcome for Northeast Ohio companies and the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Cathy Belk, chief operating officer of JumpStart Inc., a Cleveland nonprofit that invests in entrepreneurs and their high-growth companies. “In a sense, we’re getting more than our fair share on a statewide level.”
The largest chunk of that money was the $25 million awarded to University Hospitals Health Systems Inc., to create the Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Center. University Hospitals is partnering with the state of Ohio on this $250 million national initiative, based in Ohio, to accelerate the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical breakthroughs by physician-scientists.
“The Innovation Support Center and The Harrington Project are an opportunity for Ohio to become a leading center of pharmaceutical development, resulting in significant economic impact on the State,” University Hospitals said in a written statement.
That’s in addition to the $21 million awarded to establish the Neurotechnology Innovations Translator led by The Ohio State University in Columbus.
“Bringing together the right mix of technology, capital and talent, the world-class centers will continue positioning Ohio has a leader in medical innovation,” David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, said in a statement. “These partnerships will turn new technology into companies and bring quality jobs to the state.”
Five of the 10 recipients of Ohio Third Frontier’s Pre-Seed Fund Capitalization Program, which awards funds to invest in emerging companies, are in Northeast Ohio:
1. Impact Angel Fund LLC, based in Canton, in Stark County, was awarded $1 million for its Impact Angel Fund. Fund collaborators include JumpStart, TechGROWTH Ohio, Innovation Forward LLC and 28 individual investors.
2. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, was awarded $3 million for its Ohio BioValidation Fund VI. Fund collaborators include Parker Hannifin Corp., ProMedica, JumpStart, BioEnterprise Corp., North Coast Angel Fund II LLC, and Case Western Reserve University.
3. North Coast Angel Fund III, based in Mayfield Heights, was awarded $3 million for its North Coast Angel Fund III. Fund collaborators include JumpStart, BioEnterprise, Cleveland Clinic Innovations and 47 individual investors.
“The State of Ohio is committed to creating opportunities for technology startups to launch, fund and thrive in the region,” said Bizdom Cleveland Leader Paul Allen, in a statement. “Bizdom is excited to use the grant to further strengthen the rich environment and continue to attract talent from across the country.”
5. Lorain County Community College Foundation, which is based in Elyria but invests in efforts across 21 counties in Northeast Ohio, was awarded $3 million for its Northeast Ohio Innovation Fund. Fund collaborators include Great Lakes Innovation & Development Enterprise.
Three of the five companies that received loans from the Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund to support their developing technologies are based in Northeast Ohio. They are also endeavors that JumpStart has invested in in return for a small ownership stake, Belk said. They include:
1. Cervilenz Inc., a Chagrin Falls company whose device enables physicians to measure the cervix in an effort to prevent premature birth, received $2 million.
2. Echogen Power Systems LLC, an Akron company that produces systems that capture and convert heat energy into power, received $1.5 million.
3. MAR Systems, a Solon company that has developed a “patented, proprietary process to remove mercury, selenium, arsenic and other metal contaminants from water” to meet EPA standards, received $645,000.
Here are local recipients of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund:
1. Case Western Reserve University received $75,000 in grants for two projects: the development and clinical trials of a new non-invasive test to enable early detection of Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that leads to an increased risk of a rare type of cancer, and the development of a non-invasive retina imaging system that could detect disease before damage occurs.
2. Cleveland Clinic received $99,000 in grants for two projects: the development and commercialization of less-invasive and less-expensive devices for use during specific coronary procedures, and for a new approach and device for “single-beat” electrophysiology mapping of the human heart, designed to ultimately improve the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
3. Northeast Ohio Medical University, based in Rootstown Township, Portage County, was awarded a $30,000 grant to study osteoactivin, a substance that promotes the formation of bone. That could help repair bone damage from osteoporosis, spinal degeneration and other ailments.
4. Ion-Vac Inc., based in Cleveland, received a $100,000 grant to commercialize a new chronic wound therapy system that could lead to faster healing and better recovery.