Seven innovative Northeast Ohio startups are receiving the early-stage capital necessary to validate a technology or prove out a business model. The Innovation Fund, Northeast Ohio’s most active pre-seed fund for technology-based startups, announced awards totaling $400,000 in its latest funding round, with three companies receiving $100,000 awards and four receiving $25,000 grants.

The Innovation Fund received 32 applications this round and selected 10 companies to present to the decision making committee, with seven receiving funding awards.

“The quantity of high-caliber startups in Northeast Ohio is certainly on the rise,” said Dennis Cocco, director of operations for the Innovation Fund and co-director of GLIDE, the incubator that administers the fund. “We are seeing evidence of that climb every year, as it becomes increasingly more common to have more investment-worthy startups than we have funding available—and that’s a good problem to have.”

Cocco attributes the increase in high quality deal flow to Northeast Ohio’s growing network of entrepreneurial support and the collaboration among its members.

“Northeast Ohio’s Third Frontier-funded incubators, accelerators, and Entrepreneurial Signature Program collaborators are working together to create an ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs. It’s an ecosystem that is more than 10 years in the making and because of it, our region’s startups are better prepared to receive investment, generate revenue, and ultimately create new jobs,” said Cocco.

The startups receiving Innovation Fund awards are:

Adjuvant Polymers ($100,000 | Akron)
Adjuvant Polymers is commercializing a disruptive antimicrobial platform that chemically binds chlorine to a polymer backbone, thereby controlling and regulating the way in which the chlorine and the environment are permitted to interact. Polymer-bound chlorine is a strong and targeted antimicrobial exhibiting high efficacy (even on C. diff spores), broad spectrum kill, durability (up to several months) and rechargeability.

Environmental Fracturing Solutions ($100,000 | Independence)
Environmental Fracturing Solutions has developed a variant formulation of their parent company’s technology to provide a safe and cost-effective method to treat the water used in the fracking industry. The proprietary and patent pending technology platform provides a biocide /bio-static product that concentrates ions in their optimal antimicrobial state in solution. It is stable, easy to use and is EPA certified class IV, virtually harmless to handle.

Sequentia ($100,000 | Cleveland)
Sequentia has created a web-based, real-time platform for the healthcare industry that improves and streamlines the process of transitioning an individual from the hospital to their next phase of care. The Sequentia Discharge Planning & Placement System™ connects health systems and consumers—from in-hospital patients to at-home individuals and family members—with the optimal provider of extended care services, including Skilled Nursing, Short-Term Rehabilitation, Long-Term Care, Assisted Living, Independent Living, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, Alcohol & Drug Rehab, Mental Health Care, In-Home Health Care and Hospice.

City Thermoelectrics ($25,000 | Cleveland)
City Thermoelectrics is commercializing an advanced thermoelectric material that yields cost-effective electrical energy recovered from waste heat. Its unique technical innovation is a nanotechnology licensed from Purdue University that dramatically lowers the material cost of thermoelectric devices.

Design Flux Technologies ($25,000 | Maple Heights)
Design Flux Technologies designs, manufactures, and licenses Software-Defined Power Management Systems that significantly reduces cost, enhance performance, and ease the integration of energy storage systems for global Original End Manufacturers. The company’s software-defined technology platform eliminates the need for traditional power management products and peripheral systems commonly sourced in the supply chain. designfluxtech.com

ExpenseBot ($25,000 | North Ridgeville)
ExpenseBot is a new way of managing expense reports without all the effort. The company’s integrations, algorithms, and specialists eliminate all the friction of creating, approving, and reimbursing expense reports so employees can spend their time on other things. expensebot.com

inLaw.me ($25,000 | Cleveland)
inLaw.me is an online marketplace for law-related jobs that directly connects legal employers and top lateral candidates. The company’s free internet-based solution provides an efficient alternative to head hunters and supports the full recruiting life cycle, including candidate sourcing, screening and management.  inlaw.me

With these awards, the Innovation Fund has made 148 funding awards to 123 companies totaling more than $8 million.