The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is awarding $375,000 to eight technology-based startup companies. The award recipients, which cross three technology sectors and represent five Northeast Ohio counties, will be using the seed funding to patent their technologies, begin FDA approval processes, build out prototypes and gain early customers.
Darkside Scientific ($25,000 | Medina) Darkside Scientific, LLC has developed the world’s first and only electroluminescent coating technology, LumiLor paint. This patent-pending product is capable of illuminating practically any surface, including metals, plastics, wood, fiberglass, and glass. The company intends to use the funds to build its paint shop training center and develop a library of procedures, troubleshooting guidelines, and FAQs.
MascotSecret ($25,000 | Cleveland) MascotSecret’s online and mobile ticketing technology allows fans to upgrade their seats during the game, supercharging the fan experience and increasing event-day ticket sales. The company is using the funds to further develop its mobile application. MascotSecret is a member of Bizdom, an entrepreneurship accelerator that mentors and funds tech-based startups in the downtowns of Cleveland and Detroit.
Motion Resolution ($25,000 | Rocky River) Motion Resolution LLC’s patented technology is evolving the standard bike pedal by maximizing the leg muscles and creating a new, more efficient pedaling motion. Motion Resolution is using the funding to engineer its two remaining prototypes.
Poly MedTech ($25,000 | Akron) Poly MedTech’s initial product is a rubbery adhesive coating that keeps wounds closed while letting the surrounding skin bend and flex. The company will use the funding to optimize the polymer and begin FDA approval.
SafeCare ($25,000 | Cleveland) SafeCare LLC helps eliminate elder abuse in long-term care facilities by monitoring employees monthly against nationwide healthcare and criminal public data sources. SafeCare plans to use the money to build out its product and explore patent protection. SafeCare is a member of Bizdom, an entrepreneurship accelerator that mentors and funds tech-based startups in the downtowns of Cleveland and Detroit.
The Learning Egg ($50,000 | North Jackson) The Learning Egg has developed a web-based subscription application that allows teachers to quickly and easily create a learning assessment, automatically grade 100 pages a minute, and generate an analysis of student performance. With the funds, The Learning Egg will enhance its feature set and continue school integration across the country.
IGW Solutions ($100,000 | Elyria) IGW Solutions is a billing and account service provider that allows retail store owners to overcome customer crediting issue barriers. Its web-based software, InStoreFinance.com helps stores capture potentially lost credit sales through self-financing solutions. With the funding, IGW will add stores to its portfolio and develop its go-to-market strategy. IGW is a member of Bizdom, an entrepreneurship accelerator that mentors and funds tech-based startups in the downtowns of Cleveland and Detroit.
Socrates Analytics ($100,000 | Shaker Heights) Socrates Analytics has integrated data from all existing hospital administrative databases to allow for a data-driven analysis of the entire patient experience, resulting in a unique perspective on information that can be used to improve quality and efficiency. The Innovation Fund money will finance the installation and development expenses to bring on an additional large hospital and one small hospital as clients.
"The companies that receive Innovation Fund money have a clear use for the funds, whether it’s to prove out their technologies with a patent or validate their business model by onboarding customers," said Tracy Green, Lorain County Community College’s Vice President of Strategic and Institutional Development. "It’s exciting to see the Innovation Fund do exactly what it’s supposed to, which is to bridge a known financing gap and allow Northeast Ohio’s technology startups to continue their growth and eventually become job creators for the region."
Including this most recent round of awards, the Innovation Fund has made 114 awards to 94 companies totaling $6.475 million. These companies have raised $71 million follow-on funding, created more than 300 jobs, and provided more than 150 internships to students.
About the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is Northeast Ohio’s most active early-stage fund. It makes awards of up to $100,000 to technology-based companies so they can validate their technologies and business concepts. The Innovation Fund averages six funding awards per quarter and fills the capital needs of businesses at the earliest stage of development, before they can attract angel and venture capital funding. Innovation Fund awards are made with funds from the Ohio Third Frontier, which have been combined with matching support and contributions from the Innovation Fund partners. These partners include the University of Akron, the University of Akron Research Foundation, Cleveland State University, the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), the Lorain County Community College Foundation, Stark State College, Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Northeast Ohio Medical University.