The Lorain County Community College Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio was one of four organizations named as winners of the State Science and Technology Institute’s (SSTI’s) “2015 Excellence in TBED” award. The award recognizes these organizations for serving as national models for states and regions investing in science, technology and innovation to grow their economies and create high-paying jobs.
“Because of the Innovation Fund’s unique approach to financing and supporting startups, it bridges a gap in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—investing after an entrepreneur has exhausted friends and family resources, but before the company is ready for angel or venture capital investment,” said LCCC President Roy Church. “It fills a critical gap for entrepreneurs.”
The LCCC Innovation Fund was a SSTI award winner for “Building Entrepreneurial Capacity.”
The Lorain County Community College Foundation (LCCCF) launched Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio in 2007 as an outgrowth of the college’s commitment to fostering economic development in its community. Innovation Fund (IF) Northeast Ohio has emerged as one of the Northeast Ohio (NEO) region’s most active and supportive pre-seed funds for tech-based startups. After awarding $10.4 million to 153 technology-based startups since 2007, the fund’s portfolio companies have raised $188 million in follow-on investments. As these companies have grown, they have generated more than $100 million in sales revenue and created more than 500 jobs.
Awards were presented Tuesday during a ceremony at SSTI’s annual conference in Oklahoma City, OK, attended by more than 250 local, regional and national leaders in economic development from 43 states, Ontario Canada and the District of Columbia.
“The 2015 SSTI Excellence in TBED award winners have cultivated economic prosperity in their region through impressive initiatives that support science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dan Berglund, SSTI president and CEO. “This group, along with past winners, exhibits that sustained economic prosperity can be achieved through excellence in tech-based economic development.”
The following three initiatives were also named 2015 recipients of SSTI’s Excellence in TBED award:
The Corridor: Matching Grants Research Program – Expanding Research Capacity
The Corridor’s Matching Grants Research Program (MGRP) combines the academic and research capabilities of three leading universities – UCF, USF and UF – with the industrial resources and entrepreneurial energies of companies in the 23-county region known as Florida’s High Tech Corridor. The program has established relationships for nearly 3,000 faculty and students with more than 360 companies, resulting in the direct hire of approximately 100 graduates, roughly 215 patents, and the development of seven specialized university research centers.
The Water Council – Improving Competitiveness of Existing Industries
The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The nonprofit organization, consisting of more than 170 members, links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. Statewide, the water technology industry has more than 200 companies in Wisconsin, over 20 academic partners with water-based curriculum, and water-technology exports growing by 7.4 percent in 2014.
TechAccel: Kansas State University – Most Promising TBED Initiative
The Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, along with private management and investment, has developed and launched TechAccel – a new concept to overcome the technology advancement gap that has long plagued university-developed technologies. TechAccel partners with global companies to identify global market needs and the transformational science needed to effectively address those needs. TechAccel then co-funds and manages the $2 to $4 million in science advancement that a partnering company believes is necessary to de-risk potentially transformational technologies that can address global market demand. This strategy allows large companies to broaden their R&D capacity, small companies to distribute internationally, and universities and research institutions to more easily bring new inventions to the commercial market.
The State Science and Technology Institute is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. www.ssti.org