Monday, February 15, 2010

Seamless connect between programs, capital, credited with Ohio's high-tech rise

Tony Giordano has been around the block. He's started successful companies in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He has a good job as assistant dean of research and business development at Louisiana State University's Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
So why is he moving his new cardiovascular company, TheraVasc, from Louisiana to Cleveland? Quite simply, he says, there's no place like Ohio.
"There's this continuum of capital that I didn't see anywhere else in the country," says Giordano, whose company has received $100,000 of debt financing from the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise, $250,000 in venture capital from Portal Capital and $250,000 in convertible debt from JumpStart. "(Cleveland) had a phenomenally organized angel network, GCIC (Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center in Cleveland) was sitting out there and focused on cardiovascular opportunities. And the Third Frontier itself, when you started to look at it all, it became very clear. I stopped (looking at) Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas, and just focused on Ohio."
Last week, the Ohio General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to place on the May 4 ballot a $700-million bond issue to extend the life of Ohio's signature economic development effort -- the Ohio Third Frontier -- through 2016. Proponents, who include numerous business groups, say approval is critical to continued creation of high-tech jobs.

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