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Friday, April 30, 2010
Ohio Third Frontier's Tech Incubators are Key to Success for Ohio Entrepreneurs
Ohio Third Frontier is a key source of funding and support for Ohio entrepreneurs and business startups across the state. Through its six regional Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP) lead organizations and 13 Edison Technology Incubators, the Ohio Third Frontier program, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs, helps translate innovative ideas into investment-worthy companies through business assistance and pre-seed investments in startup companies.
"The outcome is a stronger technology economy creating new high wage jobs in our community," said Chris Anderson, director of venture development outreach at TechColumbus, Ohio Third Frontier's Central Ohio ESP organization.
TechColumbus is just one example of how the regional Entrepreneurial Signature Program organizations are providing the resources Ohio entrepreneurs need – from startup to commercialization. One of the businesses that credits much of its success to the Ohio Third Frontier's Entrepreneurial Signature Program and TechColumbus is InsightETE.
InsightETE provides technology solutions that measure and troubleshoot IT system performance by monitoring the flow of information to and from IT users. Its clients include large companies and organization such as JPMorgan Chase, Sterling Commerce and the State of Ohio.
"Ohio Third Frontier has provided InsightETE with the opportunity to grow its company and to turnaround and transition into a very successful technology company by hiring people with the right skills by incentivising investors to invest in our company and by exposing us to potential clients that can help us grow our company," said RC Wheeless, president and chief executive officer of InsightETE. "At the end of the day its about creating jobs. It's about growing the central Ohio tax base and getting people employed."
Ohio Third Frontier's Entrepreneurial Signature Programs have a track record of success. According to the 2009 "Making an Impact" report conducted by SRI, from 2007 to 2008, Ohio's six regional Entrepreneurial Signature Program organizations invested $36 million in direct business assistance and pre-seed capital funding to 81 companies which then resulted in product sales, follow-on investment, and funding totaling $145 million.
Through 2008 Ohio's 13 Edison Technology Incubators have supported 270 startup companies, which reported $262.2 million in product sales, research grant awards and other revenue, and $120.8 million in equity investments by private investors, venture capital funds and others.
"The growth of Ohio's technology-based companies is creating employment opportunities for existing workers that are transitioning to the new economy as well as those new to the workforce," said Norm Chagnon, executive director of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. "Ohio Third Frontier's investments in these companies' research, development, and capital infrastructure, aligned with Ohio's educational programs focused on technological excellence, creates an environment where young people and existing workers are prepared to fill the jobs of the future enabling them to remain in Ohio."
Since its inception, the Ohio Third Frontier has created, capitalized or attracted more than 600 companies, has created nearly 55,000 direct and indirect jobs and helped create $6.6 billion in economic impact in Ohio, a 9:1 return on investment.