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Wednesday, October 24,2012

OU tech growth program gets another round of state funding

Ohio University's Third Frontier initiative, TechGROWTH Ohio, has been awarded a new round of funding in a competitive statewide process, the university announced Wednesday.

The new award totals $3 million and will be matched with private dollars, allowing TechGROWTH to continue and expand its services through 2014 and growing the state, university and private partnership to a $27 million program, the release said.

Founded in 2007, TechGROWTH has acquired nearly $100 million in intensive operational assistance and resources to help grow successful businesses, leveraging the state funds at a ratio of 10.5 to 1.

"This new award from the Ohio Third Frontier validates and supports Ohio University's significant and ongoing efforts to grow the economy in southeast Ohio by creating more technology companies and, most importantly, jobs in our region," OU President Roderick J. McDavis said in the release.

Lynn Gellermann, TechGROWTH's executive director, praised the initiative in the news release, referring to it as "the footprint of the Third Frontier program in southeast Ohio." 

TechGROWTH's investment portfolio now numbers 10 companies, including one student start-up in digital media, three OU faculty-led start-ups and multiple regional start-ups from Athens and around TechGROWTH's 20-county service region.

According to the release, TechGROWTH has developed an expansive network of strategic partners and clients throughout the region to identify and assist aspiring new companies and entrepreneurs. It established the region's first angel investment network, the East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund (ECOTAF).

"TechGROWTH's capacity to guide inventors and entrepreneurs through the early stages of company formation creates viable investment opportunities for our Angel fund and individual members," Athens ECOTAF member Chris Gerig said in the news release.

TechGROWTH was originally initiated by the university's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in partnership with the Edison Biotechnology Institute, Adena Ventures and Ohio State University South Centers.


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