TechGROWTH Ohio, Ohio University’s Ohio Third Frontier entrepreneurial services provider, has been awarded $5.05 million by the state of Ohio in a competitive funding process for venture development services, according to a news release.

The grant will be matched by OU and private organizations, allowing TechGROWTH to continue and expand services through 2022, the release said.

“Innovation is in Ohio’s DNA; it’s who we are,” Lydia L. Mihalik, director of development and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, said in the release. “We are investing in the ideas and businesses making Ohio the most innovative, creative and entrepreneurial state in the Midwest.”

TechGROWTH Ohio, which is led and managed by OU’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, has developed an expansive network of executives, entrepreneurs-in-residence and strategic partners to identify and assist aspiring new companies and entrepreneurs throughout the region, along with new venture capital and technology commercialization partners such as the Ohio Innovation Fund and I-Corps@Ohio, the release said.

“TechGROWTH’s leadership team and partners have built a very competitive program in southeast Ohio,” Voinovich School Dean Mark Weinberg said in the release. “The program has had major spinoffs and impacted the Voinovich School’s approach to regional investment and development.”

At OU, institutional collaborators include the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, College of Business, Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation Center, Technology Transfer Office and Edison Biotechnology Institute. Regional partners include Shawnee State University, Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, Belmont County Community Improvement Corporation and others.

In the release, OU President M. Duane Nellis said, “Ohio University takes its leadership role in boosting economic development in this region of Appalachian Ohio very seriously. In making its ongoing investment commitment, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission clearly agrees that funding TechGROWTH Ohio is essential to ensuring job creation and entrepreneurial support for this underserved region.”

Founded in 2007 by OU and the Ohio Third Frontier program, TechGROWTH provides intensive professional services and seed-stage investment capital to technology companies and entrepreneurs in southeast Ohio. It has assisted more than 2,210 entrepreneurs and invested more than $7 million in 15 startup companies, while providing 90 companies nearly $5 in GROWTH funding awards. With the additional funding, TechGROWTH Ohio will be a $62 million public-private partnership, the release said.

“This new award from the Ohio Third Frontier validates the quality of our significant and ongoing efforts to increase technology startup activity and expand economic impact in the coming years,” Lynn Gellermann, executive director of TechGROWTH and OU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. said in the release.

These services and investments have helped companies in Southeast Ohio generate more than $560 million in additional economic activity, including co-investments, loans, grants, increased sales and new jobs. Every $1 of state money invested generates almost $24 in economic activity, the release said.

Entrepreneurs in southeastern Ohio can visit www.techgrowthohio.com for more information about available investment and venture development resources.

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