$50m in investment capital coming to Northeast Ohio

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved $72.7 million in statewide funding that will provide capital to innovative startup companies, advance medical technology and foster young talent through a new High School Tech Internship Pilot Program.

Yesterday, the Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved $72.7 million in statewide funding that will provide capital to innovative startup companies, advance medical technology and foster young talent through a new High School Tech Internship Pilot Program.

The High School Tech Internship Pilot Program will help develop and retain tech talent in Ohio by providing up to 100 high school-age students an opportunity to secure a paid summer internship at Ohio companies in the emerging fields of cybersecurity, data, software and cloud/IT infrastructure, according to a press release from the Ohio Development Services Agency.


Photo Courtesy of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Photo Courtesy of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

This statewide collaborative effort includes local education and private business partners, traditional and career technical schools, Ohio Third Frontier, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Education.

In order to receive the funding, the receiving organization will have to match the funding one-to-one, according to Vicki McDonald, communications manager at Jumpstart Inc. So, if Cleveland organizations were awarded $50 million in funds, they will have to raise $50 million, resulting in $100 million in investment capital available to startups and health tech in the region. 

“We are investing in technology that will attract private capital from across the state and beyond,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, in the press release. “Supporting innovation, building companies, and developing talent will provide new opportunities in Ohio’s growing tech economy.” 

The Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed/Seed Plus Fund Capitalization Program supports Ohio-based angel and seed-stage funds that provide capital to startup and early-stage Ohio-based technology companies. The Ohio Third Frontier money leverages matching private investment. 

The goal of the program is to encourage private investment and create a strong public/private partnership that accelerates the growth of technology companies in Ohio and creates well-paying jobs. These companies in turn have the potential to attract further investment from both inside and outside of the state. 

The following Northeast Ohio entities are recipients of Pre-Seed/Seed Plus funding:

  • Case Western Reserve University: Awarded $2 million for its Fund, CWRU Pre-Seed Fund. The Fund will partner with University Hospital Ventures and the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) to invest in CWRU research institution spinout companies, as well as other early-stage opportunities across Northeast Ohio.

  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation: Awarded $10 million for its Ohio BioValidation Fund VIII Plus. The fund will focus on early-stage, Ohio-based, biomedical and life sciences companies that have a strong affiliation with the clinic.

  • Comeback Capital: Awarded $1.5 million for its Comeback Capital Ohio Pre-Seed fund. The fund has close relationships with startup studios run by gener8tor and The Brandery in Cincinnati and in Northeast Ohio and will focus its investments on Ohio-based early-stage technology companies, primarily developing software applications for business and health care.

  • Jumpstart Inc.: Awarded a total of $19 million for its NEXT II Fund, JumpStart Evergreen Fund III and Healthcare Collaboration Fund which partners with University Hospital Ventures to target investments in Northeast Ohio technology startup companies primarily in the areas of biomedical and life sciences.

  • North Coast Angel Fund IV, LLC: Awarded $5 million for its North Coast Angel Fund IV. The fund will focus on high-growth business-to-business and software-as-a-service startups in Northeast Ohio.

  • North Coast Venture Fund II, LP: Awarded $4.5 million for its North Coast Venture Fund II. The fund will focus on business-to-business and software-as-a-service ventures in Northeast Ohio.

  • Innovation Fund America: Awarded $5 million for its Northeast Ohio Innovation Fund. The fund will focus on early-stage opportunities in targeted sectors, including software, biosciences, advanced energy and materials.

The Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) provides grants to Ohio institutions of higher education and other nonprofit research institutions to demonstrate that technology is commercially viable through activities such as testing and prototyping by licensing the technologies to companies. 

Case Western Reserve University was awarded $500,000 for the Accelerator Awards, as part of the TVSF.

Companies aiming to license institution-owned technologies can also receive funding to accelerate commercialization through activities such as market research and further prototyping to help companies either raise funds or get the licensed technology to the marketplace faster.

Companies also receiving the TVSF funding include: 

  • Autism Eyes LLC: Awarded $150,000 for the development and commercialization of a new software tool to help clinicians better evaluate if and where a patient falls on the autism spectrum to provide better support and treatment. 

  • BioChip Labs: Awarded $150,000 for the development and commercialization of a new diagnostic tool to better screen patients with sickle cell disease and provide targeted therapies for the most effective treatment. 

  • Rapidect Inc.: Awarded $150,000 for the development and commercialization of a near real-time analysis tool to more quickly detect the presence of MRSA and MSSA.

Maria McGinnis is a senior journalism major at Kent State University and an editorial intern at The Land.

Jumpstart is an underwriting partner of The Land, helping to support coverage of entrepreneurship in Cleveland’s neighborhoods.

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