18:00 PM

Ohio Third Frontier Approves Funding for Innovation Gateway

Collaboration between The Ohio State University and TechColumbus sets the stage for new advances in technology commercialization and increased startup companies based on university discoveries.

(Columbus, OH – October 24, 2012) – The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has recommended $7.7 million to fully fund the Central Ohio Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP) for the years 2013-2014. This award, which when matched by Central Ohio partners including Battelle, Nationwide Children's Hospital, OhioHealth, The Ohio State University and others, represents a $15.4 million investment in the continued growth of the region's innovation economy. The program includes funding for a new collaboration between The Ohio State University and TechColumbus known as the Innovation Gateway.

The $2.6 million Innovation Gateway is dedicated to helping launch high-growth startups based on Ohio State research and technology platforms. The program will formally link the new programs and systems being built within the Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) at Ohio State and the business development and entrepreneurial expertise within TechColumbus.

"The Innovation Gateway represents a new model for startup creation and economic development and further establishes our strong alliance with TechColumbus. It is yet another example of the collaborative spirit that exists in our region and a credit to those that can think differently and execute," said Brian Cummings, Vice President of Technology Commercialization for The Ohio State University.

"We are pleased by today's decision by the commission," said Tom Walker, President and CEO of TechColumbus. "This support from the Ohio Third Frontier and our regional partners allows us to expand entrepreneurial services and focus our efforts on those initiatives which create the greatest impact for the region – the Innovation Gateway and our partnership with Ohio State being an exciting element of the program."

TechColumbus was represented at the Ohio Third Frontier Commission meeting by Walker, along with Alex Fischer, President and CEO of The Columbus Partnership and Blake Thompson, Ohio State's Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development who serves as Secretary for the Board of TechColumbus."The decision by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission is yet another confirmation of our region's tremendous potential to commercialize its research and technology assets," said Fischer. "By fully funding the Central Ohio proposal, the Ohio Third Frontier has made a resounding endorsement of our broad economic development efforts, the partnership between TechColumbus and Ohio State, and our continued expansion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem."

The goals of the Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP) are to provide entrepreneurial services with demonstrated value through the ESP networks; maintain an entrepreneurial assistance climate supporting the creation, retention and attraction of investable Ohio technology companies; build a pipeline of deal flow that increasingly attracts the resources of venture capital firms both within and outside of Ohio; and build a network of universal support for technology companies within the state. TechColumbus was first awarded the designation as Central Ohio's ESP in 2007. Since then, it has helped launch and fund 140 companies, investing $22.8 million in these ventures, which in turn have raised a total of $363.6 million in follow-on funding.

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission's recommendation is contingent upon approval by the State Controlling Board.

About The Ohio State University (www.osu.edu)
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

About TechColumbus (www.techcolumbus.org)
TechColumbus is the public-private partnership whose mission is to accelerate the advancement of Central Ohio's innovation economy. It is distinguished by its comprehensive breadth of services, including membership, advocacy, venture acceleration and seed funding. Through its services and programming, TechColumbus supports the innovation initiatives of all companies within the region from the newest entrepreneurial startups to the Fortune 500 companies that call Central Ohio home. TechColumbus measures its impact through increased economic growth and the creation of high-paying jobs. With thousands of companies served, and hundreds of millions of dollars directly or indirectly invested, TechColumbus champions the region's world-class technology-enabled companies and is the driver of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Columbus region.


Melanie Baker
Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer
419.953.8609 (mobile)

Janelle Huelsman
Fahlgren Mortine
614.383.1627 (office)