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Stories and insights from the incubator at Lorain County Community College

Under the Microscope: Why this Scientist Launched a Startup

ABEMIS co founders

Todd Doehring spent years working as a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic and as a professor of Bioengineering at Drexel University. His projects centered on images and micro-testing systems. He wanted to make them work better for doctors and other scientists. Todd researched and taught biomechanics of soft tissues and microscopy.

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Improve Your Odds of Raising Money

If you’re running a startup, chances are you’ll need to know how to raise capital.  You need to know how to find the right potential funding sources and once those sources are identified, how to increase your odds to get funding from those sources.

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How This Startup Captured 92% of Its Customers from Social Media

DriveMyWay

Beth Potratz owns an eharmony.com of sorts for truckers. Not for love, but for matching truck drivers with jobs they will love. The human resource expert was working on driver recruitment solutions for a trucking industry client when she spotted a two-way challenge: employers couldn’t find the best-fitting drivers and drivers couldn’t find the best-fitting jobs.

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How Startups Should Approach Doing Financials

How startups should approach doing their financials

"Wait, I have to do financials for my business?!" That's what many entrepreneurs shriek as perspiration rolls down their foreheads when they're told three or five year pro-forma financials are needed for their business when applying to the Innovation Fund. That's closely followed by, "How am I supposed to do that? I'm an entrepreneur, not an accountant." In all honesty, when asked to write this blog I shrieked, "But I'm a numbers person. I don't write!" It took a bit to calm me down, but I realized I do know about financials and I have written before, so I could do this. Hopefully, your panic will subside or at least diminish and be replaced by some degree of confidence after reading this blog.

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Top Ways Startups Can Make their Money Last

If you’re running a startup I’ve got one important bit of advice: you will never have enough funding. You will (and should) always be looking for your next source of funds. Well, maybe never is a bit over the top, but never is a good benchmark during the first five years of any startup.

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Bringing Blood Tests Out of the Lab

Apollo Medical blog

To perform most blood tests, a nurse draws a vial of blood from a patient and sends the sample to a lab, where it’s spun in a big machine and analyzed. Then the lab technician sends the patient’s results to the physician who ordered the test. The entire process takes up to two hours, but can be rushed for urgent cases.

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Here's $100,000. How Much of Your Company Do I Get?

students and startups blog

It's a valid question. Your innovation is going to require money in order to advance from development to commercial launch. Whether your total capital needs are $3 million or $30 million, the needed money can trickle in via smaller increments or in tranches of millions of dollars—depending on how you ultimately structure your funding request. But, independent of such incremental amounts, you must establish and validate a valuation for your business. In other words, how much of your company (i.e., stock or ownership) will an investor get for their investment?

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A Cleveland Startup that's Quietly Winning

David Levine

Some growing startups are flashy, hit social media hard, and make headlines in Inc. or Entrepreneur. Others grow in a quieter, more conservative way. David Levine built Wireless Environment like that.

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Why Every Startup Needs a Task and Timeline

Sample Development Path

An embryo seems to miraculously mature through layers of development. Cellular differentiation, a forming spinal column, organ development, and more, are all necessary for a healthy, vital birth. Just as the developing fetus goes through a myriad of maturation steps, your innovation and your company must proceed methodically through multiple tasks. But this business procession is no miracle—it’s plain old work. I would say the adage, “plan your work, and work your plan” is invaluable advice—provided that your plan is well constructed.

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Inventor’s Syndrome: The Symptoms and the Cure

A Case of Inventor's Syndrome
Chart

Can you diagnose these symptoms? The subject has conceived of a novel innovation that he or she believes is so important it will soon become a staple product across the globe. The inventor thinks its features and benefits solve a problem facing the world. However, our inventor has never queried anyone beyond him or herself and a few friends.

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Patent Infringement Research

How likely are you to obtain a patent for your invention? If you made and sold it right now, would you be infringing someone else’s patent? Researching the patent databases will help you answer these questions and give you a good idea about whether your innovation is already described or claimed by others.

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3 Ways the Innovation Fund is About More Than Money

This guest blog was contributed by Andrew Bennett, co-founder of KnowledgePost and $25,000 Innovation Fund award winner. It's a firsthand perspective on the Innovation Fund application process. 

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Why Having a Patent Doesn't Guarantee Startup Success

IP. Many of us have heard that commonly used abbreviation “intellectual property.” IP includes patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights. If you have an innovative idea that could, some day help people or solve a real world problem, then being a little versed in IP, especially patents, could be very important.

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Five Things to Address if You Want to Get Your Technology to Market

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear about an entrepreneur’s new service or product. If you’re one of those innovators toying with such a technology right now, then you must deal with some very critical realities. In fact, I would boil those realities down to five basic elements.

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This Startup Owns Heart Rate Driven Virtual Exercise

meet the new company twitter bodiesdoneright

As virtual reality continues to make headlines as it floods into the main stream tech scene, one startup recently funded by Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio is hoping virtual exercise follows suit.

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An App that’s Changing the Way We Watch Sports

Joel Crites

This month, the Innovation Fund announced its latest funding round, injecting $250,000 into seven Northeast Ohio startups. This cycle was a first for us—it was our first venture into gaming technology.

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Students and Startups Make the Perfect Pair

Students and startups make the perfect pair

This article was originally featured in the Winter/Spring 2016 issue of Community College Entrepreneurship, a publication of NACCE.

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What 'Skin in the Game' Means to Investors

skin in the game image

Every quarter a handful of entrepreneurs are pitching their companies to the Innovation Fund investment committee. That same day, the committee decides which companies will receive between $25,000 and $100,000 to advance their technologies.

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Meet the startup team turning wood into energy

The founding team of Renewable Carbon & Electric is trying to change how we produce energy and make products. With a recent $25,000 Innovation Fund award, the company will continue to test the wood-based carbon products they hope will help reduce the environmental problems facing the world today.

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Size Up Your Market with These Four Questions

Sizing the market is a necessary task for business planning and budgeting for all startups. Those seeking investment from third parties want to be particularly diligent in this task, as VCs and angel investors need to know they are investing in a business with potentially large market size. To determine the market size for your startup, ask yourself the following four questions:

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