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4 Innovation Fund Winners Chosen as the Best Tech Startups in Cleveland for 2020

The Tech Tribune recently released a list of the best tech startups in Cleveland for 2020. Out of the ten companies chosen, 4 of them were Innovation Fund NEO award winners. These companies are Heureka Software, BoxCast, iRx Reminder, and FarmFare.

Heureka Software: The Heureka Intelligence Platform gives you real-time access to unstructured data on network file systems, servers, VM’s, laptops and desktops in order to respond to eDiscovery requests, comply with GDPR & privacy regulations and to automate information governance policies.

BoxCast: BoxCast is a complete, easy-to-use live streaming solution for organizations. They believe that every event that is watched live should be streamed live.

iRx Reminder: iRx Reminder is a complete tech solution and system for patient activation, medication management & adherence with robust real-time reporting and data capture capability.

FarmFare: Farm Fare is a delivery service, hub management software suite, and mobile shopping app that curates and connects the local food supply chain from source to destination. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in April 2016, Farm Fare serves the B2B market, such as restaurants, schools, grocery stores, and food artisans, to distribute the freshest products found within 100 miles of the business. They believe that local food is better food – for people, planet, and profit.

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Innovation Fund Awardee Hedgemon to Compete in NFL Helmet Challenge

The NFL kicked off its helmet challenge with a symposium in Youngstown Thursday.

The NFL Helmet Challenge is offering $3 million in grants and award money to the developer of a new, safer helmet that outperforms current helmets.

About 300 people from around the world, from helmet makers to innovators and experts, have gathered for a series of panels and presentations Thursday and Friday focused on helmet design and innovation, along with concussion prevention.

Emily Kennedy, co-founder and CEO of Cleveland-based Hedgemon, is among the innovators at the symposium vying for the top prize.

“There'll never be another opportunity to be in the same room as all these different sorts of people,” Kennedy said.

Hedgemon has developed a helmet liner inspired by hedgehog quills and Kennedy said the company is hoping to team up with a helmet manufacturer through the challenge to develop a full helmet prototype.

“We're hoping, over the course of these couple of days, we'll develop collaborations with people who can help us with development of the full system,” Kennedy said.

Helmet manufacturers Riddell, Xenith and Vicis were at the symposium.

Challenge participants must submit helmet prototypes for lab testing against impacts by May 2021.

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Innovation Fund Graduate MedCity News Acquired By Breaking Media

Breaking Media, the owner of b-to-b sites like Fashionista, has acquired MedCity News as an attempt to branch into the health-care market.

MedCity News is the leading online news source for the business of innovation in healthcare. It offers insight into what’s next and what matters with a mix of breaking news and analysis on startups, and established industry leaders, personalities, policies and the most important deals.

MedCity News is a recipient of both the Innovation Fund A and B awards, having received $25,000 in June 2009 and $100,000 in March 2010. 

MedCity CEO Chris Seper will join the company's board as the new vice president of healthcare. Along with the CEO, eight staff members from the Cleveland-based editorial will continue working for MedCity after the change of ownership.

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Innovation Fund NEO Recipient RoadPrintz Devises an Inexpensive Way to Paint Lines on Streets

Workers painting lines on resurfaced roads need to wait 40 minutes for the paint to dry before moving on. If they lift the stencils too soon, the paint will smear. RoadPrintz Founder Sam Bell knew there had to be an easier way.

So he decided to develop a special truck equipped with a robotic arm that won’t be scalded by using hot paint that dries in less than a minute. Instead of stencils, it uses GPS measurements guided by a computer.

It typically costs $15,000 per mile for crews to paint road markings. Bell estimates his system can do the same work for only $5,000 per mile, possibly less.

RoadPrintz was an Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio recipient in the 43rd cycle. The startup received the A Award, earning them a total of $25,000. This award allowed them to develop their software and build a robotic connection.

Bell hopes to increase the safety of all road users by making effective visual street markings more affordable and accessible. 

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Biotech Startup CollaMedix Secures Exclusive Licensing Agreement

CollaMedix Inc., a biotech startup based in Shaker Heights, has developed new technology in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. This technology offers a promising potential solution to women's pelvic disorders, such as stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

CollaMedix has created a medical device known as CollaSling, which aims to treat stress urinary incontinence in women—urine leakage coinciding with laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting and exercise—by using proprietary collagen-based materials to provide structural support to human tissue.

“This common condition affects both the young and elderly, yet current treatments are ineffective and unsafe,” said Subba Shankar, the company’s chief technology officer. “Our technology will allow more women to fully engage in all of life’s activities without hesitation, avoiding the withdrawal, isolation and depression that they presently endure.”

Collamedix has recently reached an exclusive licensing agreement with the Case Western Reserve Technology Transfer Office. This will allow the company the chance to secure additional funding. 

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INNOVATION FUND AWARDS A COMBINED $737K TO 14 START-UP COMPANIES OVER THE PAST 6 MONTHS

Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio, the region’s most active pre-seed fund for technology-based startups, has awarded a combined $737,500 to 14 startup companies over the past six months. The companies will receive Innovation Fund awards of between $12,500 and $100,000 enabling them to complete projects that will advance their technologies or business models. 

This represents the 46th and 47th consecutive quarter of funding for the Innovation Fund. Since its 2007 launch, the Innovation Fund has committed more than $14 million to 266 Northeast Ohio startups.

“After more than ten years, the Innovation Fund continues to see incredibly unique and business worthy ideas and that milestone is a direct indicator that Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial network is a thriving ecosystem,” said Dennis Cocco, director of the Innovation Fund and co-director of GLIDE, the technology incubator at Lorain County Community College that administers the fund. “The competition for our fund requires the entrepreneurs to thoroughly understand the customers, the markets and how they are going to financially grow that opportunity.”  

Startups in the Innovation Fund portfolio have raised more than $527 million and created over 800 new jobs since receiving investments.

The companies below received funding in the 46th cycle, ending December 15, 2018.  They were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process:

Linear Labs ($25,000 |Cleveland) provides AI-powered focus groups as a service. This results in the ability to rapidly conduct market research in a fraction of the time allowing customers to become more agile in product development. 

Octet Scientific ($25,000 | Cleveland) develops chemicals to improve the performance and longevity of batteries.  The additives provide key advantages to promote promising outside technologies, particularly safe and economical Zinc-based alternatives. 

SeeLife ($25,000 | Bay Village) is a biofeedback game design for children six to eight years old to learn heart rate and self-relaxation control. The visuals change according to the player's heart rate. This is unique because no one has ever combined the expertise of biomedical art and game design as a tool to engage a young child adequately to master biofeedback. 

TurningMode ($25,000 | Chagrin Falls) is developing Sentinel, a patent-pending illumination system that optimizes lighting through computer vision, gesture recognition, and touch-free controls. Sentinel provides consistent illumination to multiple targets and eliminates shadows in real time, despite obstructions or interferences. The goal is to enhance visualization and automate illumination in the Operating Room allowing surgeons to focus on their critical task at hand.

FlutterSocial ($50,000 |Willoughby) is an online platform that helps consumers hire multiple businesses to celebrate major events by matching the users with the local professionals based on their preferences, values, and who is connected through their network. 

Structured Monitoring Products ($50,000 |Elyria) is SMP is developing a non-contact vital-signs monitor that employs patented Doppler technology. The product detects vital signs – heart rate and respiration rate – without contact (no wires or leads are necessary). The veterinary market is being targeted initially and human applications will follow.

Content Status ($100,000 | Mentor) developed automated product page auditing and monitoring  This offers anyone selling products online with critical, actionable insights on their product content. 

Cyanicsoft ($100,000 | Solon) provides data loss prevention software and use awareness services. 

The following companies received funding in the 47th cycle, ending March 15, 2019:

Aspire Technologies Inc. ($12,500 |Mansfield) is an early stage company specializing in Information technology on wearable devices. Our products eliminate the limitations, both physical and mental, in athletes, law enforcement, and search and rescue personnel all across the world. This is accomplished by smart technology used to provide user specific data and functions integrated into wearable devices such as wristbands and gloves. 

FishMySpot, LLC ($25,000 | Canton) is a sharing economy platform that connects pond owners to people that want to fish. We cover all the marketing, booking, and general liability for our pond owners, while giving anglers a private experience.

Datalogicom, Inc. ($50,000 | Strongsville) provides a Quote -to -Cash SaaS application to businesses.  The Splash CPQ quote-to-cash is a subscription based SaaS application that improves the productivity and workstyle of sales teams and channels worldwide by virtually eliminating sales administrative tasks, streamlining operational processes and centralizing multi-channel sales management at an affordable rate.  The Splash CPQ customers may increase sales productivity by up to 40% by eliminating their sales administrative burden and improving the customer experience by automating and completing the sales process for suppliers, sellers and buyers.

T-var EdTEch, Inc.  ($50,000 |Cleveland) is developing Read Read - a hard and software solution that allows blind children to learn braille without the assistance of a teacher, but in the same way and with the same quality that a teacher would provide.

Check-in-Sherpa (pka Ranchbookings) ($100,000 |Cleveland) is an enterprise software that helps adventure resorts get online bookings and manage the business. The product addresses unique constraints to the adventure travel industry. 

Mbrio Tech ($100,000 |Pepper Pike) patented earbud adapter is the safest, most comfortable, most convenient and most economical way for expectant moms to share music with their baby in the womb

For more information on these and all the Innovation Fund portfolio companies, visit innovationfundamerica.org/portfolio  

LCCC holds open house for renovated Campana Center

Members of local businesses and community members gathered Oct. 3 at Lorain County Community College to see how the Patsie C. and Dolores Jenee Campana Center for Ideation and Invention has expanded to offer a myriad of tools that help bring ideas to life.

The open house also included a presentation by Luke Williams, author of “Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business.”

The Roy and Bobbi Church Visionary Leadership Institute sponsored the event which took place in the Campana Center and the Spitzer Conference Center at LCCC, 1005 Abbe Road in Elyria.

The expansion of the Campana Center added 10,000 feet to the building along with lab and equipment upgrades.

Renovation was made possible through a private/public partnership that included nearly 20 federal, state and philanthropic sponsors of the project, according to a news release from LCCC.

The equipment and labs in the center are for students, business and industry and the community, so they have greater access to tools and resources designed to stimulate new ideas.

“As the community’s college, we focus on preparing individuals for in-demand jobs and filling the talent gaps of employers,” said LCCC President Marcia Ballinger. “In this era of rapid technological change, we need to also play a significant role in helping local companies stay competitive by adopting new technologies for greater productivity and to open up new market opportunities.”

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Augment Therapy Could Secure Up To $750,000 In Funding Due To Youngstown Business Incubator Shark Tank Event

As the finalists of the Youngstown Business Incubator’s inaugural Shark Tank event left the stage May 3, they were happy with what they walked away with: some prize money and access to the expertise of five local investors and the YBI.

But in the months since, the initial prizes – $6,000 to Augment Therapy, $3,000 to PlateMap and $1,000 to FishMySpot, all provided by the event’s sponsor, Medical Mutual of Ohio – were just the beginning for the trio of finalists.

Beyond the first-place prize money, Augment Therapy also gained $50,000 commitments from four of the five sharks at the event. Catherine Mott of BlueTree Capital Group, later upped her firm’s commitment to $150,000, becoming the lead funder.

Augment Therapy is an augmented reality service for pediatric physical therapy, combining telehealth with fun activities child patients can play. For kids, it’s a fun game, but for doctors it can provide valuable information on their health and keep them engaged.

Founder and CEO Lindsay Watson says the startup has secured $375,000 as “a direct result of the Shark Tank.” Part of that number, she adds, is $100,000 from investor Vince Bacon, who attended the event and reached out to Watson afterward. 

And, says YBI’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Jim Cossler, who has been advising some of the Shark Tank finalists, Augment Therapy is nearing the end of its first seed round that will bring in even more to the startup

“We’re very, very confident that with our introductions and our assistance that she will successfully close a $750,000 round,” Cossler says. 

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Come Join Us At The Campana Center Grand Opening

Join us on October 3rd as we celebrate the Campana Center’s most recent expansion, which includes spaces designed to bring a community of ideas to life. A regional hot-spot for makers, inventors and businesses, the Campana Center gives everyone the skills, equipment and confidence needed to turn an idea into an invention. 

October 3, 2019
7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lorain County Community College Campus
Patsie C. and Dolores Jeneé Campana Center for Ideation and Invention

AGENDA

7:30 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast (Spitzer Conference Center, Reaser Grand Room)

8:30 to 11 a.m. – Keynote Lecture by Luke Williams (Spitzer Conference Center, Reaser Grand Room)

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open House (Campana Center)

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Luke Williams joined New York University Stern School of Business in September 2012 as Executive Director of the W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab and Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Professor Williams is also a Fellow at frog design.

Professor Williams is a leading consultant, educator and speaker specializing in disruptive innovation. He is the author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business. For more than a decade, he has worked internationally with industry leaders such as American Express, GE, Sony, Crocs, Virgin, Disney and Hewlett-Packard to develop new products, services and brands.

Professor Williams has been invited to speak worldwide, and his views have been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek and Fast Company and on National Public Radio (NPR). 

To register for the event, click here: https://www.lorainccc.edu/campana/opening/

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As Co-Director of GLIDE, Jim is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing of all GLIDE activities. Jim's responsibilities include managing support services for entrepreneurs, including first level assessments, a comprehensive resource network, Jim Walborn2and providing business advisory services to companies.

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