This financing round marks the Innovation Fund’s 33rd consecutive quarterly funding cycle since its 2007 founding. In that time the fund has committed $10.8 million to 161 startups, making it Northeast Ohio’s most active early-stage fund for technology startups.
“Northeast Ohio’s startup scene is really taking off,” said Dennis Cocco, co-director of GLIDE, the Lorain County Community College based incubator that administers the fund. “Cleveland was recently noted as being above average in its pre-Series A startup growth and startup density. It’s critical that these startups have funds they can rely on for first-in financing. Knowing there’s a steady stream of pre-seed funding available encourages entrepreneurs to keep starting new business and to do it here.”
The Lorain County Community College Foundation launched the Innovation Fund to bridge the financial gap between friends and family funding and angel and venture capital investment. Entrepreneurs use the funding to complete specific projects that move their products closer to market and make their companies more attractive to investors. The companies in the Innovation Fund’s portfolio have raised more than $188 million in follow-on investment.
Here are the companies that received investment this round:
NueVue ($25,000 | Elyria) is developing a technology that targets and tracks cells in the body for stroke, orthopedic and cancer therapies. nuevuesolutions.com
Renewable Carbon & Electric ($25,000 | Chagrin Falls) is using wood to manufacture renewable carbon products, including activated carbon and polymer fillers.
Cormetrics ($100,000 | Cleveland) is developing sensor-based interventional devices for the cardiology market. Its first product is a pressure sensing guidewire that will be used in procedures to open blocked arteries.
Yourefolio ($100,000 | Cleveland) is a software program that aggregates all the documents, instructions and information that clients and beneficiaries might need to access during a time of passing. yourefolio.com
Revenue Conduit ($100,000 | Copley) is helping retailers attract, convert and retain customers by connecting the world’s leading shopping carts to industry-leading marketing platforms. revenueconduit.com
About the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is Northeast Ohio’s most active and successful early-stage fund. It awards technology-based startups up to $100,000 so they can validate their technologies and business concepts. The Innovation Fund averages six funding awards each quarter and fills the capital needs of businesses at the earliest stage of development, before they can attract angel and venture capital funding. Innovation Fund awards are made with funds from the Ohio Third Frontier, which have been combined with matching support and contributions from the Innovation Fund partners. These partners include the University of Akron, the University of Akron Research Foundation, Cleveland State University, the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), the Lorain County Community College Foundation, Stark State College, Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Northeast Ohio Medical University.