May 28, 2013: The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation and supported by several Northeast Ohio university partners, is awarding $350,000 to seven technology-based startups.
Dragon Intelinet ($25,000 | Shaker Heights)
Dragon Intelinet is developing a medical device for use in the newly FDA-approved transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, during which a replacement valve is collapsed to a very small diameter, crimped onto a balloon device, and positioned inside the patient's natural aortic valve. The balloon is then inflated, causing the replacement valve to expand, pushing the faulty valve aside. Dragon Intelinet's simple-to-use filter technology captures and removes dislodged debris, which can lead to clots and stroke, during the procedure. The company is using the funding to further test its prototype in a clinical lab and begin trials.
Skysun ($25,000 | Bay Village)
Skysun's patent-pending system of ganged heliostats (devices that typically include a rotating plane mirror that reflects sunlight toward a predetermined target) decreases solar power generation cost and complexity. Today, most heliostats are aimed by one drive unit mounted on one pier. The company's arrays allow at least 20 heliostats to be aimed by four drives all mounted on two piers. Skysun plans to use the funding to construct and test is prototype.
Right Time ($25,000 | Mansfield)
Right Time is building a mathematical system that measures criminal offender rehabilitation efforts in real-time and produces computer-generated, evidence-based prioritized reports that can be used to achieve successful rehabilitation outcomes. The patent-pending Personal Achievement Scoring System will act as a unifying data repository for multiple sources of input and use the information to provide a safety measure for the public, scorecard for rehabilitation provider proficiency, and proof of offender pro-social reintegration. The company will use the funding to finalize the system's algorithms and complete the platform.
LARAD ($25,000 | Wooster)
The company is using virus-like-particle technology to produce universal multivalent vaccines and diagnostics for food-animal diseases. LARAD's initial focus is on products licensed from Ohio State University for an immunosuppressive disease in poultry caused by the infectious bursal disease virus. The company's genetically engineered universal vaccine can protect against multiple strains of the virus and its flexibility allows new antigens to easily be introduced, allowing it to keep pace with new antigenic changes in the virus. The Innovation Fund award will be used to generate data needed for a manufacture license from the USDA and to purchase laboratory space and equipment.
The Learning Egg ($50,000 | North Jackson)
The Learning Egg has developed a web-based subscription application that allows teachers to quickly and easily create a learning assessment, automatically grade 100 pages a minute, and generate an analysis of student performance. With the funds, The Learning Egg will execute its product roadmap and go-to-market strategy.
Public Insight Corporation ($100,000 | Hudson)
Public Insight Corporation has developed 360-Public, a public data platform that provides insight into livability and performance of regions, government, and schools to promote clarity, efficiency, and collaboration. The Software-as-a-Service integrates extensive, now-disparate data from over 100 data series and more than 12 sources into a single, unified database. The data is optimized for socioeconomic analysis, public performance evaluation, benchmarking, and collaboration. The company is using the funding to market its launch in Ohio and prepare for a national launch in late 2013.
MegaJoule Storage ($100,000 | Cleveland)
MegaJoule Storage, Inc. is commercializing high performance electrochemical capacitors for power quality and energy storage in electric utility, industrial, and commercial markets. Its product platform enhances power quality, reliability, and cost in both commercial and industrial renewable energy and smart grid implementation. The Innovation Fund award will help the company conduct market research on targeted vertical markets and design and build a prototype system to field test for customer validation.
With this most recent round of quarterly funding awards, the Innovation Fund has made 128 awards to 107 companies totaling nearly $7 million. These companies have raised $82.9 million follow-on funding, created more than 400 jobs, and provided more than 150 internships to students.
About the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is Northeast Ohio's most active early-stage fund. It makes awards of up to $100,000 to technology-based companies 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.