Ohio Third Frontier Awards $9.1MM to SWOH Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission today awarded  $9.1 million to the Cincinnati region’s efforts to attract and foster entrepreneurs and innovators, grow high potential startup companies and create new jobs.  That total represents a $3 million increase over the previous award for the 2013- 2014 time period, and was the full amount requested.


The award will fund the Southwest Ohio Entrepreneurial Signature Program (ESP)—one of six in the state—through the end of 2016.  The ESP is administered by the venture development organization CincyTech and also includes funding for the following organizations in the region’s startup ecosystem:


–The Brandery accelerator.  “With the state’s support The Brandery will be able to continue operating one of the nation’s top accelerators, attracting, supporting and retaining both local and global high-potential startups to Cincinnati,” said Brandery General Manager Mike Bott.  “Few accelerators can point to their state government as an invaluable partner, but The Brandery certainly has an amazing strategic ally in the Ohio Third Frontier.”


–Cintrifuse, the regional non-profit organization that enables the building of high growth companies.  “We are grateful for the award from the Ohio Third Frontier and view it as a vote of confidence in Southwest Ohio as an emerging and vital entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Wendy Lea, Cintrifuse CEO.

Our goals are significant, but absolutely achievable:
  • Create big wins
  • Get corporate innovation leaders working with startups
  • Draw investment capital from outside the region
  • Be a magnet for entrepreneurs across the country looking to disrupt the status quo

“This important source of funding allows Cintrifuse to stay on task and continue building on our existing programs designed to uplift entrepreneurs across the region.”


–The Hamilton County Development Company Business Center, the region’s longest running incubator.  Said president and CEO David Main, “I am gratified that the Ohio Third Frontier selected to invest again in the HCDC Business Center. When taxpayer money is involved, you must produce results. I believe this grant recognizes and validates our track record of producing strong startup companies for over 25 years.”


–University of Cincinnati Technology Commercialization Accelerator.


“These funds will enable us to continue to support and invest in high potential companies through 2016,” said CincyTech president and CEO Bob Coy.  “We are thankful for this award and look forward to further growing local companies and our region’s reputation as a startup hub.”


Ohio Third Frontier is a technology-based economic development initiative that is successfully changing the trajectory of Ohio’s economy.  The $2.1 billion initiative provides funding to Ohio technology-based companies, universities, nonprofit research institutions and other organizations to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs.

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