Eligible counties are highlighted.
Funding Option A - Grant
Funding Option B - Non-Collateral Loan
B | $100,000 non-collateral loans
Up to $100,000 B level awards help entrepreneurs validate their businesses. They’re for entrepreneurs who have developed a technology, probably have a working prototype, and are now ready to test the business model they’ve created around the technology. Most often, this funding is used to acquire first customers, market test products, make key hires, and advance product testing. This money needs to be matched dollar-for-dollar and repaid if the business is successful.
What We Look For
We invest in scalable technology startups that can have a positive economic impact on Northeast Ohio. The most fundable startups:
- are led by coachable entrepreneurs
- have strong intellectual property
- are working in large markets ($50 million +)
- will attract follow-on investment
- can create jobs
Once you receive funding, there are a few things you're required to do:
- agree to our mentoring process
- provide educational experiences to students at Lorain County Community College or a partner university
- keep your business in Northeast Ohio
Sectors We Focus On
We invest in companies that have innovative and cutting-edge technologies in one of Northeast Ohio’s high growth industry sectors:
- Advanced Materials
- Fuel Cells/Energy Storage
- Medical/Healthcare Tech
- Sensing & Automation Tech
- Situational Awareness & Surveillance
- Software Applications
- Solar Photovoltaics
Counties We Invest In
We invest in companies that are located in or willing to relocate to one of the following Northeast Ohio counties:
Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio is always accepting applications. Here are the deadlines you’ll need to meet to be considered for our upcoming funding cycles.
Financial Requirement Due
Financial Requirement Due
Learn More At An Info Session
Join us for a free informational session to learn more about Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio.
Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm / Akron Global Business Accelerator
If you’re thinking about applying to Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio, you should drop in on a free info session where we explain the ins and outs of our application process. We’ll also highlight some of the region’s most effective entrepreneurial support organizations.Reserve Your Seat Download Powerpoint
Northeast Ohio Portfolio Spotlight
“Being an entrepreneur is filled with ups and downs and having mentors to hold you accountable keeps you on course. Together, we’ve built a sustainable and scalable business model and we’re on the cusp of a transformation.”
- Lindsay Simms, Founder of CustomerBOOM
Customer BOOM helps entrepreneurs and small business owners communicate their messages using social media. They help companies to clarify and communicate their brands and educate customers on why they should buy. Customer BOOM recently launched its software in a private beta and had been getting amazing feedback from their clients.
“The Innovation Fund’s application process alone forced us to think about our business from a new standpoint. We realized what we needed to do to make it successful and the roadmap for how we would get there."
- Jeff Taylor, Founder of Event 38
Jeff launched Event 38 after realizing he could produce high resolution, georeferenced maps with a drone he built in his living room. He opened a web store and began selling hand-built units. Today Event 38 serves five distinct industries in 49 countries around the world.
“Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio’s initial financing and mentoring helped us build prototypes, hire more employees, and raise follow-on investment.”
- Pat Leimkuehler & Punkaj Ahuja, Founders of Apollo Medical
Apollo Medical’s low-cost blood testing system, developed at Case Western Reserve University, requires only a single drop of blood to measure eight parameters. The company is wrapping up its beta prototype and will soon begin clinical testing at some Cleveland area hospitals.
“The Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio’s money allowed us to develop our product and manufacture here. And the mentorship helped us identify opportunities and effectively manage expectations with investors and customers. Paired together these things helped us immensely, especially in the early stages.”
- Chris Wentz, Founder of EveryKey
While other access control products on the market today solve one problem or another, Everykey brings it all together. Its single, wearable device replaces the plethora keys and passwords that people use today.
Northeast Ohio News
Our portfolio companies are making headlines. Read the latest news on all our current and former entrepreneurs and their businesses.
5 Tech Startups Plan for Growth with Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio Money
Dreaming of an Acquisition? Here’s How to Prepare
Turning $100,000 into Millions
Startups scoop up Venture for America fellows
Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio was founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation in 2007 to fill the capital needs of Northeast Ohio startups at the earliest stage of development. We think like investors, but our return on investment is a little different. We support startups so they can impact our economy and inspire future innovators.
Northeast Ohio Vital Statistics
For more than a decade, Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio has been bridging the gap between great ideas and successful companies. And much like the businesses we help create, numbers define our success. This is what we, along with the companies we invest in, have been able to accomplish.