Eligible counties are highlighted.
Funding Option A
Funding Option B
B | up to $150,000 awards
Up to $150,000 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 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:
- provide 1:1 match
- agree to our mentoring process
- provide educational experiences to students at Lorain County Community College or a partner university
- keep your business in Ohio
Sectors We Focus On
We invest in companies that have innovative and cutting-edge technologies in one of 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 88 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
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 9:00 am / ZOOM
Thinking of applying for the Innovation Fund? Then you'll want to join us for a free Innovation Fund 101 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. This is a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT for application to the fund.
- How to apply and who is eligible
- How the funding can be used
- Things to know before you fill out your application
- What to expect if you receive an award
- Financial reporting requirements
- Educational requirements
Reserve Your Seat Download Powerpoint
Northeast Ohio Portfolio Spotlight
"Innovation Fund America played a vital role in helping us build the earliest cornerstones of our company. They helped change our trajectory from 'good idea' to working proof of concept, to traction-building minimal viable product. Without their early-stage mentorship and funding, we would surely not be where we are today."
Lindsay Watson, Founder of Augment Therapy
Augment Therapy is a software company that combines telerehabilitation and augmented reality to improve the delivery of pediatric physical therapy.
“ As an early stage startup we could not complete our prototype even with funds raised by friends and family and were ready to throw in the towel. The Innovation Fund America was going to be our last chance to secure funding to validate the technology. After a rigorous screening process, we were selected to receive the initial grant money. It turned out to be the moonshot that we just needed."
- Vik Ramprakash, Founder of Strctured Monitoring Products
Our product detects vital signs--heart rate and respiration rate--without contact (no wires or leads are necessary).
“The money we were awarded by the Innovation Fund allowed us to validate our technology and attract the quality investors we so desperately needed to launch this product and company. We now stand on the verge of launching a quality product that will save lives and make night riding more enjoyable, about a year ahead of our original plan!."
- Robert Schindler, Founder of NVeyeTech, LLC
Our product is a night vision system for vehicles. The first offering will be for motorcycles, but can be expanded to boats, ATVs, farm equipment snowmobiles, and of course automobiles.
Other night vision systems amplify the available light or use long wave IR thermal imaging. This system does not have the problems that the other systems exhibit with on-coming headlights, hot environments or very expensive electronics. The system will be able to record the visual data like a GoPro.
“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.
IF Portfolio Company BoxCast Buys Competitor After Big Gains During Pandemic
Innovation Fund Awards $225,000 to 4 Northeast Ohio Start-Up Companies
Innovation Fund Commits $275,000 to 5 Northeast Ohio Startup Companies
Innovation Fund awards $375,000 to 6 Northeast Ohio startups
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.