Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio, the region’s most active pre-seed fund for technology-based startups, has awarded a combined $737,500 to 14 startup companies over the past six months. The companies will receive Innovation Fund awards of between $12,500 and $100,000 enabling them to complete projects that will advance their technologies or business models.
This represents the 46th and 47th consecutive quarter of funding for the Innovation Fund. Since its 2007 launch, the Innovation Fund has committed more than $14 million to 266 Northeast Ohio startups.
“After more than ten years, the Innovation Fund continues to see incredibly unique and business worthy ideas and that milestone is a direct indicator that Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial network is a thriving ecosystem,” said Dennis Cocco, director of the Innovation Fund and co-director of GLIDE, the technology incubator at Lorain County Community College that administers the fund. “The competition for our fund requires the entrepreneurs to thoroughly understand the customers, the markets and how they are going to financially grow that opportunity.”
Startups in the Innovation Fund portfolio have raised more than $527 million and created over 800 new jobs since receiving investments.
The companies below received funding in the 46th cycle, ending December 15, 2018. They were chosen after a three-month competitive application and selection process:
Linear Labs ($25,000 |Cleveland) provides AI-powered focus groups as a service. This results in the ability to rapidly conduct market research in a fraction of the time allowing customers to become more agile in product development.
Octet Scientific ($25,000 | Cleveland) develops chemicals to improve the performance and longevity of batteries. The additives provide key advantages to promote promising outside technologies, particularly safe and economical Zinc-based alternatives.
SeeLife ($25,000 | Bay Village) is a biofeedback game design for children six to eight years old to learn heart rate and self-relaxation control. The visuals change according to the player’s heart rate. This is unique because no one has ever combined the expertise of biomedical art and game design as a tool to engage a young child adequately to master biofeedback.
TurningMode ($25,000 | Chagrin Falls) is developing Sentinel, a patent-pending illumination system that optimizes lighting through computer vision, gesture recognition, and touch-free controls. Sentinel provides consistent illumination to multiple targets and eliminates shadows in real time, despite obstructions or interferences. The goal is to enhance visualization and automate illumination in the Operating Room allowing surgeons to focus on their critical task at hand.
FlutterSocial ($50,000 |Willoughby) is an online platform that helps consumers hire multiple businesses to celebrate major events by matching the users with the local professionals based on their preferences, values, and who is connected through their network.
Structured Monitoring Products ($50,000 |Elyria) is SMP is developing a non-contact vital-signs monitor that employs patented Doppler technology. The product detects vital signs – heart rate and respiration rate – without contact (no wires or leads are necessary). The veterinary market is being targeted initially and human applications will follow.
Content Status ($100,000 | Mentor) developed automated product page auditing and monitoring This offers anyone selling products online with critical, actionable insights on their product content.
Cyanicsoft ($100,000 | Solon) provides data loss prevention software and use awareness services.
The following companies received funding in the 47th cycle, ending March 15, 2019:
Aspire Technologies Inc. ($12,500 |Mansfield) is an early stage company specializing in Information technology on wearable devices. Our products eliminate the limitations, both physical and mental, in athletes, law enforcement, and search and rescue personnel all across the world. This is accomplished by smart technology used to provide user specific data and functions integrated into wearable devices such as wristbands and gloves.
FishMySpot ($25,000 | Canton) is a sharing economy platform that connects pond owners to people that want to fish. We cover all the marketing, booking, and general liability for our pond owners, while giving anglers a private experience.
Datalogic CRM ($50,000 | Strongsville) provides a Quote -to -Cash SaaS application to businesses. The Splash CPQ quote-to-cash is a subscription based SaaS application that improves the productivity and workstyle of sales teams and channels worldwide by virtually eliminating sales administrative tasks, streamlining operational processes and centralizing multi-channel sales management at an affordable rate. The Splash CPQ customers may increase sales productivity by up to 40% by eliminating their sales administrative burden and improving the customer experience by automating and completing the sales process for suppliers, sellers and buyers.
T-var EdTEch, Inc. ($50,000 |Cleveland) is developing Read Read – a hard and software solution that allows blind children to learn braille without the assistance of a teacher, but in the same way and with the same quality that a teacher would provide.
Ranchbookings ($100,000 |Cleveland) is an enterprise software that helps adventure resorts get online bookings and manage the business. The product addresses unique constraints to the adventure travel industry.
Mbrio Tech ($100,000 |Pepper Pike) patented earbud adapter is the safest, most comfortable, most convenient and most economical way for expectant moms to share music with their baby in the womb.
For more information on these and all the Innovation Fund portfolio companies, visit innovationfundamerica.org/portfolio.
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, Braintree Partners, Cleveland State University, the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), the Lorain County Community College Foundation, Stark State College, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Northeast Ohio Medical University.