News Roundup: Funding, Applications, Honors & More

Buckle up! There’s a lot to catch up on in the world of small business news! From investments, to honors and applications, read on for the rundown.

COhatch Secures First Community Investment Program License

After launching a community investment program earlier this year to expand its footprint across the Midwest, COhatch has secured its first license from the City of Fairborn, located just east of Dayton, Ohio.

COhatch will take over the city’s existing incubator, Spark Fairborn, which includes coworking space and a shared kitchen.

“The Fairborn location caters to small businesses, start-ups and socially-minded entrepreneurs, who are looking for office space as well community members that want access to space to host social events, meet ups and the like,” says local COhatch operator Patrick Williams.

The city launched Spark in 2018 but City Manager Rob Anderson says, “With assistance from COhatch, we are leapfrogging our development for the city, so everything will happen more quickly and at a higher intensity with greater results.”

For more information, visit

City Selects Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee

As a part of its Reimagining Small Business Initiatives, the City of Columbus has announced a 21-person Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee to help guide its work.

Launched in December 2018, the Reimagining Small Business Initiatives program looks to increases economic and neighborhood development by building a city-sponsored small business ecosystem.

“The goal of the Small Business Assessment Advisory Committee is to ensure that the consultant team receives critical on-the-ground input that will become the basis for a small business implementation strategy that will define the City’s role in supporting entrepreneurship-based economic development,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther. “The Small Business Advisory Committee will help to inform and review the work of the consultant team with regards to current small business programs and conditions within the local, regional and national small business ecosystem including access to capital, and gaps and opportunities.”

Committee members include:

  • Thalia Amador, Lastra, Ohio Small Business Development Centers
  • Otto Beatty, Virtual Workplace & Staffing Ltd. OB3 Advisory & Management Ltd.
  • Kristy Campbell, Rev1 Ventures
  • Michael Childs, Midwest Savings
  • Derek DeHart, Root Insurance
  • Don DePerro, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Falon Donohue, Venture Ohio
  • J. Averi Frost, Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Anne Geggie, Finance Fund
  • Sean Grant, Columbus 2020
  • Gail Kelly, Former Owner of Two Men and a Truck
  • Bob Leighty, Parsons Avenue Merchants Association
  • Heather Marsh, MarshWagner
  • Manuel Martinez, Ohio Dominican University
  • Ramona Mills, Women’s Business Center of Ohio
  • Dr. Yasuyuki Motoyama, OSU – Assistant Professor City and Regional Planning
  • Eddie Pauline, OSU – Technology and Commercialization
  • Paul Reeder, OSU – Fisher College of Business
  • Elton Smith, Smith Construction
  • Michael Smithson, On Air Communications, Inc.
  • Molly Tafrate, SocialVentures

Freedom a la Cart Joins Philanthropitch

Freedom a la Cart was announced as the final nonprofit selected for Philanthropitch Columbus at SocailVentures’ Nonprofit Sustainability Showcase.

Philanthropitch will bring some the area’s most innovative nonprofits together to pitch for funding from a panel of local judges and audience members on Monday, March 4.

Freedom a la Cart recently completed SocialVentures’ Nonprofit Catalyst program. The long-standing social enterprise, which employs and empowers victims of human trafficking, looks to expand its impact with a public café to serve guests in the morning and lunchtime hours, transitioning into an event space in the evening.

For more information visit Learn more about Philanthropitch here.

Vantage Point Logistics Secures $9.5 Million in Funding

Vantage Point Logistics has secured $9.5 million in a funding round led by New York-based Radian Capital.

VPL provides supply chain technology solutions to healthcare and academic institutions that reduce expenses and increase visibility across the supply chain. The company will leverage the round of funding to accelerate technology development for health system solutions that follow products from the manufacturer all the way to the final point of patient care.

Since its launch in 2011, VPL has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in the country with over 350 percent growth in the last two years.

For more information, visit

PENZONE Salon + Spa Named Salon of the Year

PENZONE Salon + Spa Dublin kicked of 2019 being named North American Hair Styling Awards Salon of the Year – a first in the company’s 50-year history.

PENZONE was one of five finalists from salons across North America. The Central Ohio-based salon won with its new PENZONE Salon + Spa concept it debuted in Dublin in May of 2018. With a vision of “Beauty from the Outside In” the new salon features a more social environment, new customizable experiences and curated selection of food and drink items.

For more information, visit

Applications Open for SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program

Applications are now open for the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders Program. The intensive, seven-month experience includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time, workshops, plus connections for business owners to experienced coaches and mentors.

Highlights of the program include customized, C-Level training, developing a three-year strategic growth action more. Specialized areas of training include growth strategies plans, financing and access to capital, government contracting and CEO mentoring.

Eligible businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Have annual revenues of at least $250,000
  • Have been in business for at least 3 years
  • Have at least one employee, other than self

Learn more about the program here. An online application is available here.

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