TechColumbus funds 12 startups, recognized for best practices

TechColumbus has contributed quite a bit to the local technology sector and its work isn’t going unnoticed.

Twelve tech startups received funding commitments totaling $1.2 million from TechColumbus in 2010. In fact, the organization now makes funding awards in real time throughout the year to meet the needs of young companies.

Initiatives such as the TechColumbus TechStart program are designed to help those companies develop the capabilities needed to grow into sustainable, scalable businesses that create jobs and revenue in the region. (The Ohio Third Frontier program and other local governments, institutions and companies help fund TechStart.)

Of the 12 companies funded, nine were awarded TechGenesis grants of up to $50,000 each.

Five of the nine TechGenesis award recipients –Antho-Scyantific, Celartia, Continental Dry Works, EndoSphere, and The Ohio State University’s Level Belt Project– are in the healthcare sector. Of the four other TechGenesis recipients, two –BringShare and Mobile Xpeditions– are in the information technology sector and two –PH Matter and Syscomare– in advanced materials.

Three companies received funding commitments of up to $250,000 each from the TechColumbus Pre-Seed Fund. Those convertible debt investments are milestone-based and allow recipients to complete the steps necessary to attract follow-on funding from angels and venture capitalists.

Pre-Seed investments are made in companies that are deemed to have the potential to reach $30 million in revenue in three to seven years and address a market of at least $100 million. Two of the companies receiving Pre-Seed funding –BringShare and SoftSylare– in the IT sector. The remaining investment was made in The Ohio State University spinoff, IRDiagnostyx.

Those grants allow entrepreneurs to further validate their concepts, investigate and secure intellectual property rights, build prototypes, and conduct other proof-of-concept activities.

Recently, TechColumbus was recognized as one of nine best practice programs nationally by the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network. It was recognized because of its unique model for tailoring services to entrepreneurial needs and regional assets.

“With consistent and focused efforts over the past six years, it is encouraging to see the growing diversity of our regional tech economy,” says Ted Ford, president and CEO of TechColumbus. “We are also honored to have been selected by RIAN as a model for best practice. This shows that the foresight of leaders who created this unique organization is paying off for the region– in gaining national recognition for Central Ohio and, most importantly, in creating jobs and a strong regional economy.”

To date, TechColumbus has assisted about 1,427 companies. It has invested $17.4 million into 103 technology startups, which have generated product sales of $322 million and raised an additional $396 million of capital, while creating 1,338 jobs with an average annual salary of $64,642.

Photo by Adam Slane Photography.