September 2009 Fund Newsletter


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Read the September 2009 newsletter to Fund members. This month's issue includes the announcement of the Fund's support of grantee Nortech's new regional advanced energy initiative, results of a survey sent out to citizens who voted in the first round of EfficientGovNow, the Medical Growth Fund, and more.

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September 2009 Fund Newsletter

  1. 1. F U N D F O R O U R E C O N O M I C F U T U R E September ‘09 Members Newsletter Advanced Energy Initiative Receives National, Regional Attention The Fund for Our Economic Future’s support for growing the region’s advanced energy industry has garnered nearly immediate national attention. On Sept. 1 the Funders Committee approved a grant of as much as $1.7 million to NorTech to support its new advanced energy initiative. That support was cited by in its decision to list Ohio as one of the nation’s “7 green energy hot spots” that will grow Northeast Ohio’s advanced energy industry. Northeast Ohio by the Numbers “Ohio was ranked among the top five states with the most green jobs in a recent report by the Pew Center on the 150 States, a Washington, D.C.-based research group,” MSNBC. com said. “Spurring the growth are programs such as the Cleveland-based Fund for Our Economic Future, which VXI Global Solutions Inc. is making grants to initiatives seeking to grow the state’s is opening a call center in advanced energy industry, including battery technologies.” Youngstown, creating 150 jobs by October NorTech identified advanced energy last year as a key focus area for its work, 51 building on the leadership of the Cleveland Foundation over the last several years in developing the region’s advanced energy industry. The new initiative, developed collaboratively by the foundation, the Fund and NorTech, will have two primary roles: Fortune magazine named Cleveland-based TransDigm Group >> Build stronger connections among companies, institutions of higher the 51st fastest-growing education and the public to accelerate and strengthen the company in the world development of new commercial opportunities, expand existing companies, develop and attract new companies, and attract more 22 state and federal support for the industry. >> Lead or support select advanced energy projects that have the Enrollment at Cuyahoga potential to create more commercial activity, generate jobs and Community College is up 22% attract investments to the region. compared to Fall 2008 “The Fund’s grant to NorTech will help our region become a major force in the rapidly evolving advanced energy industry,” said William R. Seelbach of the George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation and co-chair of the Fund committee that recommended the grant. “Our region has tremendous energy-related assets that are generating job growth and attracting investment. We believe this collaborative initiative led by NorTech can help leverage those assets by linking them together, fostering new partnerships and leading innovative projects.” Throughout September, NorTech traveled across Northeast Ohio, presenting the ffef initiative to the region and gathering input to make refinements as it gains momentum. The presentations, which were held in Akron, Elyria, Warren, Cleveland and Mansfield, received strong press coverage from throughout the region. (Continued on Pg. 2) September ‘09 Members Newsletter
  2. 2. Advanced Energy Initiative Receives National, Regional Attention (Continued from Pg. 1) Attendees included representatives from public, private and higher education entities. All were excited to take advantage of emerging opportunities in all areas of the advanced energy sector, including wind, fuel cells, biofuels, energy efficiency and biogas. “This is very worthwhile, and we need it,” said Bruce Bille, president of Technical Staffing Professionals. Bill Ullom, founder of Vadxx Energy of Akron added, ‘’Right now in the private industry, many of the available resources are stretched so thin, without an organization like this, private industry can’t respond. They’re busy taking care of their own business.’’ Northeast Ohio by the Numbers EfficientGovNow Voters Weigh In On Next Round of Competition 4,500 A team of Cleveland State To help plan for and shape the potential next round, the Fund for Our Economic University entrepreneurs won Future recently sent a survey to EfficientGovNow voters to collect their ideas on how $4,500 in the third annual we can improve the program, which awarded nearly $300,000 to three government Entrepreneurship Immersion collaborations in August. program for their idea The survey sought feedback on the design of the program in four areas: 40 of edible eating utensils >> Number of projects that should receive grants >> Types of projects deserving of support JumpStart recently invested in >> Whether projects must achieve a minimum level of cost savings its 40th company, Catacel Corporation of Portage County >> Whether EfficientGovNow should encourage the use of the grant for a specific purpose 4 Of the 1,005 voters who responded: >> 64% prefer two or three grant winners Case Western Reserve University received a $4 million >> 39.8% would prefer a program limited to collaboration among National Institutes of Health education institutions, while 39.2% would prefer projects focused drug research grant on economic development >> 44% said no minimum level of cost savings should be required of projects 41,300 >> 60% believe the program should encourage the use of savings for Ohio’s Third Frontier program specific purposes, such as attracting and growing companies generated 41,300 jobs in seven years according to an independent For complete survey results, visit research institute Government officials who participated in the first round of EfficientGovNow are being asked to complete a separate survey to help the Fund’s Government Action Team shape the next round of the program. Pg. 2 1 4 2 2 E u c l i d A v e n u e , S u i t e 1 5 1 0 , C l e v e l a n d , O h i o 44115 • 2 1 6 . 9 2 5 . 4 9 0 0 • w w w . f u t u r e f u n d n e o . o r g
  3. 3. New Investment Fund Supports Bioscience Companies This month Northeast Ohio welcomes a new health care investment fund organized by a group of successful bioscience company executives with the goal of investing in the region’s next generation of bioscience companies. A group of 20 successful biomedical entrepreneurs, organized by Fund grantee BioEnterprise, announced plans to invest together by pooling $5 million of their own money into the newly created Medical Growth Fund. The fund will make seed-level investments in start-up companies that are close to profitability. It will focus on medical device, health IT and health care service Northeast Ohio by businesses and provide an initial investment of as much as $500,000. The group the Numbers expects to fund six to eight companies. BioEnterprise will administer the fund and review potential investments. Executives investing in the fund include CEOs of BioEnterprise portfolio companies such as Ray 35,540 Dalton of PartsSource, Geoff Thrope of NDI Medical, and Jim Hummer of Whole Health. Pierre’s Ice Cream Company of Baiju Shah, president of BioEnterprise, believes the development of the fund is a Cleveland plans to expand signal of the growth in the region’s biomedical sector. its operations by building a new “Seven years ago, the region did not have enough successful medical 35,540 square-foot building entrepreneurs to create this kind of fund,” said Shah. “With the success and growth in 200 recent years, we are able to organize this type of initiative to help Northeast Ohio.” The entrepreneurs investing in the fund believe in the potential that Northeast Ohio has for the biomedical sector. Immediate Pharmaceutical “There are smart people with great ideas who just need a little extra adrenaline, Services will add and we’re going to help,” Dalton said. 200 jobs in Avon Lake 12.5 BioEnterprise Client Highlighted by Forbes Three Northeast Ohio companies and the University of Northeast Ohio has a growing portfolio of promising companies that reflect the Akron will share $12.5 million in region’s progress toward a more vibrant economic future. Forbes magazine endorsed federal money for military-related the strength of the region’s portfolio by naming one of those companies, Quality research and development Electrodynamics (QED) of Mayfield Village, as one of America’s 20 Most Promising 9.4 Companies. QED, which has received assistance from BioEnterprise, manufactures patent- protected detectors used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines made by The Civic Innovation Lab generated $9.4 million in Toshiba and Siemens, two of the five largest MRI manufactures. economic impact last year Founded in 2005, QED has a staff of 45 and is growing. QED founder and CEO Hiroyuki Fujita told Forbes that the company is seeking funding to develop a new business line and penetrate the emerging health care industry in Asia with new products. “My ultimate goal is to create a company that grows with the future generations of mankind. For example, Toyota, Sony and Panasonic (to name a few) are respected globally as companies with integrity that make a positive impact on our society,” Fujita said. “QED aspires to become the world’s leading medical device company with ffef state-of-the-art business lines that can possibly identify diseases at earlier and earlier stages and with the finest level of detail, with the hope that someday we can identify and eliminate cells before a disease begins to form.” Pg. 3 September ‘09 Members Newsletter
  4. 4. Kent Displays Developing New LCD Technologies The Fund regularly features Kent Displays Inc. Northeast Ohio companies being Location: Kent, OH helped by our grantees. These companies, including the one featured here, are part of the Industry: Liquid crystal displays region’s portfolio of growing businesses that are building What makes Kent Displays special? Northeast Ohio’s economic future. Its focus on developing new LCD technologies and products will help redefine and rebuild the economic base of Northeast Ohio, and establish a technology corridor in the bigger Great Lakes region. These technologies and products not only deviate from those traditionally developed by many companies currently forming the economic base of Northeast Ohio, but are unique to the market in general. Additionally, Kent Displays is committed to manufacturing products in Northeast Ohio. By manufacturing here, the company is not only positioned to keep and create jobs in the United States, but reverse a trend by selling high tech products made in the United States to foreign markets. How NorTech helped Kent Displays: Kent Displays has utilized the resources and expertise of the FLEXMatters Accelerator, a partnership formed by Kent State University and NorTech. The FLEXMatters Accelerator is designed to produce a new generation of advanced materials and promote regional economic development. Why Northeast Ohio is good for Kent Displays: • Extensive university research community, especially the Kent State Liquid Crystal Institute and University of Akron’s Institute of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering • Availability of technical talent produced by the many regional post-secondary institutions • Low cost of living and overall quality of life to attract and keep technical talent • Synergies with other members of the region’s growing high-tech business community • Support/promotion/funding of region’s high-tech industry by numerous regional and state economic development organizations such as NorTech Learn more about this company at Pg. 4 1 4 2 2 E u c l i d A v e n u e , S u i t e 1 5 1 0 , C l e v e l a n d , O h i o 44115 • 2 1 6 . 9 2 5 . 4 9 0 0 • w w w . f u t u r e f u n d n e o . o r g
  5. 5. Measuring the Power of State’s Third Frontier According to a new research report, the Ohio Third Frontier program, championed in Northeast Ohio by Fund grantee NorTech, has created $6.6 billion in economic impact and 41,300 jobs in seven years. The Third Frontier initiative is a multi-year effort by the state to expand Ohio’s technological strengths and promote commercialization that leads to economic prosperity throughout Ohio. Designed to build world-class research programs, nurture early-stage companies and foster technology development that makes existing industries more productive, Third Frontier creates opportunity through innovation. Northeast Ohio by State funding has been targeted at the biomedical, advanced energy, advanced the Numbers materials, instruments-controls-electronics and advanced propulsion industries. From 2003 through 2008, the Third Frontier and Ohio universities invested 350 $681 million in research, development and commercialization projects at academic institutions, research and development institutions and companies, entrepreneur- development organizations and venture capital funds, said SRI International, the More than 350 companies Menlo Park, Calif., firm hired by the Third Frontier to do the economic impact study. are in NorTech’s advanced energy Northeast Ohio has received nearly $424 million of the $681 million handed out by industry directory Third Frontier. In addition to the initial state investment, Third Frontier awardees attracted 10 an additional $4.2 billion from private, federal, foundation and local sources. So far, each dollar invested by Third Frontier has generated $10. “That the impact is already being seen so well, so quickly is an important story Fast Company magazine to tell,” said Fund for Our Economic Future President Brad Whitehead. ranks Oberlin College the 10th greenest higher education This research comes at an important time, as the program is set to end in 2012 institution in the nation and the state will ask voters to approve a renewal in May of 2010. SRI determined that Third Frontier shares all the elements, such as strong commitment to the public sector 14,500 and research commercialization, that are considered best practices in technology cluster development worldwide, and recommended the renewal of the program as it More than 14,500 students continues to respond to changes in Ohio’s economy and industries. enrolled in Youngstown State To read the full report, visit University this fall; the highest enrollment since 1993 11 Forbes magazine names BioEnterprise grantee Quality Electrodynamics America’s 11th most promising company ffef September ‘09 Members Newsletter Pg. 5