January 2010 Newsletter


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The Fund for Our Economic Future's January 2010 newsletter includes updates on the second round of EfficientGovNow and a new $3 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

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January 2010 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 January 2010 Members Newsletter Fund Launches Round Two of EfficientGovNow On January 5, the Fund for Our Economic Future officially launched the second round of S M T W T F S EfficientGovNow, the program that encourages EfficientGovNow and accelerates government cooperation and Round Two Timeline efficiency by providing funds to local government collaboration projects as selected by Northeast January 5 Request for proposals sent Ohioans. This round, the Fund is offering as much as $330,000 to be shared among as many as four February 26 Project abstracts due projects – an increase in both the total dollars Northeast Ohio by offered and number of projects supported by the April 19 the Numbers inaugural round of EfficientGovNow. Completed proposals due Currently, the Fund is conducting outreach April 30 Finalists to be announced to local government officials throughout the 20,000 16-county region, seeking ideas and plans for the May 1-31 Public voting to take place Playaway, the audio book device implementation of projects that reduce government expenditures and strengthen Northeast Ohio’s June from Solon startup Findaway, Award recipients to be currently circulates in more than economic competitiveness. To be considered, announced 20,000 libraries proposals must involve two or more governmental entities, demonstrate the potential to be replicated 23 and demonstrate how the cost “savings” will be used to strengthen economic competitiveness, among other criteria. GAR Foundation of Akron As was the case in the first round, the residents of the region will ultimately awarded $906,000 in grants to determine the three best collaborations from a pool of finalists, and grants will be support 23 nonprofit awarded to the top three vote getters. The Fund has reserved the option to award a organizations in Northeast Ohio fourth grant to a collaboration involving smaller communities. Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund, anticipates a strong response to round two of EfficientGovNow. “Every day, we’re seeing more and more local governments propose collaboration projects, and the citizens of Northeast Ohio support their efforts to advance our region’s economic competitiveness. We look for this to translate into great proposals being submitted and tremendous citizen engagement when it’s time to vote in May,” he said. Kent State University, which serves as the fiscal agent for the program, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are partners and sponsors of EfficientGovNow and its related activities. More information, including the top ten ways to spur participation ffef in the second round, is available at www.efficientgovnow.org. January 2010 Members Newsletter
  2. 2. Fund Receives $3 Million Knight Foundation Grant for Government Efficiency Efforts A $3 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently added significant support to the Fund for Our Economic Future’s efforts to engage residents to offer solutions to local government on how to be more efficient and effective. The grant has a double focus: enhancing the Fund’s EfficientGovNow competition and building a new resident-led process to advance policy changes that strengthen Northeast Ohio by the 16-county region’s economic competitiveness. The effort will be driven by civic the Numbers journalism and social media programs that will employ both online tools and more traditional grass-roots efforts. As the region’s residents develop consensus, the Fund 1 will provide support to implement government and policy changes. “At Knight Foundation, our ideal is informed and engaged communities – places William and Rebecca where people have the information they need and the shared vision to act on it,” said Considine donated $1 million Paula Ellis, Knight Foundation’s vice president for strategic initiatives. “The Fund’s to Akron Children’s Hospital for efforts use new and traditional tools to help reach that goal. It aims to transform the its new research institute way the public and government work together to solve increasingly complex problems.” Making local government more efficient and effective is one of the four focus 1.5 areas of the Fund. The Akron Community Foundation “Knight Foundation’s grant provides us with the resources to use new forms of awarded $1.5 million in communication and traditional community forums to empower our region’s residents grants with the focus on emergency to be more engaged in shaping the future of our local governments,” said Fund programs that provide food, Chairman David Abbott. “This process may ultimately serve clothing, shelter and health care to as a national model for sustainable civic engagement.” residents in need The Kent State University Foundation will act as fiscal agent of the Knight Foundation grant. Kent State University’s Center for Public 320,000 The Lorain County Community Administration & Public Policy will play a key role College and the University of Akron in guiding and evaluating the efforts to make local will receive as much as $320,000 The John S. and James from the Lumina Foundation governments more efficient and effective. L. Knight Foundation for Education to strengthen a “Overall, the goal is to create a course of advances journalism in the Shared Services Program action that will educate, engage and empower digital age and invests in our region’s residents to drive changes that will the vitality of communities result in more effective and efficient government,” where the Knight brothers Abbott said. “Our region will be stronger if we’re owned newspapers. able to engage our citizens in proactively Knight Foundation focuses addressing some of the more vexing issues we on projects that promote are facing. Ultimately, we hope this process will community engagement and lead to transformational extend beyond issues related to government change. and be flexible enough for residents to use to address other key priorities.” 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. State Legislature Considering Extending Third Frontier Since 2002, the state’s Third Frontier program, which The Plain Dealer calls “Ohio’s most effective economic development initiative,” has supported the work of scientists and entrepreneurs, the formation of new companies and the creation of an estimated 41,000 high-end jobs statewide. Northeast Ohio institutions and companies have received the majority of Third Frontier funding, nearly $424 million. Throughout its tenure, the Third Frontier program has awarded grants to: Northeast Ohio by Fund grantees BioEnterprise and JumpStart; growing tech companies, including the Numbers many portfolio companies of Fund grantees; and university-based research and commercialization efforts, including Case Western Reserve University, Lorain County 6.4 Community College’s Innovation Fund and the Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems at Stark State College. BioEnterprise grantee Last September, a report looking at Third Frontier’s impact was issued by SRI AxioMed raised $6.4 million International, a California-based consultant hired by the Ohio Department of to continue developing its Development. The report found $681 million in Third Frontier funds invested so far spinal implants have generated $6.6 billion in economic activity and $2.4 billion in wages and benefits. The report concluded that the program is working and funding should 65 continue, if not increase, with more dollars targeted to support entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Ohio Business Roundtable issued a report this month that found Reinforcement Solutions Third Frontier has attracted $3.2 billion in private investment since it began. of Allentown, Pennsylvania will “The Third Frontier has emerged as the centerpiece of Ohio’s economic- start a manufacturing plant in development platform and the envy of other elected leaders across America,” said Warren, creating 65 jobs the Ohio Business Roundtable’s leaders in the report’s preface. Funding for Third Frontier, however, has reached a crossroads. Presently the program is set to expire in 2012. The Ohio House of Representatives introduced legislation for a $1 billion renewal of the program to be voted on by Ohioans in May 2010. While saying they favor extending the program, Senate Republicans are less certain about the timing of the vote. Editorial pages from across Northeast Ohio have come out in support of a May 2010 renewal, stressing that the continuation of Third Frontier is an essential key in creating a vibrant economic future for our region. Learn more about the Third Frontier and the more than 149 grants the program has awarded Northeast Ohio by visiting the program’s Web site at www.thirdfrontier.com. ffef January 2010 Members Newsletter Pg. 3
  4. 4. NorTech Identifies First Two Projects for Energy Initiative As a part of its new advanced energy initiative, Fund grantee NorTech has announced its involvement in two projects that that will generate economic impact in the region’s advanced energy industry. NorTech’s first project will be to facilitate the creation of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), a regional nonprofit organization that will be responsible for accelerating offshore wind energy projects in Lake Erie. LEEDCo activities will Northeast Ohio by include securing and holding submerged land leases and acquiring necessary permits the Numbers for “project-ready” sites, as well as promoting those sites to attract developers of large scale wind farms on Lake Erie. LEEDCo will engage with all communities along 42 the Lake Erie shoreline, from Ashtabula to Toledo, in efforts to develop a regional offshore wind industry in Northeast Ohio. JumpStart invested in “The creation of LEEDCo will establish a partnership with the goal of enlisting its 42nd company, Electron the participation of all the Ohio Lakefront Counties to maximize the economic Database Co. in Richfield development opportunities from advanced energy for the region,” said Bill Mason, Cuyahoga County prosecutor and Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force chairman. 40 NorTech’s second project will be to facilitate the creation of a Technology and Business Center for Energy Sustainability, a cleantech incubator in Warren, AIM Pharmakon will employ Ohio. Congressman Tim Ryan (District 17) recently secured a $2 million as many as 40 people in its new appropriation to rehabilitate a facility in Warren to house the incubator. NorTech University Circle research and will work with the incubator’s board to secure additional funding commitments development facility to support incubator construction. Collaborators for the Warren incubator project include the Fund, JumpStart, 25 Kent State University, RPM International, Trumbull 100, Youngstown State University and the Ohio Department of Development. “Developing clean and renewable energy technologies that help create green Forbes magazine names jobs is key to Northeast Ohio’s future economic growth. I am pleased NorTech the Mahoning Valley area the 25th ‘best bang for your buck’ location has taken a leadership role to help drive the Warren incubator project to fruition,” in the United States Congressman Ryan said. Overall, NorTech’s advanced energy initiative serves as a catalyst for accelerating commercial activity and creating jobs in Northeast Ohio’s advanced energy industry by convening, connecting and educating public and private sector partners, building public sector support, and leading multi-stakeholder projects that attract capital and create jobs. “We believe the high growth projects selected will lay the groundwork to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, attract private sector companies and investments, create jobs and further develop the supply chain to support commercialization of advanced energy technologies in Northeast Ohio,” said Rebecca Bagley, president and CEO of NorTech. 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. State Panel Praises Fund’s Government Leadership A state-appointed commission exploring local government reform invited the Fund for Our Economic Future to testify during its public hearing held on Dec. 4 in Cleveland. Bob Jaquay, vice president of the Fund and co-chair of the Fund’s Government Action Team, shared with the 15-member panel the Fund’s research Northeast Ohio by on the impact that local governments have on the the Numbers region’s economic competitiveness. Jaquay told the commission that the success of EfficientGovNow proved 3.2 that Northeast Ohio governments are eager to collaborate with each other, but are also in need of political cover A study released by the to make collaboration more acceptable. Ohio Business Roundtable found “If there is a way to build in some credit, some the state’s Third Frontier program sort of political cover for those doing the right thing, it has attracted $3.2 billion in gives an impetus to move things along,” Jaquay said. private investments The Commission applauded the Fund’s work 19.7 with government collaboration in the region, and one commissioner said he hopes the rest of the state Case Western Reserve University has received a $19.7 takes note. Bob Jaquay million federal contract to become “I hope this is the direction this commission will Vice President, an international clinical trials go, building on what you have done in Northeast Ohio,” Fund for Our Economic Future site for the Tuberculosis Trials Commissioner Mike Cochron said. Consortium The Commission is charged with researching and writing a report that 2.25 recommends reform and collaboration measures that improve local government operations. Its report is to be issued to the state Legislature in June 2010. Aeromics received a The commission also heard testimony from Hudson Mayor William Currin $2.25 million grant from the regarding the Regional Prosperity Initiative, which is being supported by the Fund. National Institutes of Health to further its development The initiative is developing a framework to expand regional planning and to share of a drug to reduce brain swelling a portion of new tax revenue generated from that planning. in stroke victims “If we want to be more regional, the way we are getting our revenue has to change,” said Commissioner Dan Foley. ffef January 2010 Members Newsletter Pg. 5
  6. 6. Team NEO Helps Attract Pharmaceutical Company Fund grantee Team NEO, the region’s business attraction organization, has brought their ninth company to Northeast Ohio this year. AIM Pharmakon, a maker and marketer of drugs and dietary supplements based in Centereach, New York will invest $2 million in a manufacturing and research-and-development facility employing about 40 people in the University Circle neighborhood of Cleveland. The region’s growing biomedical base and expertise in heart care attracted Northeast Ohio by the company to the region, the company’s president, Vijay Puntambekar, said in a the Numbers news release. AIM Pharmakon’s business includes consulting with pharmaceutical and 1.5 dietary-supplement companies looking to break into markets here and overseas. In Cleveland, it wants to manufacture a dietary supplement that it licensed MAR Systems raised from a Japanese company, and do clinical testing of the product with one of the $1.5 million to develop its water area’s hospital systems. treatment technology Through the end of November 2009, Team NEO has helped attract nine companies with 859 jobs, $22 million in payroll and $38 million in capital investments. JumpStart’s Investment Portfolio Expands JumpStart added its 42nd company to its investment portfolio by committing $250,000 to Electron Database Co. of Richfield. Electron Database is creating a database software application that aims to dramatically improve the performance of enterprise applications, data warehouses and cloud computing infrastructures. The patented technology is expected to deliver faster performance on today’s hardware and dramatically faster performance with hardware innovations entering the market over the next few years. “Because of the support we have received from JumpStart and our international partners, we are already collaborating with IT’s most important players,” said Prakash Raju, co-founder and chief technology officer of Electron Database. JumpStart Venture Partner Ted Frank said hardware manufacturers recognize that without improved database software there will be limited reasons for companies to adopt the new innovations. “Electron Database’s software will produce a very compelling reason to adopt these technologies and help manufacturers capitalize on their multi-billion dollar investments,” Frank said. JumpStart’s investment will be used to further develop the software and establish strategic partnerships. Pg. 6 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
  7. 7. Medical Device Company Calls Region the “Place to Be” The summit will include panel discussions featuring successful minority Syncro Medical Innovations from Youngstown is one of the promising companies in The Fund regularly features entrepreneurs and investors who specialize in creating wealth for minorities through Northeast Ohio’s growing portfolio of companies in the medical device sector. entrepreneurship. Dr. William Pickard, currently CEO and chairman of VITEC, will Northeast Ohio companies being keynote the summit’s lunch program. VITEC is a leading automotive parts supplier and helped by our grantees. These What makes Syncro Medical Innovations special? Dr. Pickard is a successful serial entrepreneur, having led five entrepreneurial ventures companies, including the one Syncro Medical Innovations is dedicated to utilizing technology and engineering prior to VITEC, including the investor group that brought the MGM Grand Casino to featured here, are part of the Detroit. In to advance breakthroughs in the enteralmost promising minority-owned expertise the afternoon, some of Northeast Ohio’s nutrition market – an area region’s portfolio of growing companies will be neglected. By working to develop showcase. of medicine often highlighted in an entrepreneurial new innovative technologies in businesses that are building the field, the company advances its mission of “enhancing the healing hands of “The partnership of ICIC and The Marathon Club in this summit recognizes the Northeast Ohio’s economic future. the medicine world.” national leadership of the Northeast Ohio region in the development of high growth, equity-backed minority and female-led businesses, as well as those in the inner city,” How has BioEnterprise helped Syncro Medical Innovations grow? said Darrin Redus, chief economic inclusion officer of JumpStart. “This summit, which brings together some of the most influential national and regional leaders inInnovations The BioEnterprise team played an essential role in helping Syncro Medical this space, represents much more than an extraordinary opportunity for minority key figures at relocate to Northeast Ohio by helping company leaders connect with entrepreneurs. the local, state and federal level. These connections helped the company secure prime It’s anspace, obtain for$350,000 Third Frontier grant for research and commercialization, office opportunity a all entrepreneurial stakeholders, regardless of race or gender, to better understand the unique challenges and criticalthese resources have allowed and obtain $2.1 million in federal funding. All of next steps that must be addressed if we are to see real progressto expand its executive team inscale, diverse, job creating Syncro Medical Innovations in growing the types of larger Northeast Ohio. businesses that are a vital component to our regional and national economy.” Why is Northeast Ohio at the Bank of Americafor medicalCenter at the The event will be held an attractive place Conference InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $75. Visit device companies? www.jumpstartinc.org or call JumpStart at 216.363.3400 for more information and Syncro Medical Innovations’ leaders credit Northeast Ohio with having all of the to register. resources and support necessary to launch a successful medical device company, including world class institutions to help with the clinical trial work necessary to prove JumpStart Companies Raise Growth Capital the utility of a medical device. And, company leaders credit the “amazing” level of cooperation and support from all levels of government with allowing the company to growDespite acalling Northeast Ohioin the place to of venture capital raised in 2009, quickly, nationwide decrease “the amount be for any aspiring company.” two growing companies in Fund grantee JumpStart’s portfolio have been successful in Syncro Medical Innovations has closing rounds of funding in the past month. developed the FDA-approved Syncro Blue Tube™, a novel magnetically guided enteral feeding tube. Successful duodenal placement of the tube is performed at the bedside without fluoroscopy, endoscopy or medications. MAR Systems, a clean-tech company that provides proprietary processes for the removal of metal contaminants from water and industrial fluid waste streams, just closed a $1.5 million Series B round of funding. Funding was led by Early Stage Partners, a Northeast Ohio venture capital firm, with participation from several of MAR’s existing investors. The funding will allow MAR to continue product development and commercialization of its Sorbster™ media that removes mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals from water. “We’re on the verge of changing the water treatment industry with our media,” Pg. 7 said Tony Lammers, CEO, MAR Systems. “Not only is MAR excited to continue 1 4 2 2 E u c l i d A v e n u e , S u i t e 1commercialization, on h i olatest media, 6 . 9 2to. have a•partner fin t NortheastnOhioo that 5 1 0 , C l e v e l a n d O its 44115 • 2 1 but 5 4 9 0 0 w w w. u u r e f u n d e o . r g understands what we are accomplishing is extremely rewarding.”