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Pitch & Pour event highlights Toledo as an entrepreneurial city

uHeart StartUps, a University of Toledo digital media conference, will host a “Pitch & Pour” after party on May 10 at the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex  for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges. The winning idea will receive up to $5,000, but attendees stand to benefit regardless by connecting with local business leaders in attendance.
Scott McIntyre, Manager of Business Incubation at the University of Toledo, sees the event as an opportunity to energize the entrepreneurial spirit of Toledo, and convince area innovators to realize their dreams right in the Glass City, spurring job growth for the hard-hit region. To do this, McIntyre isn’t just counting on Toledoans.
“We’ve solicited participants from Indiana and Michigan,” McIntyre says, affectionately calling it the tri-state area. “We’re trying to spread the word that the University of Toledo is a place for digital media innovation.”
McIntyre is familiar with the opportunities presented in Toledo, because he’s lived through the journey of starting a new enterprise in town.
After living in California for 18 years, McIntyre returned to Toledo to help out his mother, who ended up starting a regional lifestyle and culture magazine, InToledo, with her husband, Dennis Hicks, Minority Health Coordinator at Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. “In the process of getting the magazine published, I learned a lot about the city,” he recalls. “Toledo has a lot of advantages for small businesses and large businesses,” namely low cost of living and logistical location to the “knowledge bases” of Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. For these reasons and more, McIntyre believes entrepreneurs will leave Pitch & Pour with a new picture of Toledo.
“We really have the ingredients to inspire entrepreneurs,” he says. “We’re working to get people to stay here and create jobs.”
Interested attendees can RSVP to the event on Facebook. More information at uheartdigitalmedia.com/pitchandpour.
Source: Scott McIntyre
Writer: Joe Baur

Global Cleveland's Asian Initiative designed to attract, retain Asians

Global Cleveland recently launched its Asian Initiative, a program to attract and retain Asian talent to the region. “Asians are now the fastest growing and most educated population in the U.S.,” says Meran Rogers, Global Cleveland’s director of community affairs, adding that Cleveland has seen a 49-percent increase in Asians between 2000 and 2010.

Those numbers prompted Global Cleveland to reach out to various groups in the Asian community to identify focus areas of the initiative. The group hosted 30 Asian community leaders in March at a launch meeting. “We identified three main strategies for the overall Global Cleveland mission,” says Rogers. “To attract and retain Asian newcomers who will support the growth and talent needs of businesses and industries; assist Asian newcomers and young professionals in establishing roots; and foster an inclusive and welcoming community for Asians.”
Rogers points out that while Global Cleveland is spearheading the initiative, it’s really about supporting the goals of an already-strong Asian presence in Cleveland. “It was really important to work with all of the leaders and find out what they want to do and then help them do it,” says Rogers. Global Cleveland is working closely with groups like MotivAsians for Cleveland and Asian Services in Action (Asia, Inc.) to attain these goals.
Part of the program includes promoting the job fairs in IT, biomedical research and healthcare, as well as educating employers on the importance of hiring international talent. “Over half the population is foreign-born, so a lot of growth has to do with immigration,” says Rogers. “We’re really promoting the job fairs to the Asian community.”
Rogers says they also plan to be involved in plans to better connect AsiaTown. “Cleveland is known for AsiaTown and there are plans for improvement, to find ways to connect the different areas because they are very cut up,” she says. “Retention is dependent on how connected people feel.”

Source: Meran Rogers
Writer: Karin Connelly

Proposal could boost solar panel manufacturing, reduce Cincy's carbon footprint

Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls introduced a motion that could change the way residents and businesses pay for powering their spaces with solar energy.

She says the benefits are two-fold -- increasing the demand for solar panel manufacturing and lowering the city's reliance on fossil fuels.

This plan is one of several energy-saving initiatives introduced since City Council adopted the Green Cincinnati Plan in 2008. That plan included a goal of one in every five Cincinnati buildings incorporating rooftop panels fueled by solar power by 2028.

"There's an emerging solar manufacturing sector here, and we would be creating a financing mechanism that would allow the demand to emerge for solar energy," Qualls says. "It's not a viable option for many property owners right now."

Qualls introduced a measure that directs the city to look into working with local environmental organizations like Green Umbrella, the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to help create a Property Assisted Clean Energy, or PACE, financing program.

PACE programs is a public/private initiative that are enabled by legislatures in nearly three dozen states across the country—including Ohio—which help business and homeowners pay for energy upgrades to existing buildings. Typically, participating property owners can finance those upgrades as a property tax assessment for up to 20 years.

"It's tax neutral, promotes 'going green' and reduces our carbon footprint," Qualls says.

The city has used the property tax assessment mechanism before for property owners who have been responsible for other large fixes, Qualls says.

"It has been done to pay for costly repairs over time—that's the same principle PACE follows," she says.

Ohio passed its PACE law in 2009. In 2012, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority issued the first PACE bonds in Ohio for a project to upgrade the City of Toledo’s municipal buildings.

Cincinnati must pass its own legislation for a local PACE program. Quall's motion directs the administration to bring the legislation back to Council within 60 days.

By Feoshia H. Davis
Follow Feoshia on Twitter

Growing consulting firm moves into Hamilton County Business Center

Novak Consulting Group was started on a dare.

Egged on by her husband and friends, Julia Novak felt compelled to earnestly pursue starting her own consulting business for leaders in government and non-profit communities. She began her solo venture at home, and has since hired staff around the country and progressed to working out of the Hamilton County Business Center. There, her consulting firm continues to serve clients all over the country.

While consulting with governments and nonprofits in public works, public safety, human resources, finance, planning and IT sectors, Novak Consulting Group aims to service more fields than other firms by working with a skilled team whose members offer a broad range of expertise.

With a background in city management, Novak has found success serving local governments across the United States. Having her own Cincinnati-certified small business has allowed her to take her talents to different types of clients. But her emphasis is in personalized service that suits each situation’s needs.

Expanding the office to the HCBC means dedicated meeting and collaboration space as well as increased support from other local ventures and small business advocates.

By Sean Peters

Fast-growing Flack Steel a maverick among peers

When Jeremy Flack and his former business partner ran a steel company in 2004, a difference in style caused the business to close six years later, with the partners going their separate ways. When Flack founded Flack Steel in 2010, he knew he would do things his own way.

“I had a lot of ideas, and I saw a lot of opportunities with the last business I was with,” says Flack. “In this business I’ve been able to free up ideas and capital to pursue our own model.”
Flack Steel distributes various steel products across North America. The steel is used to build anything from shelving to rail cars. As an added service Flack, who has a financial background, provides market analysis and steel purchasing counsel to his customers, holding space on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
“Offering derivatives-based pricing strategies for customers allows us to more closely mirror how they buy their raw materials to how they go to market with their products,” explains Flack. “Most steel companies do not engage in this yet because they have a general lack of knowledge of the commodities futures industry and seem to be reluctant to educate themselves.” Furthermore, Flack Steel doesn’t own equipment, allowing the company to develop unbiased supply chains.
Flack’s model works. The Warehouse District-based company has grown from one employee to 28, and sells 180,000 tons of steel a year to OEM customers.
While many people in Northeast Ohio would argue that the steel industry is a thing of the past, Flack is quick to say that's not so. “As long as there is society, there is going to be a steel business,” he says. “There’s as much steel made in the United States today as there has ever been.”
The difference is steel is made a lot faster with fewer people. That’s why Flack goes above and beyond in his company. “By dealing in futures and options for steel, we’re rather cutting-edge,” he says. “We’re kind of shaking it up, kind of maverick. We’ve got a new take on building a business.”

Flack attributes his rapid growth to having the right relationships, hiring the right people and staying ahead of the curve.

“We have consistent earnings and a flexible cost model, which has helped us to attract banking capital,” he explains. “We are progressive thinkers, use open architecture software, and encourage risk taking and innovation in our workforce. We are progressive in an industry that is rooted in tradition. Unless you do something differently you have a long road ahead.”

Flack moved here 18 years ago and has no intention of going any place else. “This is a good place to be,” he says. “I’m a Cleveland native now. My business relationships are here, this is where I know people. This is the Silicon Valley of the steel industry.”

Source: Jeremy Flack
Writer: Karin Connelly

Jifiti app designed for easier and faster gift giving

Despite the popularity of the Internet, Shaul Weisband is a big believer that the retail store gift-giving experience is alive and well. “People still enjoy walking through local stores and going to the mall,” says the founder of Jifiti, a new gifting app. 
“But there are still those two basic anxieties when it comes to gift giving – what to give and how to find the time to get it to the recipient.” According to Weisband, Jifiti eliminates both concerns.
“Jifiti lets retail shoppers select an item, scan and purchase it, and instantly send it as a digital gift card to a friend’s phone for them to redeem at any of that store’s locations in the U.S.,” he explains. “The recipient has the flexibility to select the right size, color and style. Or, if they see something else at the store they prefer, they can use the gift card for that item instead.”
Jifiti is currently available at 30 national retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Crate & Barrel, Toys R Us and Brookstone.
Jifiti was established in Israel last year, and the company moved its headquarters to Columbus a few months ago. “The Midwest in general and Columbus in particular are big retail hubs, and that’s who we work with,” Weisband explains. “Jifiti requires a lot of leg work in terms of meeting with retailers and creating strategic partnerships.”
Weisband appreciates the quality of life in Columbus. Looking to contribute to that quality of life, he recently introduced Jifiti to The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio to start a new charitable program for the organization. The information is posted on the Jifiti website. “Their supporters are always looking for new and easy ways to help out,” Weisband says. “Now they can see on our website what the organization needs and donate those items within minutes.”
Jifiti was recently named a finalist among 500 companies in the 2013 SXSW Interactive Awards in the mobile apps category. “It’s a tremendous vote of confidence from the industry,” he notes.
Source:  Shaul Weisband, Jifiti
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

Toledo-based Buyvite launches group payment API for developers

Buyvite, a Toledo-based social payment company, has launched a private label group payment API for developers to allow for cost splitting and social payment functionality on any ecommerce website or application.
“We built it because we heard from a lot of customers saying they liked they idea,” says founder Brandy Alexander-Wimberly on her way to the company’s sister headquarters in Chicago for another round of funding. “What we have developed is the ability for a company to go to our website and launch a crowdfunding transaction with a custom API.” This makes for easier, secure transactions between the end-user and company.
Supported in part by Rocket Ventures and a group of private investors, Wimberley says Buyvite’s latest development is a stepping-stone to allowing social payment transactions between anyone who visits their website. “The hosted payment page is what we’re coming out with in the next couple of weeks,” she explains.
For example, this will allow anyone to seek reimbursement for events or presents where the costs were split amongst a group of people. In fact, that’s how Wimberly originally came up with the idea. After spending money to pay for her friends’ concert tickets, Wimberly thought there must be a better, organized way to get paid back.
“We feel like people are going to expect this functionality,” she says. “They may not yet, but we really feel this functionality will need to be done, and we do it the right way.”
Source: Brandy Alexander-Wimberly
Writer: Joe Baur

Cleveland student wins inaugural TiE young entrepreneurs competition

Laurel School junior Anamika Veeramani took first place at TiE Ohio’s inaugural TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) Business Plan Competition on March 13 for her online science journal for high school students, En Kephalos Science Journal. Veeramani first beat out her fellow Laurel students in a competition before advancing to the regional competition. She won $1,000 and will compete in the TiE Global competition at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in June.

Competitors were asked to create a business plan for a company that could be started for less than $1,000. The plans were reviewed by a panel of judges based on concept, business model, market analysis, financial analysis and overall presentation.
Veeramani created En Kephalos Science Journal -- which is Greek for “In the Mind” -- during her freshman year as an outlet for students to go more in-depth in their science research. “I had done research since seventh grade,” she says. “I would do really well at science fairs, but there was nothing beyond that and no opportunities to publish in journals.”
Veeramani wanted to provide a vehicle for high school students to share their findings. “I chose the name En Kephalos because I wanted to stress the fact that while age and experience are closely tied, age and knowledge or ability don’t necessarily correlate,” she explains. “You don’t need to be an undergrad or postgrad to be able to conduct meaningful, publishable research.”
En Kephalos has three boards, made up of high school and college undergrads and a board of science professionals. “Our model is different because the majority of the staff is made up of peers,” Veeramani says.
Contributors come from mostly the Midwest and the East coast, but Veeramani says she has contributors from around the country and Canada. One of her staff lives in England.
TiE Ohio sponsored the competition in partnership with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Veale Foundation. Second and third place winners came from Magnificat and University School.

Source: Anamika Veeramani
Writer: Karin Connelly

Gigfinity links job seekers and small businesses

As the owner of a small consulting firm, James Gasparatos knows all too well the struggles of running a small business, including promoting the company and finding the right talent among other things. The challenges gave Gasparatos the idea to start Gigfinity, an interactive website designed to help small and mid-size Cleveland businesses connect with customers, promote their companies and find local talent. The site also allows job seekers to peruse and apply for jobs with Gigfinity businesses.

“Gigfinity is a social commerce site focused on marketing and hiring for small businesses,” explains Gasparatos. “My business partner, Eric McGarvey, and I were running our own small consulting companies when we had this idea a few years ago. We saw a gap where there were a lot of opportunities here for both small businesses and for job seekers. We connect them.”
Small businesses can post their profiles on Gigfinity -- free of charge -- detailing their services, job openings and even work samples. The businesses only pay a fee if they fill a job or get customers from their listings on Gigfinity.
“We only want them to pay if there’s something of value for them,” says Gasparatos. “Here, people who are looking at your profile most likely need your service.” Additionally, Gigfinity is offering small businesses a free credit for signing up on the site. Simply put in offer code “G1000” to get the free credit when signing up.
Service seekers can search the database for companies that fulfill their needs. And job seekers, or “gig seekers” can search for open positions or post their resumes and profiles.
It’s all about keeping it local and supporting the little guy, says Gasparatos. The site, which officially launched in the beginning of 2013, already has more than 60 small business listings and around 10 open jobs.
Gasparatos plans to team up with local high school and colleges in the area to attract and retain new talent to the growing small businesses. “Nothing brings everyone together as a region like small businesses and jobs,” he says.

Source: James Gasparatos
Writer: Karin Connelly

Platform 53 brings another coworking venue to Cincinnati area

On April 12, Platform 53 is hosting a “jelly” for those interested in coworking. A “jelly” is a temporary coworking event that Platform 53 plans to host every two weeks.
Adam Dean launched Platform 53 in January 2012 at Northern Kentucky University’s Startup Weekend—but under the name 3C-Coworks. At the time, Dean was an intern at Bad Girl Ventures, and he saw a need for a coworking space in Covington. He partnered with Stacy Kessler, an ex-P&Ger whose background is in consumer understanding and strategy, and the name was eventually changed.
The name references the railroad and the impact it had on the area. The “53” refers to 1853, which is the year the Covington train station at Eighth and Russell was built. Platform 53 also symbolizes the role the group wants to play in the community, by being a platform upon which people can build their businesses.
“I was used to a traditional office setting and office resources, but then I started working at home and out of coffee shops, and I realized I needed something different,” Kessler says.
About 30 percent of the private workforce in the United States works independently, Dean says. “We want to create a network of opportunity in the area and be a hub for independent workers.”
Dean and Kessler have a vision for Platform 53’s physical workspace, which they’re hoping to secure by the end of April. They want to have an open work environment with a combination of phone booth rooms, meeting rooms and conference rooms, plus flexible desk options or dedicated office space for those that wish to have their own offices.
“We want to make people feel at home, and have a platform to celebrate successes and make announcements,” Dean says.
Platform 53 is for entrepreneurs, small businesses, independent workers and those with flexible work arrangements who want to run and grow their businesses and connect with others.
“To me, coworking is about ‘accelerated serendipity,’” Dean says. “You might not know what you need, but you’ll eventually see the opportunity by being around others.”
Currently, Dean and Kessler have had about 75 people show interest in Platform 53. And the group isn’t just tech-focused. “The magic happens when you bring together people from different walks of life,” Kessler says.
They’re looking for different skill sets but shared values among members.
“We want to be part of the startup corridor,” says Kessler. “The Brandery and Cintrifuse are in Over-the-Rhine, and UpTech and Platform 53 are here in Covington—we’re like bookends that connect the region.”
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

El Futuro de Cleveland places local Latinos in paid internships

El Futuro de Cleveland, a collaboration between Global Cleveland, Esperanza, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE), and Cleveland Leadership Center’s (i)Cleveland hopes to retain local Latino talent in Northeast Ohio by offering paid internships to college students.
“The mission is to support the rich diversity of the Greater Cleveland Latino community and ensure it grows and thrives,” says Global Cleveland’s Elizabeth Hijar. There are 62,000 Latinos in Cuyahoga County, and that population grew by 30 percent since 2000. “The Latino community is a bright spot in Cleveland and is growing."
Part of the Global Cleveland Latino initiative, El Futuro de Cleveland is working with Cleveland State, CWRU, Baldwin Wallace and Kent State, in addition to reaching out to schools in Boston and Chicago. “The focus is on young people to help ensure there are opportunities to make them stay in Cleveland, attract them and make sure there’s a pipeline,” says Hijar. “We want to focus on these students and really try to help them get a first start in their careers, whether they are from Cleveland or outside of Cleveland, and think about living here on a long-term basis.”
Nineteen employers already have signed up to provide paid internships through the program. The employers are required to enroll their interns in the (i)Cleveland summer leadership and mentoring program.

Source: Elizabeth Hijar
Writer: Karin Connelly

1,300 people expected to attend this year's NEOSA Tech Week in Cleveland

NEOSA Tech Week returns for the third year, April 15-21 at various locations. “This year we reached out to a lot of community organizations around Northeast Ohio, like Team NEO, JumpStart and the Regional IT Engagement (RITE) Board,” says NEOSA director Brad Nellis. “We have expanded content, including Information Security Summit’s Spring Summit and NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge.”

The week-long event will also include pitch nights hosted by JumpStart and the Society for Information Management, networking events and Global Cleveland’s IT virtual job fair. The highlights of the week are the Best in Tech Awards and Crain’s CIO of the Year award.

Finalists for Tech Company of the Year include Explorys, Hyland Software, OnShift, TOA Technologies and Vox Mobile. “It’s a great group every year,” says Nellis of the Best in Tech nominees. “But there are some really cool up-and-coming companies in there this year.”

Other categories include Best Emerging Company, Best Software Product, Best IT Services Company and Best Mobile App. “Best app is a little risky with that category because we’re trying to pick apps that have a great shot,” says Nellis. A new category this year is Most Promising Startup. “We want to capture those really early stage companies that are getting early recognition.” Most promising startup finalists include InStore Finance, iOTOS and Public Insight Corporation.

There are a few new companies in the mix too, says Nellis, such as Blue Chip Consulting, Level Seven Group, OEConnection and Relational Solutions.

NEOSA received more than 60 nominations across all categories. About 1,300 people are expected to attend this year, up from 500 in 2011 and 900 in 2012.

The weekend culminates with NEOSA and Tri-C hosting the NASA Space Apps Challenge, an event involving 75 cities around the world. Volunteers spend the weekend coding to find new software solutions to improve life on earth and in space. The event ends with interactive judging of the teams’ solutions and awards.

The full schedule of events and locations is available on the 2013 Tech Week website.

Source: Brad Nellis
Writer: Karin Connelly

Cincinnati board game developer adds to his success with Family Vacation

Yes, blockbuster video game releases get all the buzz and rake in a lot of money, but the tried-and-true board game still has a following. And it's even made a mini resurgence in the past decade.

Some of the best-selling modern board games, including Ticket to Ride and Dominion, feature compelling back-stories, are fast-paced and require strategic thinking.

Just in time for summer, a Cincinnati board game developer with a track record of success is working to get his latest game, Family Vacation, on retail shelves. Philip duBarry, with the backing of Jolly Roger Games, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the game's production.

Children and adults alike can play Family Vacation, a game where each player takes their family to various cities and attractions across the United States and racks up or loses happiness points through travel experiences (including chances for bonus points). The player with the most points at the end of the vacation earns the title of "Vacation Master." You can see a video will a complete explanation of the game here.

"Family Vacation is a lighter, more casual sort of game," duBarry says. "It takes about an hour to play." DuBarry previously designed Revolution! by Steve Jackson Games, Kingdom of Solomon by Minion Games and Courtier by AEG.

So far, the Kickstarter campaign has raised about one-fourth of its $12,000 goal.

When he's not creating games, duBarry is a children's pastor at Addyston Baptist Church. He has a B. A. in elementary education from Middle Tennessee State University, and has lived in the Cincinnati area for the past 13 years.

He began designing games as a hobby in 2007, when he created Revolution! and sold a few dozen on the Internet.

"Then Phil Reed of Steve Jackson Games bought one and asked if I'd thought of publishing the game," he says. It was the end of a hobby and the start of a side job.

"I've thought about starting my own company, but really my favorite part of this is designing and making games, so that is what I'm sticking to," duBarry says.

By Feoshia H. Davis
Follow Feoshia on Twitter

MediQuant expands to meet increased IT needs of healthcare organizations

Data management is a huge and critical function for hospitals and healthcare providers. Patient, clinical, financial, insurance, legal and employment records contain massive amounts of essential and confidential information, all of which must be accurately stored and easily accessed.
Healthcare organizations have made significant investments in their technology infrastructures. MediQuant, which develops active archiving software for hospitals, has expanded to respond to this increased technology demand.  
“Instead of keeping old systems up and running just to access data or trying to convert data from an old system to a new healthcare information system, our data solutions can save time, prevent potential revenue loss and provide significant cost savings compared to alternative methods,” explains Tony Paparella, president. 
Due to its rapid growth, MediQuant recently moved to larger new corporate headquarters in Brecksville. Paparella attributes the company’s growth to an increase in the number of system conversions, healthcare market trends, regulations, and pressure on healthcare providers to control costs.
The company has three products for healthcare data solutions – DataArk, FirstComply and AccuRules.
DataArk houses data from old, retired systems while still allowing for real-time access to the data by end-users,” Paparella explains. “This is done at a fraction of the cost it would take to keep the old system up and running just to access this data.
MediQuant was first to develop the concept of an active archive for hospitals and healthcare organizations, he says. “With DataArk, users can still actively process accounts receivables, post payments, and issue bills while decommissioning an old system.”
MediQuant’s other two products, FirstComply and AccuRules, help healthcare providers avoid insurance denials and also verify medical necessity before a procedure is completed, preventing a potential loss in revenue.
The company currently has 40 employees and plans to hire new team members in its technical and project management departments by the end of the year.
Source:  Tony Paparella, MediQuant
Writers:  Lynne Meyer

The Innovation Awards recognize SE Ohio entrepreneurs and innovators

The Innovation Awards, a regional celebration of entrepreneurship and creative innovation, honored eight southeastern Ohio entrepreneurs and innovators last month for their advances in business and technology.
Hosted by TechGROWTH Ohio, 46 finalists from across Appalachian Ohio attended the inaugural event, administered by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The event was organized in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the TechGROWTH Ohio program, a public/private partnership that delivers operational assistance to startups.
Andrea Gibson, Director of Research Communications at Ohio University’s Research and Technology Center, details six different categories: Entrepreneur of the Year, Outstanding Woman In Innovation, Social Innovation, Green Innovation, Outstanding Faculty In Innovation, and Outstanding Student In Innovation. Gibson continues, saying the diversity in award categories was part of the event’s goal to “acknowledge innovation throughout southeast Ohio.”
Finalists were chosen through a nomination process at gala.ohio.edu, and judges made their decisions using specific criteria, also listed at the website.
·      Entrepreneur of the Year: Francesca Hartop, Yost Engineering, Inc.
·      Outstanding Woman In Innovation: Kelly McCall, assistant professor of endocrinology
·      Social Innovation: Brad Mitchell, Ohio Appalachian Collaborative
·      Green Innovation: Geoff and Michael Greenfield, Third Sun Solar
·      Outstanding Faculty In Innovation: Jason Trembly, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University
·      Outstanding Student In Innovation: Huiwen Cheng, Ohio University doctoral student in chemistry
In addition, two individuals were selected by the Ohio University Foundation for the Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship, named after distinguished Ohio University (OU) alumnus and entrepreneur, Wilfred Konneker. Recipient David Scholl grew Diagnostic Hybrids from a four-person stratup to the Inc. 500 list during his tenure as president and CEO. John Kopchick, a Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and OU professor of molecular biology, developed the FDA-approved drug, Somavert. Besides benefiting thousands of patients, the drug has additionally generated significant licensing income for the university.
Based on the reception, Gibson says Ohioans can expect to see the Innovation Awards back in 2014. “We were very pleased with how the first event unfolded,” she says. “I know we’re looking forward to doing the event again next year, and we’re hoping even more people from the region get involved.”

Source: Andrea Gibson
Writer: Joe Baur
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