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Northeast Ohio angel investors help Knowta exceed funding goal

Knowta recently raised more than $300,000 in angel investments, exceeding its goal of $250,000 to roll out the next phase of its software solution. The LaunchHouse company offers free or discounted printing at libraries in exchange for accepting advertising on the bottom of the printed pages. A percentage of the revenue generated from the full-color ads is then returned to the libraries to offset their costs.
 
Initially, founder Ryan Clark and his four partners tested Knowta’s usability at CWRU’s Kelvin Smith Library during the 2012-2013 school year. They looked at three factors: Would library patrons use the service; would it work well in the university environment and provide value to the university; and would it deliver desirable results to advertisers. “We got an affirmative response on all three,” says Clark.
 
The next step is to improve upon the software. Clark says the investments, 90 percent of which came from individual Northeast Ohio investors, will be used to roll out the next phase. “There are a number of features we want to add to make it more attractive to our advertisers and make it more robust,” he says. “We’re excited about it. We’ve received tremendous feedback from users at Case.”
 
Knowta currently is in talks with five other universities in Northeast Ohio, and Clark says they are open to talking to any school that is interested in their product. Their goal is to secure five to six new schools this year.
 
Knowta currently has 25 advertisers in a range of industries, most of them local. Clark’s goal is to tap into the national market. The most popular ads are for the food and beverage industry.
 
Knowta has two full time employees, one paid intern and uses four to five contractors to build out the second phase of software development. The company plans to hire a lead developer/solution architect by the end of the year.

 
Source: Ryan Clark
Writer: Karin Connelly

OTR Line app crowdsources wait time info for Cincy diners

Scott Miller doesn’t like waiting in lines. Not for his driver’s license. Not at the doctor’s office. And not for a meal at one of his favorite restaurants in Cincinnati's popular Over the Rhine neighborhood.

So Miller and fellow software geek Scott Avera designed a new mobile app to leverage the power of crowd-sourcing and help diners get a real-time sense of the minutes they could spend waiting for tables in the city’s popular urban restaurant scene.

After calling OTR restaurants hourly for weeks to gather preliminary wait-time data, OTR Line launched last Friday to the public in both Apple and Android versions. It's a simple, streamlined app that offers information and a process for gathering in put in clear, easy-to-follow formats.

“The app calculates average wait times based upon history,” explains Miller, who grew up in Anderson Township and now lives in Blue Ash. “But we really want people to report. As people report wait times, the app gets better. The more input you get, the better predictability.”

Avera, a Springboro native who now lives in Hyde Park, brings his experience as former owner of Ascent Solutions to the new business venture. 

“We have been software entrepreneurs all of our lives,” says Miller, 52. 

The key to OTR Line’s success lies in users’ willingness to log wait times, he says. 

The app allows users to scroll through a list of eateries and compare wait times, and it also offers space for restaurants to place ads. “The restaurant will get to play the game as well,” he says.

Miller and Avera plan to approach restaurateurs with OTR Line window stickers later this week; the free app is available for download now.


Writer: Elissa Yancey

 

TL2 pairs teens with local businesses, teaches economics

Most high school students count down the days until summer vacation, but for those participating in the Economics Center’s summer program—Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders—the countdown continues.  

TL2 students spent the first month of their summers back in the classroom as they took a microeconomics course and visited local businesses to earn both high school and college credit. 

Economics can be an abstract concept, says Daniel Barkley, University of Cincinnati adjunct professor and Economics on the Move founder. 

“When I was in undergrad, some of my professors would take us to buildings that were being worked on so you could see how they were being constructed, and I learned a lot that way, so I figured why not do it with economics?” he says.  

Rather than simply reading about economics in a textbook, Barkley says it’s important for his TL2 students to see the business side of things as opposed to the consumer side, which everyone is already familiar with. 

“A lot of companies will open their doors and show you—it doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or you’re making rubber seals—but it’s similar philosophies," he says. "And they’re at the age when it’ll sink in and do well."

Students had the opportunity to experience the inner workings of a variety of places, including Great American Ball Park, Meridian Bioscience, CVG Airport and Sur-Seal—all of which offer different services but operate under similar principles. 

“I realized that a lot of these businesses are alike in so many different ways," says Mozika Maloba, who attends Walnut Hills High School and was a participant in this year’s TL2. "They have so many different things that connect them. At first, I think I neglected to see that, but it’s funny how you can connect CVG to the Reds' stadium or Meridian BioScience, and I think that’s one of the main things I learned. Economics is such a broad field that can connect to every business.” 

And like most cooperative learning opportunities, students have the chance to not only expand their knowledge, but also their social networks. 

“Along with the whole business prospect of it, you are actually getting a group of friends you can stay in contact with for a while, and they all have the same goals and ideas in their heads,” Maloba says. “And after three weeks, there’s so many correlations between you and the 26 others in the same room as you, so it’s really cool how you can befriend people and then later on, after this year, you can talk to them once again.” 


Writer: Brittany York

Ohio Third Frontier targets tech-based economy with new programs

Ohio Third Frontier is enhancing its commitment to innovation, adding three new programs that identify methods to move technology products to the marketplace more quickly, resulting in more jobs and a stronger tech-based economy in Ohio.
 
“Each one of the new programs introduced by Ohio Third Frontier has a specific focus on advancing technologies to a place where they can be profitable in the market, creating companies and job opportunities in the process,” explains Katie Sabatino, Senior Media Strategist at the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Communications. “By designing results-driven programs, Ohio’s economy will benefit and improve our foothold as a leader in innovation and advanced technology industries, which are key to our long-term success."
 
Requests for proposals were released in May for the following:

The Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund offers Ohio tech companies loans to assist in developing products and services where they may otherwise have difficulty securing funding due to the risks associated with developing technologies. Loans range from $500,000 to $2.5 million.

The Technology Commercialization Center program invests in new technologies with the goal of creating companies and jobs while helping businesses attract capital. Centers will commercialize research from universities, medical centers or nonprofit institutions and advance the technology into the marketplace. The program offers up to $25 million to create a center with the expectation that after four years it will be self-sustaining.

The Technology Asset Grant supports shared infrastructure projects needed to develop new technologies. Program funding can go towards facilities and/or equipment when a federal procurement agency or at least two Ohio companies believe it is critical to commercialize technology. The grant program offers up to $5 million per project for up to three years.
 
These programs, the state agency believes, will better streamline the flow of new technology products to the market.
 
“When developing and commercializing new products, roadblocks can slow the process, creating a gap where generating funding can be difficult,” Sabatino explains, adding that the new programs will help bridge the gap between funding and commercialization with the goal of impacting the Ohio economy.
 
Never one to rest, Sabatino says Ohio Third Frontier is always looking for new opportunities. “We are focused on continually evaluating Ohio’s strengths and growth opportunities and creating programs that benefit the state’s tech-based economy and create jobs.”
 
 
Source: Katie Sabatino
Writer: Joe Baur

Chillicothe-based development initiative receives $126,000 grant

In an effort to improve the business climate, employment rate and quality of life in the Appalachian region, leaders of various economic development programs in four southern Ohio counties have contributed a $126,000 grant to the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio (JEDISO). The new Chillicothe-based association will use the grant to promote economic development in the area.
 
“JEDISO came about as a natural progression of the meetings and communications among the four county economic developers during more than a year of working with consultants on a regional strategic plan,” says Christopher Manegold, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio. “The Initiative is an unincorporated association of the principal economic development entities in Jackson, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties, governed by a two-and-a-half page partnership agreement.”
 
As for the $126,000 grant, the first priority for JEDISO is to update and validate detailed information on the region’s buildings and sites with infrastructure, environment and marketability data. The goal is to make this information readily available on a new website such that the region’s brokers, site selectors and other corporations interested in opening or relocating to southern Ohio may easily access it.
 
“For companies that are transportation sensitive, the region is framed by the Ohio River on the southern edge with the Inland Port at Rickenbacker to the north for air, rail and truck transportation,” notes Manegold. He also highlights the region’s growing market, citing a population growth that is twice as large as the statewide average. These are just some of the attributes Manegold and his colleagues hope to utilize in drawing new economic activity to the region.
 
“The strategic plan identifies a number of target industries that will be refined and pursued aggressively,” he says. “The ultimate goal is the attraction of high-quality, family-wage jobs to the region.”
 
 
Source: Christopher Manegold
Writer: Joe Baur

Fuel the Fire funds startups, betters Cincinnati communities

Young professionals are full of ideas, but turning ideas into fruitful startups takes funding, which is not always easy to come by—especially for recent college graduates.
 
“We have a lot of talent in Cincinnati, and we don’t want that talent to leave this city," says Tangela Edwards, communications chair for FUEL Cincinnati. "We want to keep it here."
 
FUEL Cincinnati, which is a division of Give Back Cincinnati, is a local micro-grant funder that provides philanthropic entrepreneurs with the ways and means to kick-start an idea that will impact the city for the better.
 
The nonprofit funds projects year-round, but its second annual fundraising event, Fuel the Fire, takes place tonight, June 27. That event enables five projects to not only have the opportunity to receive funding, but also to gain recognition and exposure so that other interested individuals become aware of their concepts.
 
“Major donors might not want to give initially—they want to see how well you do,” Edwards says. “And sometimes that takes a small amount of money to help a startup get off the ground. Our main focus is to give awareness to five groups—they’ll be able to fundraise outside of this—but this is one thing we’re able to do for them.” At the event, participants will present their ideas, and the public will vote on its favorite project.
 
This year’s entries span a wide range of concepts, and cover everything from indoor composting, bike sharing, leadership and training for adolescent males, edible landscaping, and even a series of pop-up biergartens in the intersections of five alleyways in Walnut Hills.
 
“Community building, education, environment, diversity—the idea is that if they can fit into any of those categories, we want to hear from them,” Edwards says. “If someone has a great idea that they feel will impact Cincinnati in a positive way but they don’t have the funding or need additional ideas and support, then that’s what we’re here for.” 
Interested part.

Purchase a ticket for tonight's event here.


By Brittany York


Zuga Medical receives FDA approval, JumpStart investment for dental implant system

Zuga Medical, a medical device company, recently received a $250,000 investment from JumpStart to launch its dental implant system. In April Zuga received FDA approval for its system, which allows a general dentist to perform implants using a screw, a procedure previously done only by oral surgeons.
 
“Our patent-pending technology makes it simpler, easier and more cost-effective for both the dentist and the patient,” says Zuga CEO Steve Cornelius, who met the company’s founder and CSO, Chan Wang, a year-and-a-half ago through BioEnterprise and joined the board of directors. He then became CEO. With 15 years of experience in the dental industry, Cornelius was intrigued with Wang’s product. “Chan had a vision of making things simple for general dentistry.”
 
Zuga will use the JumpStart investment to conduct a soft launch with eight to nine local dentists. Those dentists will take a training course on placing the implants next month. “We’re using the local soft launch in Cleveland to prove out our business model and raise the next round of investments,” Cornelius says. “Our vision is to create a dental company right here in Cleveland.”
 
As Zuga grows, Cornelius hopes to hire three to four sales reps, a marketing person and a customer service rep by the end of the year.
 
Zuga Medical has also received investments from the Cuyahoga County North Coast Opportunities Fund and the Innovation Fund.

 
Source: Steve Cornelius
Writer: Karin Connelly


OU Senior aims to take the legwork out of equity crowdfunding compliance with Crowdentials

As an entrepreneurship/business management senior at Ohio University, and the president of the school’s Entrepreneurship Club, Richard Rodman has started two successful companies during his studies. Most recently, he noticed the need for some guidance in the crowdfunding trend.

So Rodman first started 530Funds in November 2012, a search engine and news site for the crowdfunding industry. “It was really hard to sift through Google to find the right platform,” he says.

But Rodman quickly realized the real need was in helping users navigate the forthcoming SEC regulations on equity crowdfunding and make sure they are compliant while raising money for their cause. Individuals, investors and crowdfunding platforms must comply with these regulations.
 
That’s when Rodman came up with Crowdentials. “Crowdentials is regulatory software for the rules SEC has created,” he explains. “It’s a simple web form -- kind of like TurboTax -- where you can cross-reference to see if you comply.”
 
Crowdentials helps take the legwork out of fundraising. Through the site and one form, investors, businesses and crowdfunding platforms ensure they are in compliance while raising money or investing in a new company. “We take care of compliance; you take care of business,” says Rodman says. “Businesses shouldn’t have to waste their time researching all the regulations.”
 
Crowdentials was accepted into the inaugural FlashStarts program, run by Charles Stack and Jennifer Neundorfer, this summer. Rodman says there was an “instant connection” in the interview process. “I think it’s going to do a lot,” he says of the program, adding that he enjoys working with the mentors and interns on hand and bouncing ideas off the other entrepreneurial teams.
 
Rodman has two partners.

 
Source: Richard Rodman
Writer: Karin Connelly

Bizdom and LaunchHouse team up accelerator programs for Northeast Ohio's gain

Both Bizdom and LaunchHouse received hundreds of entrepreneurs applying for their respective accelerator programs this year. LaunchHouse received a record 115 applications for 10 spots in its 2013 LHX accelerator program, while Bizdom already has seen more than 100 applications this year from all over the country.

Both organizations each received $200,000 from Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs (ONE) Fund earlier this year. So, Bizdom and LaunchHouse decided to collaborate in investing in 20 technology startups this year.
 
"We feel it is important to collaborate with every organization that is helping to revitalize the region and LaunchHouse is certainly one of these organizations,” says Bizdom leader Paul Allen. “When we found out that Shaker LaunchHouse had also received ONE Fund support for its accelerator we reached out to see how we could closely collaborate to optimize the experience for all founders and to show the startup community that we are coordinated in our efforts.”
 
The organizations plan to share mentoring sessions, jointly host classes and open up their office spaces to each other’s entrepreneurs. “We have a strong network, and so does Bizdom,” says LaunchHouse CEO Todd Goldstein. “So why not collaborate to build a successful business community in Northeast Ohio?”
 
The whole idea is to foster the growth of Northeast Ohio as a hotbed for startups and a place that supports entrepreneurs. “Really, we are about the accelerator and the entrepreneurs working together to build a great community,” says Goldstein. “We’re not on an island by ourselves. We’re all out to build successful entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio.”
 
Allen agrees that the collaboration will help the entrepreneurs as well as continue to attract startups from outside the region. “Participants will be able to socialize with a greater number of peers and hopefully they will be able to learn from one another,” he says. “Collaboration strengthens the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial community because it gives us an opportunity to articulate a consistent and more powerful message within and outside the region about the opportunities and resources that exist here."

 
Sources: Paul Allen, Todd Goldstein
Writer: Karin Connelly

Innovative Cincy company rethinks the box, markets through 2,700 retailers

The old cardboard document storage box is getting a makeover, complete with ergonomic design, through the work of a Cincinnati startup.

Blegalbloss founder and president Will Scott has created a line of office products that make document storage, organization and use easier.

The company's signature product, BOXIE, is an ergonomic, lockable file box. The tough, rip-resistant boxes have a handle that is curved and slanted to make the box easy to pick up and carry. The box also has a locking feature, is made from 65 percent recycled materials, and is 100 percent recyclable.

Scott previously owned a record management company, and had worked in the financial service industry in sales and accounting.

"When I was in the record management industry, I had some time to think about how people use these storage items, and had a little black book of ideas," Scott says. "Looking at the boxes themselves, I realize they hadn't changed in nearly 100 years." That's when he went to work and began making the boxes better through design.

"I went about the task to redesign these sorts of things, and to make them stronger," he says. "It wasn't until I watched someone carrying the box that I realized that had been designed totally wrong."

Blegalbloss (pronounced Blee-guhl-bloss) was launched in early 2011, and the BOXIE was first delivered in January. In addition to boxes, the company sells Roo brand document organizers and DominoTwin office supply organizers. The products are sold through 2,700 retailers. The company's goal is to be in 4,000 retail stores by year's end and 10,000 by 2014, Scott says. Blegalbloss is working to expand the brand globally, and launch other products. Among Blegalbloss retailers are AmazoneBay and Office Depot.

Since most of the innovation is in the products' design, their costs are competitive with traditional storage boxes, Scott says. His company currently has about 45 patents pending and 10 already issued.

"We've built a better mousetrap," Scott says. "We're selling this at the same pricing (as competitors) in the marketplace, with better value and features."


By Feoshia H. Davis

Design "thinking" spurs change makers, helps nonprofits

Design isn't just about how something—like a mobile phone or a vacuum cleaner—looks, but how it works and how users receive and interact with it.

Creative design is most often applied in the consumer-marketing world in product development, including packaging and marketing. But a Cincinnati couple is taking design thinking into the nonprofit world through their own nonprofit, Design Impact.

The organization works with social change organizations to help address local and global social issues through creative design thinking. Design Impact has applied this concept to organizations both in Cincinnati and in rural India where the founders first began testing their ideas.

Design Impact was founded by husband-and-wife team Kate Hanisian and Ramsey Ford. Hanisian's background is in the nonprofit and education sectors, and Ford is a designer with extensive consumer product experience.

Design thinking can help nonprofits meet challenges by giving them a different way to solve, test and measure ideas, says Ford.

Key aspects of design thinking include:
  • Identifying opportunities to innovate 
  • Applying empathy and creativity to change problems into breakthroughs
  • Uncovering hidden insights and unarticulated needs from your customers
  • Quickly and inexpensively prototyping new ideas
  • Initiating design thinking in your business, organization or community
Design Impact is holding a two-day seminar for nonprofits that are interested in learning more about incorporating design thinking in their own problem solving challenges. Design Impact for Change Makers is Aug. 1 and 2, at the Kaleidoscope building in downtown Cincinnati.

Design Impact for Change Makers will be workshop-based and participants are being asked to bring a real challenge they'd like to solve or idea they'd like to explore. It could be anything from offering a new service to better engaging donors, Ford says.

"It's about idea generation, and staying in a creative state of mind so you don't always rely on the same old solutions," he says. "We'll be working through the entire creative process from discovery to creation and verification."

Event and registration details are available here, and the cost is $275 for both days.


By Feoshia H. Davis

Columbus-based 10Xelerator accepting applications for their 2013 program

Columbus-based 10Xelerator is now accepting applications through July 14 for their 2013 program.
 
Started in 2011 by The Ohio State University Fisher College in collaboration with the Founders Factory, 10X is a mentor-driven accelerator focused on converting promising entrepreneurial ideas into viable businesses and, ultimately, sustainable companies.

We’ve held three programs so far graduating 27 companies, which have gone on to acquire customers and raise follow-on capital,” says Brooke Paul, an “innovation catalyst” with 10X who is currently the founder and CEO of Taivara. “In total, past 10X graduates have acquired real customers and revenue as well as raised over $9,000,000 in additional capital from follow-on investors.”
 
Applicants interested in joining the 2013 class must submit an online application that includes a video pitch. “We are looking for high-caliber entrepreneurs and teams who have disruptive solutions that impact one of four core business sectors,” Paul explains. These sectors include big data and analytics, educational technology, cyber security and logistics technology. Applications are evaluated based on the founding team, maturity of the idea, potential market size and financial viability.
 
Selected startups will have the opportunity to join the ranks of other successful ventures such as Acceptd, eFuneral and Tackk. Benefits include $20,000 and 10 weeks of intensive work with mentors and advisors.
 
“We’ve assembled a network of mentors and advisors with real-world experience building business in our core business sectors,” says Paul. “By leveraging our mentor network, we can select the best applicants and accelerate the validation of disruptive solutions and acquire customers quickly.”
 
Channeling the experience of their mentors into four specific categories with startups interested in the same field will lead to a higher probability of success, Paul believes. Not to mention help solve real problems.
 
“We believe that acceleration activities should be directed at validating solutions with real-customers and a focus on moving quickly to market and revenue growth.”
 
 
Source: Brooke Paul
Writer: Joe Baur


Innovation Engine Accelerator welcomes six digital startups to Athens

Six digital media startups have been accepted into the Athens-based Innovation Engine Accelerator for a 12-week intensive summer program designed to advance entrepreneurship in Ohio.
 
Selected startups are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in funding from the program, in which participants refine their business models and products with the assistance of expert entrepreneurial advice. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors at the end of the summer.
 
The six participants include a diverse range of digital media startups profiled below:
 
AccessAble Travel aspires to develop services and online tools that provide information, user-based reviews and ratings of hotels, airlines, tourist destinations, public attractions and car rental companies for people with physical disabilities.

Foleeo is an online portfolio management service for business professionals, companies and organizations seeking to upload collateral work experience, talents and skills onto a single site.

Razor Dynamics seeks to improve everyday experiences and navigation for mobile devices through an augmented reality interface.

Atlas Language Innovations is developing an educational video game to teach languages, including Arabic.

MyCampus is a social mobile marketplace that gives college students the ability to buy and sell items such as tickets, textbooks and furniture to other students via mobile phones.

Lydria aims to create the next information delivery system for applications ranging from education to business and events.
 
Jennifer Simon, Director of Ohio University’s Innovation Center where the accelerator is housed, says the program was designed to respond to the surge of digital media entrepreneurs emerging from the university and throughout Ohio.
 
“The Accelerator’s goal is to rapidly prepare five startup businesses to pursue follow-on funding for their concept by facilitating development of market-tested new digital media products,” says Simon. While five of the six companies will receive up to $20,000 in seed capital, the final sixth company receives services only. If a company is not able to complete the program, the sixth company may receive part of its funding.
 
In addition to access with entrepreneurial experts, the Innovation Engine offers startups the opportunity to make use of 1,000 square feet of shared creative space, conference rooms, and cutting-edge equipment and software like Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro X, and other business essentials for launching a successful digital media enterprise.
 
Ultimately, participants will endure a more intensive schedule in this year’s accelerator with Venture Facilitators' Lynn Gellermann and Tom Parkinson providing a nine-step training program that includes everything from the basics of entrepreneurship to building a financial model.
 
Simon concludes, “This year’s program provides a more structured approach to entrepreneurial training by mixing qualified mentors and venture facilitators with exceptional results.”
 
 
Source: Jennifer Simon
Writer: Joe Baur

Venture for America inspires two Cincy entrepreneurs to keep their talents in Ohio

When James Fayal and Ricky Ishida moved to Cincinnati last summer to focus on start-ups, they had given little thought to launching their own.

But less than a year later, the Milton Street housemates have embarked on one of eight national Venture for America initiatives (two from Cincinnati) that demonstrate just how much they have come to embody the entrepreneurial spirit. As members of the inaugural Venture for America class of fellows, the Zest Tea founders exemplify the essence of the national, startup-generating project designed to attract and retain top collegiate talent in “flyover” cities like Cincinnati.

Both moved to Ohio to work for startups that intrigued them. Fayal, a University of Maryland grad, chose to work with CincyTech, while Ishida of Cornell landed at ZipScene

Given the intense work schedules of startups, it’s no surprise that their idea for their own start-up grew out of a blend of personal experiences and frustration. Both preferred tea to coffee -- Ishida based on experience dating to his childhood in Japan and Fayal from his high school days. Still, neither could locate traditional teas with enough caffeinated punch to help them get through the extended days of the startup world.

Instead of complaining, they began a search for a coffee alternative. They found no tasty tea product on the market that provided coffee caffeine levels. That's when Fayal and Ishida knew they were on to something. They just didn’t know what.

“We started developing our own [tea] blends,” Fayal says. There was Cinnamon Apple Black Tea and Pomegranate Mojito Green Tea; Blue Lady Black Tea and Moroccan Mint Green Tea. “We started playing around with some tea extracts, with additional antioxidants, and caffeine,” he adds.

By blending tea extracts with high quality teas, they focused on good (read: not bitter) taste while boosting caffeine levels. 

What began as a beverage born of personal interest became a business plan very quickly over the last month thanks to another VFA innovation. The non-profit launched a national awareness campaign through RocketHub aimed at nurturing their young Fellows’ community involvement and startup aspirations. Members of the first class of VFA fellows were encouraged to enter a startup competition of their own, with cash prizes awarded to the top three already crowd-funded ideas. 

They created a RocketHub site for “Zest Tea - Bold Teas With An Energizing Kick,” and started raising money. To sweeten the pot, they turned the very funding process into a bit of a game, wherein folks who donate get to help decide which teas will make it to market first. 

"We figured we’d let the funders make the final decision on the first four," says Fayal, who enjoys all eight of the blends on the ballot, but admits to a particular fondness for Pomegranate Mojito and Cinnamon Apple blends as well as the more traditional Earl Grey.


Writer: Elissa Yancey
 

Cleveland's west side welcomes $83m hospital expansion

Fairview Hospital's emergency services have gotten some much-needed room to breathe thanks to the opening of an $83-million emergency department and intensive care unit. 

The two-story, 155,000-square-foot expansion in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood debuted during a June 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new ICU is scheduled to open this week.

The addition was constructed in front of the 504-bed hospital to offer improved access to emergency and critical care services, says Fairview president Jan Murphy. The expansion includes a 55-bed emergency department with a separate 16-room pediatric emergency space, two Level II trauma rooms, and an expanded ICU with 38 private patient rooms.

The undertaking dramatically enlarges the cramped quarters that sometimes had sick patients waiting in the hallway, Murphy notes. The Cleveland Clinic-affiliated hospital, which treats a significant number of patients from Lorain County, now has separate X-ray, CAT scan, lab and EKG facilities to help the emergency department speed diagnosis and treatment.

"The overall flow is conducive to faster, more efficient access," says Murphy.

The hospital president expects the new facility to handle up to 100,000 patients a year, a leap from the 76,000 visits the emergency department tallied in 2012. More room for patients and staff along with brighter lighting will lend to a more positive healing environment, she believes.

"We're thrilled to be doing this in a beautiful space," Murphy says.

 
Source: Jan Murphy
Writer: Douglas J. Guth

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