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inaugural innovation engine strives to build digital media presence in ohio

Business is bound to boom for Central and Southeast Ohio. Digital media entrepreneurs from Columbus, Middleport and Athens will have access to $20,000 in seed funding as part of Ohio University’s inaugural Innovation Engine at the Innovation Center.
“The Innovation Engine is part of a series of new initiatives, including the development of a digital media incubator at the Innovation Center, designed to address the surge of digital media entrepreneurs emerging from Ohio University and throughout the region,” explains Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center.
The boot camp is the result of a variety of partnerships with other innovative programs, such as the College of Communication’s Game Research & Immersive Design laboratory (GRIDLab) and TechGROWTH Ohio. Simon also credits successful models across the country, such as Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and Ohio State’s 10xelerator as inspiration.
Innovation Engine’s inaugural class was selected “based on the potential for follow-on investment within six months following the program,” says Simon. Participants will gain access to seminars, networking opportunities and dozens of hours of mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts.
Innovation Engine 2012
  • Flashcrop, a mobile application designed to make digital flash cards for students by taking pictures of notes, glossaries and study guides and turning those images into note cards.
  • Initio Creative aims to be a pioneer in media production by providing solutions for customers based on current markets.
  • Lightborne Lore is a digital games and animation company focusing iOS and Android content.
  • Brandbeau is a mobile app that allows for real-time analytics for brand ambassador campaigns.
  • Affine Technologies offers network consulting and support services, custom software and programming, and computer engineering.
  • Parabox is a small game development company selected as an alternate for the program. If any of the other teams are unable to participate, they will replace that team and receive investment funds.
Participating companies agree to stay in the state of Ohio for three years or pay back the $20,000. “We want these companies to succeed. But, we have additional goals – growing jobs and wealth in Ohio.”

Source: Jennifer Simon
Writer: Joe Baur
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