OHIO Innovation Center increased job growth, economic impact in last calendar year
Ohio University’s Innovation Center supported 335 jobs that generated an estimated $22 million in employee compensation in Athens County in 2019, according to a new economic impact report.
Over the last six years, the business incubator’s job creation numbers have increased 139 percent, and employee compensation generated from its client companies is up 273 percent.
“Ohio University is proud of the award-winning Innovation Center’s year over year success in supporting the growth and development of new businesses in southeastern Ohio,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “We are committed to stimulating economic growth and development in the vibrant communities in our region, and the Innovation Center plays an integral role in our work.”
The Innovation Center’s economic impact figures represent the number of jobs created directly, indirectly or induced by the Innovation Center businesses, which also generated an estimated $11 million in economic output.
Stacy Strauss, director of the Innovation Center, attributes the increase in numbers to the rapid growth experienced by several companies currently housed at the Innovation Center, as well as rising sales and new hiring by recent incubator graduates.
“In times such as these, it is even more apparent that the work we do results in economic development. We are fortunate to work in support of resilient entrepreneurs who are driven to succeed. They are building companies and creating jobs with wages that are significantly higher than the average rate for our area,” Strauss said. “This report is tangible evidence that our support and services are building successful scalable ventures in southeastern Ohio.”
The release of the economic impact report follows a major graduation of local company, RXQ Compounding, from the Innovation Center in April. In 2019, the InBIA named the Innovation Center the Rural-Based Entrepreneurship Center of the Year and bestowed it with the Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award, the association’s highest honor.
The Innovation Center, part of Ohio University’s technology commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem, has supported entrepreneurs in southeastern Ohio since 1983 by providing business coaching and space, including laboratories, for startups at its facility in Athens. It also provides virtual business support and networking services to university and regional entrepreneurs.
The 2019 economic impact analysis was developed by Athens County Economic Development Council utilizing JobsEQ, a software for computing economic impact. The full report is available online on the Innovation Center website: www.ohio.edu/innovation.