Research Communications

OHIO’s Innovation Center reports job, labor income impact on Athens County 

Business incubator reports highest economic contributions in a decade

ATHENS, Ohio (March 31, 2015)—Over the last two years, Ohio University's Innovation Center made its biggest contributions to local job and income creation in more than a decade.

According to new analyses released by the high-tech business incubator, the jobs generated by Innovation Center companies in 2013 and 2014 garnered an estimated $10.5 million in labor income and $1.3 million in state and local tax revenues. The number of jobs created (directly, indirectly or induced) by the Innovation Center businesses was 123 in 2013 and 140 in 2014, according to the analyses.

These figures are the highest reported by the high-tech business incubator since 2003.

"The mission of the Innovation Center is to positively impact the region's economy by helping technology-based companies create higher than average paying jobs," said Jennifer Simon, the center's director. "The results of these studies are very affirming as they provide evidence that we're fulfilling our mission."

The economic impact analyses identify the number of jobs and amount of labor income directly associated with businesses incubated by the Innovation Center and estimate the indirect and induced impacts of these businesses on the Athens County economy.

The Innovation Center, part of Ohio University's technology commercialization and entrepreneurial ecosystem, offers business coaching and space for startups at its facility at 340 W. State St., Athens. The incubator currently is home to 14 client companies and provides business support and networking services to additional university and regional entrepreneurs.

Simon credits continued partnerships with business development and entrepreneurial entities, both at Ohio University and in the Athens County community, as integral to the Innovation Center's success with job creation and economic impact.

Following the recent graduation of Ecolibrium Solar to their new Athens headquarters, the Innovation Center currently has 70 percent occupancy and continues to work with prospective clients.

"We're looking forward to repeating the process of building successful companies with new entrepreneurs," she said. "That's what we're here for—to help individuals create companies and jobs and graduate into the community."

The 2013 and 2014 economic impact analyses were provided by Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The full reports are available online on the Innovation Center website: www.ohio.edu/innovation.

Contacts: Innovation Center Director Jennifer Simon at 740-593-1818 or simonj@ohio.edu; Director of Research Communications Andrea Gibson at 740-597-2166 or gibsona@ohio.edu.