Young, Nellis, and Weinberg

TechGROWTH Ohio celebrates 10 years of success and expansion

Elizabeth Harper
December 12, 2017

Startup companies, investors, the Ohio University campus community and other stakeholders came together at TechGROWTH’s Tenth Anniversary Innovation Celebration on November 28 to commemorate past successes and look toward a bright future.

Ten years ago, TechGROWTH Ohio was built as a collaboration between Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio Third Frontier and private investors. TechGROWTH Ohio was created to accelerate the growth of start-up technology companies and boost regional economic development.

Mark Weinberg, founding dean of the Voinovich School, acknowledged that TechGROWTH Ohio faced many challenges over the last decade but said, “Ten years later TechGROWTH Ohio is one of the most successful public-private university partnerships in rural America.”

Since its founding, TechGROWTH Ohio has assisted nearly 2,000 promising entrepreneurs in 20 rural counties in southeast Ohio. Entrepreneurs working with TechGROWTH Ohio can receive technical assistance, human resources and capital, or a mixture of the three, depending on the needs of the start-up. TechGROWTH client companies have generated more than $400 million in economic activity.

Kathleen Young, Gov. John Kasich’s southeast regional liason, delivered a commendation from the governor recognizing the anniversary and congratulating TechGROWTH Ohio, as well as expressing that Kasich looks forward to seeing its continued growth and success in southeast Ohio. State Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) also delivered a letter of commendation while encouraging those present to continue raising local awareness of TechGROWTH Ohio and what it does.

Ohio University President Duane Nellis noted that TechGROWTH is part of a holistic effort by the university to improve the region’s economy – an effort he wholeheartedly supports.

“I’m reaffirming my commitment to Ohio University’s leadership role in the advancement of entrepreneurship, innovation and education,” he said. “I truly believe that Ohio University must have a strong commitment to act as a catalyst for economic and quality of life improvements in Appalachia. Over the last decade Ohio University has established a strong innovation ecosystem in southeast Ohio, helping university investors and regional entrepreneurs launch start-up companies and take new technologies to market, as well as creating new jobs.”

The Voinovich School is involved in several of the Uuniversity’s other economic development successes, including the Ohio University Small Business Development Center, which recently received a statewide award for overall high performance. In the 2017 fiscal year, the Small Business Development Center worked with more than 350 clients to create 86 businesses, which in turn generated more than 1,000 jobs.

The Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between the Voinovich School and the College of Business, received the 2017 Deshpande Symposium Award for Excellence in Student Engagement and Entrepreneurship. The Center for Entrepreneurship partners with entities across the university to arrange speakers, panels and other events to increase awareness of entrepreneurship. This year, the center co-hosted the university’s first Business of Games Summit in conjunction with the Game Research and Immersive Design Lab, part of the Scripps College of Communication.

“When we win, this region wins,” said Lynn Gellerman, executive director of TechGROWTH Ohio. “When these companies win, this region wins.”

Join in celebrating TechGROWTH Ohio’s tenth anniversary as we look back on the vast impact the organization has made in contributing to the economic development of southeastern Ohio.