Two OHIO-connected companies make list of top startups in state

Alexis Eichelberger
October 1, 2018

Two companies that launched through Ohio University entrepreneurship initiatives have been named among the state’s 50 most promising startups.

VentureOhio, which advances entrepreneurship in the state, included Three Firefighters and Rapchat on its 2018 Watchlist of budding companies headed for big things.  

Three Firefighters, a TechGROWTH Ohio client, was founded by former firefighter Michael Maher after he saw a need for a tool to help firefighters control airflow in burning buildings. He developed a mechanism called DoorBoss, which can limit the amount of air entering a structure by controlling the door to the building without the necessity of manpower.

TechGROWTH Ohio helped Three Firefighters to develop a product prototype and test it in realistic environments. The program also helped Maher develop strategies to launch, scale and fund his company. Three Firefighters officially introduced DoorBoss in June and estimates it will help save 3,000 lives and $14.3 million in property loss annually.

“TechGROWTH was integral in providing funding, but also guidance for my company,” Maher said. “They helped foster me through the research and development phases of the company and ultimately preparing my company for follow-on funding.”

RapChat was born out of the 2013 Startup Weekend Ohio, where it won the top prize. The mobile app, the brainchild of OHIO graduate Brandon Logan and his friend Seth Miller, gives users the tools to record and post raps online.