Six digital media startups have been accepted into the Athens-based
Innovation Engine Accelerator
for a 12-week intensive summer program designed to advance entrepreneurship in Ohio.
Selected startups are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in funding from the program, in which participants refine their business models and products with the assistance of expert entrepreneurial advice. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors at the end of the summer.
The six participants include a diverse range of digital media startups profiled below:
aspires to develop services and online tools that provide information, user-based reviews and ratings of hotels, airlines, tourist destinations, public attractions and car rental companies for people with physical disabilities.
is an online portfolio management service for business professionals, companies and organizations seeking to upload collateral work experience, talents and skills onto a single site.
seeks to improve everyday experiences and navigation for mobile devices through an augmented reality interface.
Atlas Language Innovations
is developing an educational video game to teach languages, including Arabic.
is a social mobile marketplace that gives college students the ability to buy and sell items such as tickets, textbooks and furniture to other students via mobile phones.
aims to create the next information delivery system for applications ranging from education to business and events.
Jennifer Simon, Director of Ohio University’s Innovation Center where the accelerator is housed, says the program was designed to respond to the surge of digital media entrepreneurs emerging from the university and throughout Ohio.
“The Accelerator’s goal is to rapidly prepare five startup businesses to pursue follow-on funding for their concept by facilitating development of market-tested new digital media products,” says Simon. While five of the six companies will receive up to $20,000 in seed capital, the final sixth company receives services only. If a company is not able to complete the program, the sixth company may receive part of its funding.
In addition to access with entrepreneurial experts, the Innovation Engine offers startups the opportunity to make use of 1,000 square feet of shared creative space, conference rooms, and cutting-edge equipment and software like Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro X, and other business essentials for launching a successful digital media enterprise.
Ultimately, participants will endure a more intensive schedule in this year’s accelerator with Venture Facilitators' Lynn Gellermann and Tom Parkinson providing a nine-step training program that includes everything from the basics of entrepreneurship to building a financial model.
Simon concludes, “This year’s program provides a more structured approach to entrepreneurial training by mixing qualified mentors and venture facilitators with exceptional results.”
Source: Jennifer Simon
Writer: Joe Baur