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YBI portfolio company snags international client

OAREX Capital Markets has closed on their first transaction by providing capital to Toronto-based Nintendo Enthusiast, a video game review website that has an informal relationship with Nintendo.
A Youngstown Business Incubator portfolio company, OAREX provides capital to digital entrepreneurs with future value. It’s billed as a risk-free alternative to incurring debt or selling equity.
“In exchange for the cash we gave him, he will pay us the money he receives from advertisers for the next three months,” OAREX Founder Hanna Kassis explains. “After that, he remains 100 percent owner of his company and debt free.”
Kassis says the deal came after pouring over market research that included reaching out to various blogs and websites.
“I emailed about 450 blogs and was getting mixed feedback,” Kassis recalls before Nintendo Enthusiast asked for a quote. “We Skyped three times, and I got to understand his needs, got access to his website data and quoted him. We negotiated a bit and struck a deal.”
In addition to providing capital, OAREX will be offering search engine optimization (SEO) consultation to the Canadian company. Kassis anticipates their SEO work will bring in even more advertising revenue to Nintendo Enthusiast.
Though OAREX is excited for their first client, Kassis is busy developing additional relationships.
“We are in talks with a few other potential clients,” he says, noting an increased demand for futures capital. “I’ve been emailing 50 to 80 websites a day.”
Source: Hanna Kassis
Writer: Joe Baur

Ohio companies garner coveted listings on the 2013 Inc. 5,000

Among other Ohio companies, two Buckeye State startups have garnered coveted national recognition.

CoverMyMeds, a Twinsburg firm that makes it easier for patients to get their prescribed medications, and Plug Smart, a Columbus energy solution company, both placed in the top 300 of Inc. Magazine's 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States.
Inc. Magazine's rankings take into consideration factors such as annual growth, revenue increases and staff expansions over a three-year period. Coming in at 96, CoverMyMeds grew 3,567 percent over the designated time frame using the magazine's criteria, garnering $5.3 million in revenue as of 2012.
The company, which previously received funding from Cleveland entrepreneur accelerator JumpStart, is an online service for physicians and pharmacists that provides prior authorization services and other insurance coverage for a variety of drug plans.
Web- and phone-based tools developed by CoverMyMeds automate the submission of authorization requests, a process that when done manually can be both expensive and frustrating, says principal/CEO Alan Scantland. The company does not charge pharmacies or doctors for using the service, instead putting the onus on  drug manufacturers that need to expedite the sluggish authorization process if they want to increase sales.
Being ranked by Inc. in the top 100 - and eighth overall in the healthcare sector - "brings us immediate attention, and gives us a third-party voice of credibility while adding to our brand and positioning," says Scantland. "The distinction is also great for employees, who are getting some well-deserved recognition for their efforts."
Lightning-fast growth has also opened the door for additional business ventures, notes the company head. "It's wonderful," he says. "We’re very excited about making such an impact in healthcare."
Plug Smart made the list during its first year of eligibility thanks to over 1,500 percent in growth and $6.4 million in revenue from 2009 to 2012. The energy services company helps commercial, industrial, nonprofit and utility companies implement a broad range of energy solutions, from HVAC to lighting systems. Among its goals, the TechColumbus-incubated firm seeks to aid clients in building energy efficiency projects and leveraging renewable power resources.
Getting your company's name out there when competing with industry stalwarts like Siemens, Honeywell and Trane is no mean feat, says Plug Smart president David Zehala. In addition to its overall ranking, the company finished number 17 on the list of Top 100 energy companies, and number eight in the list's top 100 Ohio companies.
"This establishes Plug Smart as a major force within the energy services sector," Zehala says. "Our teams represent the best and brightest energy engineering minds in the industry, and our success is a testament to their ability to help our clients find creative ways to implement energy projects."

CincyTech portfolio company BioRx, which enjoyed 181 percent growth over the past three years, was also listed as one of Ohio's top 100.

More than 180 Ohio companies were included on the 2013 Inc. 5000 list, including Vertex Body Science and US Logistics, which clocked in at numbers 19 and 34, respectively.

By Douglas J. Guth

YBI portfolio company is first futures-driven capital market for digital entrepreneurs

Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) portfolio company, OAREX (Online Advertising Revenue Exchange), has become the world’s first futures-driven capital market for digital entrepreneurs.
OAREX provides capital to digital business owners – smart phone app developers, website and YouTube channel owners – that have sold advertising space on their digital property. “The market is futures-driven because the amount of capital provided to them is based on their expected future advertising revenues over the course of the next three, six, nine or 12-month period,” explains owner Hanna Kassis.
This makes funds more readily available to people and businesses who are scared away from banks because of the risk and cost associated with raising capital. “OAREX is neither a lender nor an investor,” says Kassis, who has personally financed his company. “[We] merely pay and guarantee digital business owners their future ad revenues today by providing them with lump sum cash up front.” Interested entrepreneurs can learn more from a video presentation at the company’s website.
Though OAREX is now in Delaware, the company remains a portfolio company of YBI and Kassis hopes to one day return to the Steel Valley where he taught economics at his alma matter, Youngstown State University.
In the meantime, Kassis is happy to heap praise onto YBI, saying the incubator has played a “pivotal role” in the company’s success so far.
“They’ve been available as a resource for connecting OAREX with potential investors and clients, and providing tech support,” he explains. “Members of the YBI team have also helped in the development of the business model and tackling the complex issues of bringing the company to market.” Kassis continues, noting a YBI board member also serves as an advisory board member with OAREX. “The connection between the two entities is very strong and successful.”
Source: Hanna Kassis
Writer: Joe Baur

Study: northeast Ohio's tech startups generated $270m in economic impact in 2012

An annual study conducted by Cleveland State University’s Center for Economic Development at the Levin College of Urban Affairs shows that startup companies in Northeast Ohio contribute significantly to the economy. The study surveyed tech-based companies that received assistance, either financially or in services, through JumpStart or the North Coast Angel Fund.
The 127 companies who participated in the study generated $211 million in economic benefits in Northeast Ohio in 2012, $270 million statewide. These companies helped create and retain 1,100 in-state direct jobs, with a total Ohio employment impact of 2,140. The companies and their suppliers also increased total Ohio household earnings by $125 million and contributed nearly $12 million in state and local tax impact.
As the early-stage companies grow, their impact increases, according to the study. Among those surveyed, 44 companies participated over three years -- from 2010 to 2012, showing 53 percent job growth and a 36 percent increase in economic impact over those three years.
“These numbers quantify the impact small companies made,” says Cathy Belk, JumpStart COO. “Small companies make a big difference.  It’s exciting to see the impact the companies we see every day are having. We see how hard these companies are working.”
With all of the organizations in Cleveland that support startups, in addition to support from Ohio Third Frontier, which provides funding to organizations like JumpStart, the region is ideal for new businesses.

“We continue to believe that Northeast Ohio is the best place in the country to have a small business or a new business,” says Belk. “We have such a robust ecosystem for startups and small business.”

Source: Cathy Belk
Writer: Karin Connelly

Turning Technologies acquires largest competitor, eInstruction

Youngstown-based Turning Technologies, a software development company, has acquired their largest competitor, eInstruction, a leader in global education technology.
The acquisition is the largest of Turning's to date and positions the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) portfolio company to further their international dominance in Europe, South America and Asia.
Jim Cossler, CEO at YBI, believes this latest acquisition is a good example of the incubator's potential. “It answers a lot of questions that people had about our model,” he says. “We announced to the world in 2001 that we were going to launch a world-class market in downtown Youngstown. There weren’t many people in our community or northeast Ohio who believed us, but we’ve done that.”
Since its inception, YBI has seen numerous acquisitions take place and eInstruction will hardly be the last. Cossler hints, “We think there will be more in the relatively near future.”
Cossler continues, noting the eInstruction acquisition will bring growth to the region. “There will definitely be new job creation in Youngstown as a result,” he says. One area ripe for growth is warehouse space, which Cossler describes as currently inadequate to accommodate the merger. “They’re in the process now of looking for new warehouse facilities in the greater Youngstown area.”
Source: Jim Cossler
Writer: Joe Baur

Pro-shale development group boasts economic benefits for Mahoning Valley

Local businesses and labor leaders, elected officials, landowners and others gathered at the Log Cabin in downtown Warren last month to tout the economic benefits and job creation resulting from the development of shale oil and natural gas.
Tony Paglia, VP of Government and Media Affairs at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, says the event, hosted by the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment, was held as a counter-presence to an anti-shale development demonstration that was simultaneously held on Warren’s Courthouse Square. “We wanted to get out the word that the Mahoning Valley welcomes oil and gas development in our area,” Paglia explains. “Most of the demonstrators against oil and gas were from outside the area and the state.”
Characterizing oil and gas development as an economic “game changer” for the Valley, Paglia says, “We have gone from one of the worst economies in the U.S. to an economy that is creating good paying jobs and providing a resurgence for our manufacturing sector.” In total the Chamber estimates upwards of 4,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created in addition to “billions of dollars in investment in the Valley region.”
Critics have said the risks associated with shale and natural gas drilling on the environment far outweigh any economic benefits. But after 30 years of economic decline, local leaders are ready to accept shale development as an opportunity to change the region’s fortunes. “We’ve all studied the pros and cons of shale development and believe with strong and effective environmental and safety laws that the risks of the industry can be managed, allowing for continue economic growth and investment,” says Paglia.
Pro-shale groups predict full development in the Valley in 2014. This means a large increase in drilling as supply chain companies continue to move into the region and local companies expand their operations.
Paglia sums up his defense and support of shale development by pointing to a recent Business Facilities Magazine ranking that put the Youngstown-Warren region sixth in the Economic Growth Potential category among metro areas with less than 450,000 employment. “Ten years ago," says Paglia, "the Youngstown-Warren area would probably have been sixth from the bottom in economic growth potential.”
Source: Tony Paglia
Writer: Joe Baur

Ohio Third Frontier targets tech-based economy with new programs

Ohio Third Frontier is enhancing its commitment to innovation, adding three new programs that identify methods to move technology products to the marketplace more quickly, resulting in more jobs and a stronger tech-based economy in Ohio.
“Each one of the new programs introduced by Ohio Third Frontier has a specific focus on advancing technologies to a place where they can be profitable in the market, creating companies and job opportunities in the process,” explains Katie Sabatino, Senior Media Strategist at the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Communications. “By designing results-driven programs, Ohio’s economy will benefit and improve our foothold as a leader in innovation and advanced technology industries, which are key to our long-term success."
Requests for proposals were released in May for the following:

The Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund offers Ohio tech companies loans to assist in developing products and services where they may otherwise have difficulty securing funding due to the risks associated with developing technologies. Loans range from $500,000 to $2.5 million.

The Technology Commercialization Center program invests in new technologies with the goal of creating companies and jobs while helping businesses attract capital. Centers will commercialize research from universities, medical centers or nonprofit institutions and advance the technology into the marketplace. The program offers up to $25 million to create a center with the expectation that after four years it will be self-sustaining.

The Technology Asset Grant supports shared infrastructure projects needed to develop new technologies. Program funding can go towards facilities and/or equipment when a federal procurement agency or at least two Ohio companies believe it is critical to commercialize technology. The grant program offers up to $5 million per project for up to three years.
These programs, the state agency believes, will better streamline the flow of new technology products to the market.
“When developing and commercializing new products, roadblocks can slow the process, creating a gap where generating funding can be difficult,” Sabatino explains, adding that the new programs will help bridge the gap between funding and commercialization with the goal of impacting the Ohio economy.
Never one to rest, Sabatino says Ohio Third Frontier is always looking for new opportunities. “We are focused on continually evaluating Ohio’s strengths and growth opportunities and creating programs that benefit the state’s tech-based economy and create jobs.”
Source: Katie Sabatino
Writer: Joe Baur

Accupoint Software introduces new features for ISO compliance

The International Standards Organization (ISO) specifies detailed quality management systems that help organizations meet customer and stakeholder needs, as well as rigorous regulatory requirements pertaining to various products. Companies and organizations that pursue ISO certification must complete and maintain these demanding requirements.

Obtaining certification is a lengthy, complex and exacting process, according to Jeff Cianciola, president of Youngstown’s Accupoint Software.
The company recently introduced new features to its InterLink software to help companies with ISO compliance.

“InterLink helps companies manage and administer the tremendous amount of documentation, policies, procedures and instructions required to meet the various ISO standards,” he explains. “Our system takes an integrated approach to managing the health and safety, environmental and quality requirements for ISO certification.”

According to Cianciola, a new calendar is among the software’s updated features. “It allows for integration of audit and training schedules, permits, meetings, projects and management review modules. We also have a new email function, expanded report creation capabilities, drill-down metrics dashboard and a new change control module to track document process modification.” He points out that InterLink is Cloud based, so all of a company’s team members can access it from anywhere.

Accupoint’s target client areas are manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, mining and industrial service organizations.

Cianciola notes examples of ISO requirements in the manufacturing industry. “In the area of document control, manufacturers are required to use the most up-to-date blue prints for a project. Also, if a problem is discovered in any area, there are specific processes to follow to make sure it’s addressed promptly and corrective action is taken so it doesn’t happen again.”
Accupoint Software, which was established in 2007, has six employees and plans to expand by the end of the year.
Source:  Jeff Cianciola, Accupoint Software
Writer:    Lynne Meyer

Intern in Ohio program launches this week, connects students with internships

This week, Detroit-based Digerati launched its Intern in Ohio program to the public, which is sponsored by the University of Toledo. Like eHarmony, the program uses an advanced matching algorithm to match students with internship opportunities.
Intern in Ohio is free to both students who are looking for internships and businesses who want to post internships. To register, students and employers visit Intern in Ohio’s website to sign up and create a profile or post internship opportunities. Students fill out a short questionnaire about their preferences, and employers share information about the position. The system then identifies the top seven matches for each student, as well as for each position. When the match is made, both the student and employer are notified, and they must show interest before any contact information is shared.
“We encourage diverse companies—large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, government and corporate,” says Wendy Pittman, director of Digerati’s Classroom to Career. “It’s a great chance for employers to broadcast their company and internship program across the state and reach a larger pool of applicants.”
Only companies in Ohio can post opportunities to the Intern in Ohio website, but all types of internships are welcome. There are posts for marketing, engineering and social media, among others, says Pittman.
The program is open to all students who live in Ohio, whether they’re in-state or out-of-state students. Research shows that not only do internships often lead employment offers after graduation, but that students are more likely to remain in an area where they held and internship.
“This is the first replication of the Classroom to Career technology from Michigan to Ohio,” says Pittman. “Experiential learning is a game-changer; and we’re looking forward to working with smaller communities to make a difference.”
In 2011, Digerati launched its Intern in Michigan program, which has resulted in more than 127,000 matches and introductions between students and employers. Over 1,000 Michigan businesses have posted 4,824 internship opportunities, and 1,049 colleges and universities in the state use the site.
Full disclosure: hiVelocity's parent company, IMG, supplies content to Intern in Ohio on a contractual basis.
By Caitlin Koenig
Follow Caitlin on Twitter

Humtown Products hailed for creative efficiency-based pay rate system

Humtown Products, a solution provider in the metal casting industry, has been invited to meet with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) thanks to the Columbiana-based company’s strong performance following the economic collapse of 2008. The invitation from the prestigious research university comes with interest in CEO Mark Lamoncha’s innovative tactics that ultimately saved the company.
Lamoncha’s father founded the company in 1960 when the steel industry was booming across the United States. Needless to say, economic needs have drastically shifted, causing the company to downsize from 220 employees to 17 in 2008. “The whole industry in 2008 was off 70-percent in sales,” explains Lamoncha. “Most companies don’t survive it.”
To Lamoncha, the answer has been to provide his small staff with incentives to increase their efficiency. Following the layoffs, Humtown instituted an efficiency-based pay rate system that calculates productivity as often as 20-seconds. The incentives ultimately saved the company. “In 2012, 26 people put out the same production sales as what 151 did in 2008,” Lamoncha notes, adding that the system isn’t being done anywhere else in the country.
While the system has proven beneficial to Humtown as a company, employees themselves are now able to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their performance, thus generate more income. “[Employees] study their own work habits and improve on them,” Lamoncha explains. “Their body mechanics, their method of movements, and motivation affect their pay rate based on each cycle of operation.” It’s the proverbial “win-win” scenario.
Big picture, Lamoncha hopes his system will help alleviate suffering not just within the Ohio economy, but nationally as well. He sees his pay rate system as an answer to what he describes as America’s low efficiency levels.
“Our biggest focus is on extreme efficiency improvements to reduce cost and sell product, being able to compete and leverage against the market price,” says Lamoncha. “That’s where America needs to be if they want to sell products here and abroad.”
Source: Mark Lamoncha
Writer: Joe Baur

Campus Shift launches nationwide online textbook marketplace

Campus Shift recently announced the launch of their online textbook marketplace, allowing students across the country to sell and buy used textbooks locally.
Derek Haake, founder of Youngstown-based Campus Shift, says the idea was borne out of his frustration with the amount of money he was spending on textbooks during his undergrad.
“What we’re trying to do is give students a fair price on their books,” he says, noting Campus Shift does not purchase the books themselves, like a University bookstore might. “The marketplace allows student to connect with each other,” and determine a public location to make the exchange, eliminating shipping costs and time.
Haake acknowledges problems with purchasing books off eBay or Amazon, saying the student does not ultimately know what the textbook is really worth. Campus Shift works around that problem. “Our software finds what the book is really worth, so students aren’t in the dark,” he says. And it’s all done without revealing personal information. “Everything is confidential.”
Since launching in December, Campus Shift has seen hundreds of students signing up and listing textbooks on the marketplace. “All in all, we have a little over 175 campuses nationwide,” including California, Texas and Ohio. “Our biggest user base is in Ohio.”
It’s been a long, worthwhile journey for Haake, who started the Campus Shift project in 2006. He notes they’ve been working with the Youngstown Business Incubator “for about the past year,” assisting with presentations for initial seed money.
Excited for what’s next, Haake is asking readers to stay tuned for more in the near future. “We have a couple more software enhancements coming out in the next two to three weeks.”
Source: Derek Haake
Writer: Joe Baur

visualized energy allows customers to see their energy usage, cut costs

Youngstown-based Visualized Energy is tracking energy usage to help customers reduce costs during peak usage by anticipating them in real time and signaling automated systems to cut back.
Dr. Marv Schwartz, founder of Visualized Energy, says he came up with the idea after talking with an acquaintance in the energy management business.
Schwartz says his acquaintance was in need of cost effective technology that could monitor energy usage. “Basically, what you have to think about is that companies manage all kinds of things,” explains Schwartz. “They manage people, they manage raw materials, finished goods, schedules for manufacturing and shipping, yet when they receive a utility bill, they just pay it.” Schwartz’s solution with Visualized Energy was to show companies what exactly they’re paying for.
“We tie into the revenue meters that we supply, and we monitor utility use over time,” he explains. “So instead of having one data point a month – your bill – we give you real time data on a 15-minute interval basis.”
Clients of Visualized Energy, typically large manufacturers, have access to the user-friendly systems by logging into its website. On the site, energy usage is broken up by month, highlighting average and peak usage. Users can click on a month to see a daily breakdown, and then click on a day to see usage broken up into 15-minute intervals. The detailed display allows companies to ensure their systems are automatically turning on and shutting down at programmed hours of operation. Schwartz estimates $160,000 in savings with previous companies they’ve caught wasting energy outside of hours of operation. “One in the Youngstown area cut their electric bill by 40 percent,” he notes.
Besides cutting costs, Visualized Energy’s technology has helped companies receive energy efficiency grants. Considering the longstanding and immediate impact Schwartz’s startup has had, it’s hard to imagine the venture is just one of his many roles in and around Youngstown.
“I’m also Chief Scientist at the Case Connection Zone,” says Schwartz. “And I’m the Chief Science Officer at the Youngstown Business Incubator, as a way of giving back.”
Source: Dr. Marv Schwartz
Writer: Joe Baur

via680's Ving software is transforming email with bundled multimedia exchanges

According to a special report prepared by Youngstown's  via680 on the state of email communications, business professionals send and receive 112 emails a day, on average, but 42 percent of them are ignored, and 50 percent are misunderstood.
“Email has evolved very little over 20 plus years from being a one-way delivery of text,” says Brad Gant, via680’s vice president of marketing. “When you send out an email, you wonder: Did they get it? Did they view it? Did they understand it? And are they working on it?”
To address these questions and combat the high level of ignored and misunderstood emails, via 680 developed Ving, a new web-hosted email service that, the company says, is “transforming email from being a one-way delivery of text to a dynamic two-way exchange of information.”

According to the company's website, the software application enables users to “create, distribute and track attention-grabbing, multi-media messages, including videos, documents, audio files, pictures and surveys.” These communications “packages” can then be sent through email, social media or text messaging.

The claim that Ving is “transforming email” is a bold assertion, however, and Gant acknowledges that other email providers, like Constant Contact and iContact, also enable users to deliver videos, photos and surveys and receive responses to them.

“It's true that some email providers let you send out a survey and an html email, and others let you attach videos and photos,” he says. “But they can’t bundle together all the elements of a multi-media message, including videos, documents, audio, pictures and questionnaires, and send them all out at one time, which you can do with Ving.”
Another advantage Ving offers, according to Gant, is the ability to track individual recipients’ interaction with each different element at a “granular level.” “I can see who opened each element and at what time,” he explains. "Other email services, like ConstantContact for example, only offer aggregate data about open rates, bounces, click-throughs and responses."

The two biggest users of Ving are in the fields of human resources and education. “Human resource and C-level professionals are turning to Ving to improve internal communications, automate compliance tracking and enhance new-employee orientation,” Gant reports. “Educators are using it to enhance learning in the classroom, create media-rich assignments, communicate with parents, recruit students and improve internal communications.”
Via680 is a portfolio company of the Youngstown Business Incubator. Established in 2010 with four employees, it currently has 12. It started with nine clients and now has 1,265, the largest of which is Northern Illinois University.

Source:  Brad Gant, via680
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

the learning egg receives $50,000 from innovation fund to enhance lightning grader web app

The Innovation Fund has awarded $50,000 to North Jackson-based The Learning Egg. Funds will be used to improve their web-based application, Lightning Grader.
“[Lightning Grader] allows teachers to quickly and easily create a learning assessment, grade 100 pages a minute, and generate an analysis of student performance,” explains Elijah Stambaugh, CEO at The Learning Egg.
He says he got the idea when he was teaching middle school math at National Heritage Academy in Youngstown. “I was frustrated with reaching kids, understanding what they knew and what they didn’t.” Stambaugh’s frustration led to a meeting with the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) during the summer break of 2010. “With YBI’s amazing encouragement and business acumen, I was able to take my dream of making teaching more effective into reality.”
Feedback from teachers has been equally amazing. With teachers subscribing to the app from Alaska to Texas (32 states in total), Stambaugh says learning professionals are “finding they rely on the 14 real-time reports as a way to measure and improve achievement among students, teachers and their respective states.” Lake Catholic High School in Lake County, Green Local Schools in Summit County, Lorain County Educational Service Center and Canfield Middle School in Mahoning County are among Ohio schools currently using Lightning Grader.
Now Stambaugh hopes to use the Innovation Fund award to make some improvements on his product.
“The Learning Egg will enhance its feature set and continue school integration across the country,” he explains. “[We’ll] also continue to integrate with other educational applications, such as books, content providers, professional development groups, and assessment solutions.”
Before long, Stambaugh hopes to refocus on building web assessment technology, so teachers can use any means to assess students. “The Lightning Grader solution is the only all in one solution for assessment.”
Source: Elijah Stambaugh
Writer: Joe Baur

tech belt energy innovation center announces $3.1 million warren headquarters

The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) has announced a $3.1 million plan to renovate the Kresge Building in Downtown Warren for their headquarters. The building will serve as a mixed-use facility for early stage companies in the field of energy technologies.
Launched in 2009, TBEIC has secured funding from the United States Department of Energy, the State of Ohio Board of Regents, and local corporate and private groups in the City of Warren and surrounding Trumbull County. Their mission to attract and cultivate talent nationwide is finally coming to fruition.
“[TBEIC] is working to increase high-impact technology businesses and career opportunities in the Mahoning Valley by establishing a shared resource center and technology business incubator focused in the energy and natural resource industries,” explains Dave Nestic, Chief Executive of Regional Operations, adding the group’s hope to be a national draw. “The shared resource center will be available to entrepreneurs and existing industry participants from all over the country seeking access to TBEIC’s specialized equipment and infrastructure.” The idea stems from the belief that increased interaction among entrepreneurs increases the likelihood of success.
Nestic says the decision to locate in Downtown Warren was a strategic move to allow their startups to be surrounded by the amenities of a city – restaurants, parks and summer events. “This makes for a good, creative working environment for engineers and technologists,” he says, adding, “Warren is located in a region central to five Northeast Ohio research universities and two Pittsburgh universities, all within about an hour drive or less.”

When complete, the 39,000 square foot building will house a business incubator/accelerator and a technology center focused on grid-connected technologies.

Nestic sums it ups, saying, “TBEIC will be a powerful business attraction tool for the Mahoning Valley for startups and industry participants playing in the energy and natural resources space.”

Source: Dave Nestic
Writer: Joe Baur
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