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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

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

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

Brain surgeons get a practice run with simulator from Elyria-based Surgery Theater

For a number of years, pilots have used virtual reality simulators to practice critical missions before taking to the skies. Thanks to a revolutionary new virtual reality training tool developed by Elyria’s Surgical Theater, LLC, surgeons now have a way to practice brain surgery before setting foot in the operating room.
The Surgery Rehearsal Platform (SRP) simulator consists of a desk top computer, a portable laptop system, software, controllers and 3D glasses.
“Using standard CT and MRI images from any patient, the SRP generates accurate models in 3D that show the interaction between life-like tissue and surgical instruments,” explains Moty Avisar, Surgical Theater president and CEO. “The tissue responds realistically to actions taken by the surgeon, enabling pre-surgery planning and rehearsal with complete accuracy.”

Beyond practicing on standard CT and MRI images, surgeons can also use unique images taken of the patient who will be undergoing surgery.
“Using the SRP prior to a procedure enables a surgeon to evaluate, experiment and do a ‘dry run’ on his or her approach beforehand, resulting in a better-prepared surgeon,” Avisar states. “Studies will be done to confirm this, but our belief is that SRP training will lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced risk.”
The Surgery Rehearsal Platform received full FDA approval in February. The SRP’s unique patient-specific capability is one of the key innovations that led to FDA approval, he notes. According to Avisar, it’s the only patented and FDA-cleared training platform for cerebral and spine pre-surgery rehearsal in the marketplace.
The SRP, which took approximately three years to develop, supports several cerebral procedures, including aneurysm repair and tumor resection. The team is working to add capabilities to support other brain-related procedures and spine surgeries.
According to Avisar, the first SRP was recently sold to University Hospital Case Medical Center, where it is being used on a regular basis.

The company, which started with one person in 2010, received funding from the Ohio Third Frontier, private investors and angel groups. It plans to expand to 15 employees by the end of the year.
Source:  Moty Avisar, Surgical Theater, LLC
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

Pitch & Pour event highlights Toledo as an entrepreneurial city

uHeart StartUps, a University of Toledo digital media conference, will host a “Pitch & Pour” after party on May 10 at the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex  for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges. The winning idea will receive up to $5,000, but attendees stand to benefit regardless by connecting with local business leaders in attendance.
Scott McIntyre, Manager of Business Incubation at the University of Toledo, sees the event as an opportunity to energize the entrepreneurial spirit of Toledo, and convince area innovators to realize their dreams right in the Glass City, spurring job growth for the hard-hit region. To do this, McIntyre isn’t just counting on Toledoans.
“We’ve solicited participants from Indiana and Michigan,” McIntyre says, affectionately calling it the tri-state area. “We’re trying to spread the word that the University of Toledo is a place for digital media innovation.”
McIntyre is familiar with the opportunities presented in Toledo, because he’s lived through the journey of starting a new enterprise in town.
After living in California for 18 years, McIntyre returned to Toledo to help out his mother, who ended up starting a regional lifestyle and culture magazine, InToledo, with her husband, Dennis Hicks, Minority Health Coordinator at Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. “In the process of getting the magazine published, I learned a lot about the city,” he recalls. “Toledo has a lot of advantages for small businesses and large businesses,” namely low cost of living and logistical location to the “knowledge bases” of Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. For these reasons and more, McIntyre believes entrepreneurs will leave Pitch & Pour with a new picture of Toledo.
“We really have the ingredients to inspire entrepreneurs,” he says. “We’re working to get people to stay here and create jobs.”
Interested attendees can RSVP to the event on Facebook. More information at uheartdigitalmedia.com/pitchandpour.
Source: Scott McIntyre
Writer: Joe Baur

Toledo-based Buyvite launches group payment API for developers

Buyvite, a Toledo-based social payment company, has launched a private label group payment API for developers to allow for cost splitting and social payment functionality on any ecommerce website or application.
“We built it because we heard from a lot of customers saying they liked they idea,” says founder Brandy Alexander-Wimberly on her way to the company’s sister headquarters in Chicago for another round of funding. “What we have developed is the ability for a company to go to our website and launch a crowdfunding transaction with a custom API.” This makes for easier, secure transactions between the end-user and company.
Supported in part by Rocket Ventures and a group of private investors, Wimberley says Buyvite’s latest development is a stepping-stone to allowing social payment transactions between anyone who visits their website. “The hosted payment page is what we’re coming out with in the next couple of weeks,” she explains.
For example, this will allow anyone to seek reimbursement for events or presents where the costs were split amongst a group of people. In fact, that’s how Wimberly originally came up with the idea. After spending money to pay for her friends’ concert tickets, Wimberly thought there must be a better, organized way to get paid back.
“We feel like people are going to expect this functionality,” she says. “They may not yet, but we really feel this functionality will need to be done, and we do it the right way.”
Source: Brandy Alexander-Wimberly
Writer: Joe Baur

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

11-year-old toledoan may be youngest app developer on the market

Jonathan Buchanan, 11-year old son of Perrysburg-based lawyer Matthew Buchanan, may be the youngest developer to have an app in the Apple App Store coded entirely on his own. The $.99 education app ChipTrading is a fun, innovative take on math created when Buchanan was 10.
Although already young on the developer stage at 11, Buchanan was first introduced to coding five years ago. “When I was six, my dad introduced me to basic web pages,” he recalls. “After a while, I got interested in doing iOS apps.”
The idea for ChipTrading came from a mathematically themed game Buchanan and his classmates played at Maumee Valley Country Day School. “It’s a physical game,” he explains, adding that he and his fellow students wanted to be able to play the game outside of the school. “I had the idea to make it in app format, so we didn’t need these special pieces.”
Eschewing help from his father, Buchanan developed the app entirely on his own. “This was a completely self-made venture,” his father adds. But Buchanan gives his father some credit. “He made the app icon and filled out the paperwork.”
Reluctant to rest, Buchanan is eager to discuss his upcoming projects, including updates to ChipTrading, a networking platform with his father, and another app that allows the user to write their own music. “I play the violin, and I wanted to make an app for the iPad that will let you write music on the iPad and have it sent to the iCloud,” he explains.
His long-term plans are characteristically ambitious, as well. “I ultimately plan on starting a computer company that integrates hardware and software. Like Apple.”
Sources: Jonathan Buchanan, Matthew Buchanan
Writer: Joe Baur

two clevelanders recognized in the tie ohio international entrepreneur awards

TiE Ohio will recognize international entrepreneurs at its awards ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 20. Two Cleveland business executives, Jose Feliciano and Wayne Duigan, will be honored.
TiE Ohio is a resource for entrepreneurs to network and find mentors for their businesses. This event recognizes immigrant and American-born entrepreneurs who have taken their businesses to an international level.

“Entrepreneurs have the passion, the dream and they are willing to put themselves all in,” says Joe Cole, executive director of TiE Ohio. “We want to reward the entrepreneurs who are going global.”
Jose Feliciano, a trial lawyer with BakerHostetler, will receive the Community Catalyst Award. The award recognizes people who have supported immigrant entrepreneurs. “He’s really been in the forefront of advocacy of the immigrant entrepreneur,” adds Cole. “He has a predisposition to being an entrepreneur.”
Feliciano is the founder and chair of the Hispanic Roundtable, is former chairman of the Hispanic Leadership Development Program, founder of the Hispanic Community Forum and was a founder of the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association. He also hosts the monthly talk show, El Sol de Cleveland. “He’s really been out in the forefront,” says Cole.
Wayne Duigan, director international sales for Horizons, Inc. is nominated for the Global Entrepreneur award. “He has significantly grown Horizons’ global presence,” Cole notes. “They’ve really done a great job in establishing an international presence.”
The event will be held at the Ariel International Center at 5:30 p.m. Mark Kvamme, president and CIO of JobsOhio, will be the keynote speaker. 

Source: Joe Cole
Writer: Karin Connelly

new somolaunch competition to award 5k to small business with big idea

SoMoLend, the Cincinnati-based online peer-to-peer lending site, has launched a new small business competition. The winner gets $5,000 to help fund a new idea.

SoMoLaunch is the lender's first business competition. Participants have until Sept. 30 to apply at the SoMoLend website.
The winning company will receive:
  • $5,000 in cash
  • National publicity
  • A mentoring session with SoMoLend founder Candace Klein
“There are so many talented entrepreneurs out there with fantastic business ideas, but gaining financing might be the hardest obstacle they face," says Klein in an announcement. "We want to encourage innovation and recognize small business owners and their hard work. This is our way of lending a hand to the entrepreneurial community.” 

The prize can be used for business expansion, equipment upgrades, promotional materials or other growth needs.
Eligibility is based on a number of factors. Applicant businesses must be incorporated as a corporation or LLC, and submit a loan application.

Other entry requirements include a fully developed business plan, completion of all sections of the SoMoLend application with contributions from all company owners, completed financial statements and financial projections, a viable business model and evidence of research.

By Feoshia H. Davis
Follow Feoshia on Twitter

check ohio first helps companies and organizations buy and sell locally

The Ohio Department of Development wants to help companies and organizations buy and sell their products locally across the state. 

Check Ohio First is a free and easy-to-use online program to promote contracting with and between Ohio businesses. “Both suppliers and buyers enter brief profiles into the Check Ohio First directory, which can then be searched by Check Ohio First members,” explains Wendy Boortz, Program Manager. “The program automatically matches buyers and suppliers by industry codes.”

“Check Ohio First celebrates the strength of Ohio businesses,” said Christine Schmenk, Director of ODOD, in a news release. “Ohio buyers like to do business with local companies, and this partnership is perfect for job creation.”

Check Ohio First was launched in October 2011 as a virtual, year-round extension of the Ohio Department of Development’s annual Ohio Business Matchmaker program, an annual procurement event now going into its eighth year.

According to Boortz, Check Ohio First recently added free webinars to the mix. “Buyers educate suppliers on how to do business with their organization, and procurement counselors provide webinars that help businesses get ready for contracting opportunities,” she says.  Most of the webinars are recorded and stored in the resource library located on the Check Ohio First website.

“The website also contains a list of upcoming events, and visitors can browse our resource library and link to procurement training and opportunities,” she states.

Boortz notes that Check Ohio First is building a database to reflect private and public users. “We currently have about 350 profiles, including 100 companies that have registered as both buyers and suppliers and 20 as buyers only.”

Source:  Wendy Boortz
Writer: Lynne Meyer

great lakes venture fair unites investors and bioscience/IT startups

The inaugural Great Lakes Venture Fair will take place at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown October 17-18, on the heels of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds annual conference. The fair is a collaborative effort  between  JumpStart, Ohio Capital Fund, Ohio Venture Association, TiE Ohio, CincyTech and TechColumbus and will bring together investors and startups from across the Midwest.
“It’s a chance for the venture capital community to come together and see some of the most promising startups,” explains Carolyn Pione Micheli, director of communications for CincyTech. “According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, in 2007 all net news job growth came from companies that are less than five years old.” The event is the successor to the Ohio Capital Fund’s Early Stage Summit, which was held in Columbus for seven years.
The GLVF will only accept 18 startup companies in bioscience and IT to pitch their companies to investors. Other activities at the event include presentations on regional investment activity, and conversations about building future growth in startups and investing.
“In terms of growing fresh new jobs, small companies are the key, “ says Micheli. “The startup community is really important to our economic future.”
Keynote speaker will be Jeff Weedman, vice president of global business development for Proctor & Gamble. The application deadline for companies looking for funding is Aug. 12. Registration to attend is $200 before Sep. 15, $250 after that.

Source: Carolyn Pione Micheli
Writer: Karin Connelly

advanced battery concepts ready to charge ahead with energy-efficient greenseal

After three years of research and development, Ed Shaffer, CEO of Advanced Battery Concepts, is ready to unveil his new GreenSeal technology for improving battery performance in industrial applications.

“We’re licensing our technology to Crown Battery of Fremont, Ohio, and they will manufacture our first product under the Crown Battery name,” he says. “The product is a battery the size of a golf cart that can be used in variety of industrial applications, including fork lift trucks, tow motors, pallet movers and floor scrubbers.”

Ed Shaffer started Advanced Battery Concepts in 2008 in his Midland, Michigan, garage. In 2009, he established a partnership with Crown Battery in Fremont, Ohio.

“Crown was seeking new technologies to improve battery performance and they were interested in what we were doing,” he explains. “In 2010, they invited us to use space at their Crown Battery Renewable Energy Center (CBREC) in Port Clinton to help us accelerate our technology development.”

The partnership with Crown Battery and their space at CBREC enabled Advanced Batter Concepts to apply for and receive Ohio Third Frontier funding, he notes.

For two years, Advanced Battery Concepts refined and conducted internal tests on its GreenSeal technology at CBREC in Port Clinton and at a facility in Clare, Michigan. 
“GreenSeal technology improves lead-acid batteries,” Shaffer explains. “It reduces their weight and size, increases their cycle life and their power and energy. It also decreases the amount of lead in each battery, reducing their environmental impact while keeping them 100 percent recyclable.”

The technology will also speed up adoption of much-needed energy solutions, such as renewable energy, smart grid and electric vehicles, he says.

“Manufacturing this product will put us in a much stronger position in the changing environment of energy storage,” notes Patrick O’Brien, manager of business development at Crown Battery. Crown Battery has grown from 400 to 600 employees during the past three years. “With production of Advanced Battery Concept’s new product, we anticipate hiring more employees.”

Plans call for early production samples to be in customers’ hands by the fourth quarter of this year.

Advanced Battery Concepts is one of the portfolio companies of Rocket Ventures of Toledo, one of the six nonprofits that form the core of Ohio’s Entrepreneurial Signature Program.

Source:  Ed Shaffer, Patrick O'Brien
Writer: Lynne Meyer

toledo's aquablok develops low-permeability water seal with wide-ranging applications

After more than five years of research and development, Toledo’s AquaBlok has finally released its signature product, which has the same name as the company. The product has several purposes, including isolating contaminated sediments, acting as a nutrient management tool and water clarifier and serving as a seed delivery alternative for wetland plant restoration.

“AquaBlok provides a low-permeability ‘seal’ under water without any mechanical compaction or special equipment,” explains John Collins, general manager and chief operating officer. “You simply pour it through the water, and it creates an isolation layer that will minimize water flow or the spread of contaminants.”

According to Collins, AquaBlok is a patented composite particle technology that uses a central core, typically stone aggregate, to deliver various fine-grained coating materials for a broad range of environmental applications. The particles act as a delivery system, placing active ingredients through a water column or targeting locations apt to come into contact with water.

“It was successfully tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a 2005 project under the Superfund Innovation Technology Evaluation program,” Collins says.

While there are competing approaches to AquaBlok, it’s a patented product and there are no directly competing products, he notes. “Primarily we offer ease of handling and simplicity. Other approaches can easily fail if materials are not handled or installed properly. Our products provide a consistent result without use of specialized equipment or materials.”

In 2007, AquaBlok introduced PONDSEAL.  “PondSeal was introduced as a companion product to AquaBlok,” Collins states. “Our objective was to have a product targeted more to pond and erosion related applications that would be sold more to individuals and general contractors rather than for larger environmental remediation projects.”

AquaBlok has 10 full- and part-time employees. The company received investments from two venture capital funds – Rocket Ventures in Toledo and the Ohio Tech Angels in Columbus – that are affiliated with the Third Frontier program.
Source:  John Collins, AquaBlok
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

center for innovative food technology enhances economic development

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) is on a mission to enhance Ohio’s agricultural future and has been for nearly two decades.
CIFT planted roots in Toledo in 1995, acknowledging Northwest Ohio’s “rich history of food manufacturing and agricultural production, which provides a framework for many of the initiatives,” explains Vice President and Director of Agricultural Programs, Rebecca Singer. Since then, CIFT has continually expanded its services as a member of the Ohio Edison Centers.
“The Center for Innovative Food Technology has provided technical innovations and solutions to the food processing, agribusiness and agricultural sectors,” says Singer. “These services are designed to enhance the economic performance of the food processing and agricultural sectors and create new jobs within the industry.”

Examples of CIFT’s success in the industry include Sandridge foods in Medina and Jones-Hamilton in Walbridge. CIFT went to Sandridge and provided technical assistance, which led to their decision to purchase a High-Pressure Processing system, enhancing their products, increasing shelf life and adding new flavor components. Elsewhere, CIFT transformed Jones-Hamilton to the dairy, meat and poultry, and beverage industries. This has led to relationships with industry leaders, including Gatorade, Hershey’s and Ohio’s own grocery giant, Kroger.
In order to continue creating jobs within the industry, networking and strategic partnerships with industry organizations is a must. “For example, the Center for Innovative Food Technology has an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service,” Singer details. “The agreement provides Ohio’s agricultural sector with direct access to the expertise, capabilities, and intellectual property of the agency and its 2,100 agricultural scientists throughout the nation, which in turn can greatly enhance economic development and global competitiveness for the agricultural economy.”
But CIFT’s future isn’t without obstacles. Like any non-profit, the organization continually faces the challenge of maintaining operational stability. Singer insists the answer to maintaining said stability lies in their strategy to enhance economic development – identify and solicit strategic partnerships.
“Continued diversification in services, identification of new opportunities for engagement and continued awareness of industry needs facilitates valuable programs and support,” says Singer.
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