| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

RGP, University of Toledo, form joint partnership on Third Frontier

A joint venture between the Regional Growth Partnership and the University of Toledo is expected to streamline administration of incubation services and support for technology startups in northwest Ohio.

Two programs administered by the RGP -- the Rocket Ventures program, which invests Ohio Third Frontier funds in technology companies, and Launch, a tech-based business incubation program -- will now be run from University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises.

Four technology-focused staff members from the RGP moved to the university earlier this month.

"The scope of work, the program itself, what your'e trying to accomplish, none of those things will change at all -- you simply are taking both organizations that should be very closely aligned and taking the best of both worlds," says Dean Monske, president and CEO of the RGP. "Each one had great resources but they each lacked something and the other one had exactly what the other one lacked. And we're going to do it with less dollars."

Some type of consolidation of business assistance programs has been discussed in northwest Ohio for some time, says Dan Slifko, chief operating officer of the partnership (which will operate under the Rocket Ventures name), and director of the Rocket Ventures Fund.

"Under one roof, RGP was doing the traditional economic development activities of attraction and retention, while also helping technology based businesses and early stage companies," he explains. "As time went on, many counties and a multitude of economic development agencies were doing the same things and competing for money."

While the RGP was able to provide only "virtual" incubation services through the Launch program, physical incubation space is provided at the University of Toledo. Additionally, the new arrangement will allow young technology companies working with Rocket Ventures to more easily tap the research and academic strengths of the University, which has been instrumental in spinning off companies within the solar industry and other technology sectors, Slifko says.

Sources: Dan Slifko, Rocket Ventures, and Dean Monske, the Regional Growth Partnership
Writer: Gene Monteith
Share this page