“There is a dramatic change in the activity, the number of investable companies and the quality of the companies in the pipeline in Northeast Ohio from 10 years ago,” says Bill Trainor, co-founder and Managing Director of Mutual Capital Partners Funds I & II. “The activity we’re already seeing in 2012–both in investing and in exits—is reflective of the momentum shown in this five-year report and I predict there is another strong year ahead.”
Overall, the capital invested in the region over the five years came from 134 venture capital and angel investors, 67% of which were based outside of Ohio. Lynn-Ann Gries, JumpStart’s Chief Investment Officer, points to this widespread participation as a good sign. “The fact that VCs and angels from across the country are turning their attention to Northeast Ohio reinforces the quality of our innovations and expresses a confidence in the region’s ability to produce globally competitive technologies,” says Gries.
Due to Northeast Ohio’s well-recognized hospital systems, research centers and universities, healthcare continues to be a regional strength, accounting for 61 percent of the capital raised in the last five years. Eighty-three (83) companies in the fields of biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, and healthcare services or IT collectively attracted $587 million, including Cleveland Clinic spin-out Cleveland Heart Lab (clevelandheartlab.com) which offers proprietary diagnostic tests that assess cardiovascular disease risk using molecular biomarkers.
The information technology and software sector continues to grow in importance. Sixty-eight (68) companies, representing nearly a third of the total capital raisers, collectively attracted $166 million. These innovative young companies included TOA Technologies (toatech.com), an on-demand provider of mobile workforce management software solutions and OnShift (www.onshift.com), an online scheduling and employee communications solutions specifically designed for individual and multi-site long-term care organizations.
A centuries-old tradition of industrial entrepreneurship in this Great Lakes region has transformed into innovative manufacturing technologies looking at ways to reduce and reuse valuable resources. Thirty-nine (39) “cleantech” companies like Echogen Power Systems (www.echogen.com) an Akron company developing a breakthrough industrial waste heat recovery system, collectively received $143 million in investment.
JumpStart’s board chair Doug Weintraub is a founder of, and/or seed investor in, more than a dozen Ohio-based entrepreneurial companies. “Without a doubt, this is the most exciting time I’ve ever seen in Northeast Ohio with regard to entrepreneurial activity and innovation,” asserts Weintraub. “As an angel investor, I am extremely impressed by the ecosystem that has been built to foster the development of world-class technologies and ideas. Everything is truly coming together for the benefit of angels, venture investors and entrepreneurs.”
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THE VENTURE CAPITAL ADVISORY TASK FORCE The Task Force is comprised of Greater Cleveland investors dedicated to continually increasing regional entrepreneurial investment and success. To learn more about investment opportunities in Northeast Ohio, contact Lynn-Ann Gries, JumpStart’s Chief Investment Officer, at 216.363.3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org