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The Innovation Fund is Northeast Ohio’s most active pre-seed fund for startups. Founded in 2007, the Lorain County Community College Foundation launched the Innovation Fund to fill the capital needs of Northeast Ohio startups at the earliest stage of development. The Innovation Fund usually invests before anyone else to help companies get past the rough early stages of business.
Together through partnerships, the Innovation Fund is spurring an entrepreneurial environment that will enable job growth and wealth creation in Northeast Ohio. Awards of up to $100,000 to promising technology-based startups within the 21 counties of Northeast Ohio are available.
Because of the Innovation Fund’s unique approach to financing and supporting startups, it bridges a gap in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—investing after an entrepreneur has exhausted friends and family resources, but before the company is ready for angel or venture capital investment. Working in this specific and underserved space, the fund is filling the region’s technology pipeline with strong businesses that can attract equity investors. Moreover, it is considered the primary NEO vetting resource for future angel/VC investors.
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