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Beyond the Pitch

Bricker & Eckler Supports Central Ohio’s Entrepreneurs in Multiple Ways

Bricker & Eckler, one of the most active Expert Network providers, is a Platinum Sponsor of VentureNEXT and a sponsor of the College Student Awards.

“VentureNEXT hit a homerun,” said Alex Brown, partner and chair of the firm’s Technology group. “The networking that comes with this event is what gets things done on a year in and year out basis. It’s all about making those connections. The crowd at VentureNEXT was completely engaged in networking and talking about deals.”

As sponsor of the VentureNEXT 2014 College Awards, Bricker & Eckler made available $2,500 in scholarship dollars to students attending a college or university in the 15-county Central Ohio region.

“There is no doubt that we are committed to startups, young entrepreneurs, and the innovation economy of Central Ohio,” Brown said. “We are proud of our commitment and the hours, the dollars, and the donations that back it up. We sponsored the Student Innovation Awards for several years before VentureNEXT, and we are pleased to continue our support.”

Bricker & Eckler seeks to encourage outstanding college students at OSU and other state schools to remain in Ohio after graduation.

The two College Student Award Winners are both students at The Ohio State UniversityDamian Beauchamp is a PhD candidate in chemistry, and Rosemary Garry is a sophomore majoring in business. Both winners carry a heavy academic load, yet each has already started a company.

Beauchamp is the co-founder of KAir Battery, LLC, a company that produces highly energy efficient and cost effective 1kWh potassium air batteries. Garry is cofounder of Stacker, mobile software that aggregates multiple calendars.

“Each year, I get more and more impressed by the student accomplishments,” Brown said. “To an extent, the first year was jaw dropping when I first eyed the resumes. Since then, I’ve seen so many high achievers—the ones who were honored as winners, and also the many other finalists with nearly equal accomplishments.”

Business competitions, connections to the community, and networking with established professionals help ground the students in the Ohio business community.

“These students are the future,” Brown said.  “The good news about the college students is that they are already in Ohio for their adult education; hopefully with encouragement they will stay after they graduate.”

Academics, Leadership, and Service make the most successful entrepreneurs.

In addition to academic achievement, the VentureNEXT 2014 College Award winners exhibit leadership roles in service activities, mentoring, and business plan competitions.

“These achievers have what it takes to be truly successful,” Brown said. “We know that it takes not only science and technical expertise, but also well-roundedness to be more effective entrepreneurs with the people skills and the charisma that cause people to follow you and trust you.”

Bricker & Eckler has considerable first-hand experience with successful young companies.  The three VentureNEXT Startup Award Winners, Biobent™ Polymers, nChannel, and Print Syndicate are all Bricker & Eckler clients.

“We had no idea that our clients had won all the startup awards. We were surprised and extremely pleased,” said Brown.

He learned of his clients’ success while he was backstage preparing to announce the VentureNEXT Student winners.

“nChannel was a direct referral from TechColumbus as part of the Expert Network program,” Brown said. “TechColumbus is an investor in Print Syndicate; they helped us meet Print Syndicate’s needs efficiently. We are pleased to see a lot of different cogs working together in the same industry, leading to the culmination at VentureNEXT.”

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