Beyond the Pitch

Central Ohio Gains New Seed Investment Capital

Promising startups in Ohio have significantly more early stage capital with the announcement of several new investment funds under management by TechColumbus.

Innovations with ties to The Ohio State University will get a financial boost from the new $1 million Technology Concept Fund, LLC. Technology Concept Fund made its inaugural investment less than sixty days after launch, investing in Simple-Fill, a Columbus-based spinout of The Ohio State University.

Simple-Fill is commercializing technology conceived at The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) to reliably and affordably compress natural gas. Through the center, Simple-Fill is receiving additional non-dilutive funding from Honda.

The firm also received further investment from strategic partner Worthington Cylinders, a leader in compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinders.

Simple-Fill is a great example of an investment that brings together multiple sources of capital and the benefits of strategic relationships. It’s also a model of how the Central Ohio innovation community works together to launch a company with a breakthrough technology that can create jobs and wealth for the region.

TechColumbus has launched a new fund providing up to $8 million of seed capital to the region called Catalyst Fund. Catalyst Fund had a first close which included investments from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University, TechColumbus, and Ohio Third Frontier.

Catalyst fund is the largest fund TechColumbus has ever raised and will invest primarily in seed stage companies. An important aspect of the fund will be investing in technology developed at Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The fund will also support broader entrepreneurial opportunities across Central Ohio.

Companies eligible for investment from Concept and Catalyst funds will be engaged clients of TechColumbus. Industry focus includes advanced materials, alternative energy, information technology, and life sciences.

Central Ohio’s entrepreneurs have yet another new source of investment capital with Ohio TechAngels’s announcement of OTAF IV. The $7.32 million fund raised $3.66 million from ninety-seven investors with a one-to-one match from Ohio Third Frontier.

OTAF IV plans to invest $375,000 to $500,000 in each of 14 new ventures over the next 36 months. The fund invests in Ohio-based high growth technology-driven businesses, including those in software, advanced materials, sensors & instruments, and life sciences.

Ohio TechAngels favors companies where members’ coaching, mentoring, and industry or technical expertise can have a direct impact on the startup’s opportunity to succeed, and prefers those which have validated their feasibility with some level of customer revenue.

Favorable exits from previous TechColumbus investments, such as with Znode, SafeHouse Systems, and Updox, have provided returns that allow TechColumbus to create these new funds with our partners.

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