Ohio Startups Post Milestones in Funding, Market Validation, and Business Development

Welcome to the first blog in a new Rev1 series spotlighting real-world examples of our startup clients achieving milestones that are accelerating their growth.

Entrepreneurs and corporate innovators will gain insights and actionable tips. Investors and strategic partners can learn more about how our clients are building the strong foundations of high-growth companies.

Milestone: Non-dilutive Funding

SBIR/STTR funding is among the most desirable capital any startup can receive. SBIR/STTR programs provide non-dilutive capital and does not have to be repaid.

That means that an entrepreneur does not give up stock in the company. Nor does an SBIR or STTR grant appear as a liability on the company’s balance sheet because it is not a loan.

Grants cover a range of milestones, from research and development to full commercialization.

True, SBIR and STTR grants are highly competitive. However, there are terrific examples of Rev1 portfolio companies that have secured SBIR/STTR grants. Does SBIR/STTR belong in your business plan? Learn more from Rev1’s SBIR/STTR Tips.

Success Story: 3Bar Biologics® Receives Exclusive $650,000 Phase 2 SBIR

3Bar Biologics is an enabling technology business that believes in “bugs.”

3 Bar’s customized live microbe systems deliver fresh, stable, and pure “good bugs” to farmers’ fields. These naturally occurring microbes promote crop health, enhance crop quality, and improve yields.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture believes in 3Bar. The company has been awarded a two-year $650,000 SIBR grant to put “good bugs” in a focused fight against bad bugs.

The focus of the grant is to advance commercialization efforts of a microbial solution that utilizes 3Bar’s just-in-time fermentation technology to combat Crazy Root disease. Crazy Root is an emerging disease that disrupts a plant’s endocrine system causing excessive roots to grow and strangulation of the plant.

3Bar Biologics is partnering with The Ohio State University (OSU).

3Bar’s business is based on customer and market validation. There have been pivots along the way. The firm, which began with microbe discovery as a spinout from The Ohio State University, has grown into a diversified microbe delivery and manufacturing company with operational and strategic partnerships up and down the supply chain, from distributors for 3Bar’s proprietary microbes to biological manufacturers to farmers and growers.

Milestone: Industry Validation

External validation builds credibility with investors and prospective customers, especially from respected individuals and influential organizations in your industry. Innovators tend to have deep-rooted associations in academic and research communities that can lead to shared projects. Professional and trade organizations are a source of connections on common problems, complimentary applications, and in-common technical and solutions challenges.

Startups that can help industries, corporates, and government agencies solve problems or advance development initiatives become go-to sources for innovative ideas.

Success Story: Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) and NASA

When the validation comes from an organization like NASA, the boost to a young company’s reputation can be off the charts. That’s an essential aspect of the 2022 milestone list of Rev1 portfolio company, Power to Hydrogen (P2H2).

P2H2 is commercializing patent-protected, low-cost electrolyzers to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and its longer-term storage. The technology is so ground-breaking that NASA is using P2H2 to develop a reversible fuel cell that is intended to be used for energy storage on the moon.

In 2022, P2H2 earned a number of prestigious accolades:

  • 2022 Enel Green Hydrogen Challenge –P2H2 was recognized in this international competition as one of the leading companies in the world, bringing down the cost of clean hydrogen.
  • 2022 Free Electrons, a global innovation pro program sponsored by six global utilities. As part of the program, P2H2 was awarded $200,000 from Free Electrons.
  • 2022 Berkeley Labs National Energy Storage Summit ‘Most Promising Innovation’
  • 2022 Rice Energy Tech Venture Form ‘Most Promising Startup’
  • 2022 Energy Tech Challengers ‘Top 10 Global Hydrogen Startups’

Additionally, P2H2 recently announced the award of a prestigious ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Department of Energy) project to reduce the cost further and increase the operating pressure of systems for earth-based applications.

Next in the Milestone Series: Business Development

Every startup is unique. The entrepreneurial path for one company is never the same as for the next. However, the milestones that lead to success are common and well-defined.

We look forward in sharing more stories and tips.