Ohio State Business Plan Competition Leads to Deal Flow

By Gary Rawlings, VP Commercialization

Last week Ohio State announced the winners of the 2014 Business Plan Competition.

A number of us from TechColumbus coach and mentor students in entrepreneurial classes at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. I was fortunate this year to have the opportunity to mentor all three winning teams in the open division.

There is nothing more rewarding than helping a group of college students realize that maybe, just perhaps, they would like to become entrepreneurs.

Coaching students leads to first time entrepreneurs who can go through the process of commercialization smarter and more efficiently.

And the terrific thing about Ohio State is that not only are the classes in entrepreneurship based on practical, real world business plans, the university’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) has said that if students are serious about taking their ideas and creating a business, TCO wants to help.

What does that mean? For one thing, a willingness to consider licensing technology.

Ohio State is also willing to invest. The University announced earlier this year a new $1 million Technology Concept Fund,  to provide critical investment capital for companies built on technologies developed at Ohio State. The million-dollar fund includes investments from Ohio State and Ohio Third Frontier. The Technology Concept Fund will be managed by TechColumbus.

Thirdly, Ohio State works closely with TechColumbus to channel the most promising startups into our Venture Acceleration model.

This continuum creates real deal flow, which feeds into job and wealth creation for Central Ohio. Companies such as Minimally Invasive Devices (MID), nChannel, Nanofiber Solutions, and Traycer Systems all were prior year Business Plan Competition winners.

Every year the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio gets smarter and better. If you have an idea for your business, let TechColumbus help you get started.