Beyond the Pitch

TechColumbus Announces Three 2014 VentureNEXT Startup Award Winners

Six Corporate Engagement, College, and High School Award Winners Further Extend the Power and Potential of Central Ohio’s Innovation Economy.

Columbus, OH (November 6, 2014) Leading entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, and corporations turned out in force to champion Central Ohio’s innovation economy at the first ever VentureNEXT celebration tonight.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the winners of the inaugural 2014 VentureNEXT Startup Awards. A crowd of several hundred applauded the three local firms: Biobent Polymers, nChannel, and Print Syndicate.

“This is an exciting time to be part of the Central Ohio entrepreneurial community. These young companies exemplify the impact that entrepreneurs and startups are creating here,” said Tom Walker, TechColumbus CEO.

“The crowd at VentureNEXT exemplified the many facets of entrepreneurship in our region,” Mr. Walker said. “Everyone who came together at the LC Pavilion saw the local enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. It’s inspiring to feel first-hand just how large the opportunity is for entrepreneurs and startups here, as well as the potential for job creation and wealth.”

The three companies represent different stages of commercialization and diverse industries. Biobent Polymers was created to spinout a revolutionary technology developed by Battelle. The company provides bio-composite polymers which offer comparable performance to pure petroleum-based plastics at highly competitive prices.

nChannel provides multichannel sellers with a cloud-based application that quickly connects a company’s existing web stores, back office systems, and point of sale software with unprecedented ease and flexibility, allowing companies to better manage multichannel operations.

Print Syndicate is a design, marketing, and technology company focused on creating timely, well-designed products available through its LookHuman.com and ActivateApparel.com e-commerce websites. Print Syndicate, blending art and pop-culture with a heavy dose of humor, is transforming how products are created, marketed, and sold. The company recently received $4.25 million in Series A funding.

The evening’s master of ceremonies Barry Moltz, well-known speaker, consultant, author, and entrepreneur, presented each winning company with another VentureNext first, a completely original, unique 3D-printed Award.

“I travel all over the country working with entrepreneurs and investors,” said Mr. Moltz. “The energy and momentum that I’ve seen here in Central Ohio is second to none. There’s capital, great venture support from TechColumbus, and a real commitment from the corporate business community to help young companies get customers and grow. People beyond Ohio are recognizing that there’s something special here.”

VentureNEXT honored two local companies with 2014 Corporate Engagement Awards for their commitment and outstanding engagement in ways that can impact a startup’s bottom line.

M/I Homes, a Columbus-based firm—started by entrepreneurs—is one of the largest home builders in the US. QStart Labs is a business development firm uniquely qualified to help entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses.  M/I Homes is a First Connect participant. QStart Labs works with startups as an Expert Network partner.

“Collaboration is the hallmark of Central Ohio’s innovation economy,” Mr. Walker said. “Nowhere is that spirit more in evidence than in the contribution of our First Connect and Expert Network partners and of business leaders and corporate sponsors who invest time and resources to help more new companies start and succeed.”

Other awards at VentureNEXT included the 2014 VentureNext College Awards, sponsored by Bricker & Eckler and the VentureNEXT High School Student Awards.

Alex Brown, Bricker & Eckler partner and chair of the firm’s technology group, presented $2,500 in scholarship dollars each to Damian R. Beauchamp from The Ohio State University, a Ph.D. student in chemistry, and to Rosemary Garry, an undergraduate from The Ohio State University majoring in business.

The VentureNEXT High School Student Awards went to Abigail Myers from Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, a lifetime fellow of the American Junior Academy of Science, and Mariah Cox Zane, a student at Trace High School in Chillicothe who is blending her interests in science, 4H, and Future Farmers of America to pursue a future career in food science or chemistry. An award of $2,500 has been placed in a 529 college savings account on each student’s behalf.

VentureNEXT sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, Nationwide; Platinum Sponsors, Bricker & Eckler and PorterWright ; Production Sponsor, Live Technologies; Gold Sponsor, The Ohio State University; Supporting Sponsor, MadeIT; Media Sponsors, Columbus CEO, The Dispatch and 10TV, and Award Design Sponsor, Columbus Idea Foundry.


About TechColumbus

TechColumbus, Columbus, OH, helps build and accelerate great companies by providing expert advice, access to capital, and business growth connections. We help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio by connecting entrepreneurs, advisors, resource providers, public sector entities, academia, and corporations who share startup passion. TechColumbus manages a continuum of investment funds made possible by the participation of Ohio Third Frontier and other strategic partners. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs and startup companies come to TechColumbus each year to receive the services and funding they need to grow into sustainable, profitable businesses. In 2014, TechColumbus’ business accelerator, SpringBox Labs, was named the number three incubator in the

World by Stockholm-based UBI Index. www.techcolumbus.org


About VentureNEXT

VentureNEXT is a celebration of all things entrepreneurial in Central Ohio.

VentureNEXT brings together Central Ohio’s top entrepreneurs, startups, investors, inventors, innovative corporations, community leaders, and economic developers for an amped-up evening of connection, insight, and recognition, with an entirely local flair. www.venturenext.org

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