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Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio Grant

Grants to Tech Startups Based in or Willing to
Relocate to Eligible Northeast Ohio Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio

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LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants starting at $25,000 to entrepreneurs located in, or willing to relocate to, the Northeast Ohio area. Funding is intended to invest in scalable technology startups that can have a positive economic impact on the region. Financial materials must be submitted prior to submitting a full application. The most fundable startups are led by coachable entrepreneurs, have strong intellectual property, are working in large markets ($50 million +), will attract follow-on investment, and can create jobs.

The Innovation Fund invests in companies that have innovative and cutting-edge technologies in one of Northeast Ohio’s high growth industry sectors:

- Advanced Materials
- Aeropropulsion
- Agribusiness
- Fuel Cells/Energy Storage
- Medical/Healthcare Tech
- Sensing & Automation Tech
- Shale
- Situational Awareness & Surveillance
- Software Applications
- Solar Photovoltaics
- Other

There are two funding options available:

Funding Option A - Grants:

Up to $25,000 A level grants help entrepreneurs validate new technologies. They’re for entrepreneurs who have an idea, but need to prove the technology works. Founders typically use the funding to develop or test a prototype, file patents, or get clinical trials started. After the grant period ends, entrepreneurs should be ready to apply for the $100,000 funding level.

Funding Option B - Non-Collateral Loans:

Up to $100,000 B level awards help entrepreneurs validate their businesses. They’re for entrepreneurs who have developed a technology, probably have a working prototype, and are now ready to test the business model they’ve created around the technology. Most often, this funding is used to acquire first customers, market test products, make key hires, and advance product testing. This money needs to be matched dollar-for-dollar and repaid if the business is successful.

Once you receive funding, there are a few things you're required to do:

- Agree to the Fund's mentoring process
- Provide educational experiences to students at Lorain County Community College or a partner university
- Keep your business in Northeast Ohio

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162438

Number of Grants:

For reference purposes, the Fund usually distributes between $300,000 and $400,000 to five to seven companies.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding Option A: $25,000 grants
Funding Option B: $100,000 non-collateral loans

Term of Contract:

A-Level portfolio companies are expected to use their award within six months. B-Level portfolio companies are expected to use their awards within twelve months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must be currently located or willing to locate within the Northeast Ohio 21-County region, which includes: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A free informational session will take place on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 9:00 am. Please join to learn more about Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio.

Desich Business and Entrepreneurship Center
Lorain County Community College
151 Innovation Dr.
Elyria, OH 44035

Reserve your seat:

Download the Powerpoint presentation from the Supporting Documents section below.

Pre-Application Information:

Innovation Fund Northeast Ohio is always accepting applications. Here are the deadlines you’ll need to meet to be considered for our upcoming funding cycle:

Application Process Opens: 6/16/18
Financial Requirement Due: 9/5/18
Application Deadline: 9/15/18

Both awards much be matched dollar-for-dollar.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to apply online:

Contact Information:
Phone: (440) 366-4121

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio: Northeast Ohio