Greetings and Happy New Year from the Akron Global Business Accelerator.
For many people, the New Year is a time of resolutions and looking forward to what’s ahead. I decided to focus this month’s blog on sharing some of the great things our Akron Accelerator programs achieved in 2016.
Program and major project successes
- Our Technology Company Acceleration (TCA) program received 41 applications in 2016 and added 14 new tenants. Our client companies shined, creating almost 100 new jobs, receiving $15 million in new investments and posting $25 million in payroll.
- The Bit Factory experienced a break-out year, receiving 44 applications and adding six new clients. We also invested $250,000 in companies over the last two years and hosted numerous startup-focused events, including our own inaugural FUEL Akron shark-tank event.
- The Burton D. Morgan Foundation awarded the Accelerator a grant of $242,200 to build a new café and meeting space on the first floor. Renovating this space will provide a more welcoming entry into the Accelerator building and provide a great place for collaboration.
- The US Economic Development Administration awarded $2.5 million to the city of Akron and the Accelerator for the Bits and Atoms Innovation Center. With $4.5 million raised to date, we are on track to open this entrepreneurial development center in downtown Akron with our partners The University of Akron and Stark State College along with many private/public collaborators in 2018.
We formed new, key partnerships to help entrepreneurs and professionals succeed.
Key client investments, partnerships and recognition
Our client companies’ success and our success depend on developing key partnerships and generating investment. This year, many of our clients made significant strides in achieving success in their businesses.
Special events and visits
The Accelerator was a hub of activity in 2016.
Clients and the Accelerator in the news
Our clients’ success was featured in various media with stories published in prominent local and national print, online and television outlets including Allure, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Vogue, Akron Beacon Journal, Crain’s Cleveland and Akron, Akron Legal News, Akron.com, ABC News, Cleveland Channel 19 and more.
I am extremely proud of everything we’ve accomplished and what our client companies and graduates have accomplished. As a result, there has been significant buzz in the technology and art communities about what has been happening inside this old tire factory building. The continued successes and visibility of our programs have helped affirm our position as the place where Akron entrepreneurs come to work, create and collaborate.