It's that time of year, the State of the Union/State time of year. And while I won't give you a State of JumpStart address here, it's become obvious to me that:
The State of Cleantech In Northeast Ohio is booming.
The Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, visited a JumpStart Ventures portfolio company yesterday, rexorce thermionics (in the process of changing its name to Echogen Power Systems). Aside from the company's accomplishments including the installation of its commercial pilot for its heat engine and the creation of 20 engineering jobs, the Governor was visiting because it's the perfect example of the growth of the cleantech sector in Ohio. A few other examples showing this is real growth, not just rhetoric, from The 2009 Venture Capital Report for the Cleveland Plus Region:
- Cleantech companies are the fastest growing segment of companies receiving venture capital or angel investment in the Cleveland Plus region. While they received only 3% of the dollars 5 years ago, they received 20% of the dollars in 2009.
- 33 cleantech companies have received venture or angel investment in the last five years.
One of those companies is VADXX Energy
, whose CEO, Jim Garrett, presented its business plan yesterday at JumpStart to the Oberlin Entrepreneurial Scholars. VADXX Energy, which transforms waste plastics (such as the seats of old cars) back into synthetic crude oil, set up its first production facility in Akron recently, and will shortly be starting its first commercial pilot production.
Another of those companies is Phycal
, a JumpStart Ventures portfolio company creating algal biofuel. Aside from the algal pool in its Mayfield Heights location, the company is in the process of setting up its first pilot production facility in Hawaii. Phycal was identified as one of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Intriguing Companies
With the Federal and State initiatives that will ultimately be funding Northeast Ohio cleantech companies in the future, with the new advanced energy incubator in Warren moving forward, and with the continued support of Ohio Third Frontier, there's no better place to be for a cleantech company.
Cathy Belk is the Chief Marketing Officer of JumpStart. She specializes in branding, marketing communications, and business management. She brings 16+ years of experience in a variety of marketing and business roles, but gets her energy from working daily with entrepreneurs and their growing companies.