Story excerpt provided by The Plain Dealer
Written by Robert L. Smith
Bucking the national trend, Cleveland's high-tech sector enjoyed a burst of momentum last year as venture capitalists poured new levels of money into the region.
Young technology-based companies here attracted about $201 million in 2012, a 34 percent spike over the previous year, according to a study being released today by JumpStart, a Cleveland-based technology accelerator.
Industry observers say they're most impressed by the array of companies that attracted funding during a challenging year.
As venture capital funding declined by about 10 percent nationally, tech-minded investors bought equity in 105 Cleveland-area companies, ranging from medical device makers to pharmaceutical pioneers.
"It shows a breadth of activity in the region that is going in the right direction," said Lynn-Ann Gries, JumpStart's chief investment officer. "I think we have momentum."
Investment levels vary from year to year and 2012 did not measure up to 2010, when private investors sank $241 million into local tech ventures. But last year marked a return to the $200 million threshold and a marked increase in investment activity, with a number of moneyed newcomers discovering the region.
Twenty-eight out-of-state funds made their first investments in Northeast Ohio in 2012, according to data compiled for JumpStart by the Venture Capital Advisory Task Force of Northeast Ohio, an investors group.
Meanwhile, slightly over half the local technology companies that attracted venture capital received support from angel investors, typically smaller local investors who take a personal interest in young companies.
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