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Innovation Fund Awards Seed Money to Five Tech Startups

September 2, 2015: An enzyme that mimics the digestion of termites to dissolve tree stumps, a blood testing system that’s faster and cheaper than anything on the market today, and a new device that detects eye misalignment as well as a physician. These are some of the technologies more likely to come to market because of the Innovation Fund’s most recent investment round.

Northeast Ohio’s most active pre-seed fund for technology startups committed $275,000 to five early-stage companies. Three received $25,000 awards that should help validate their technologies and two received $100,000 awards to prove out their business models. The funding will be paired with intensive mentoring to help the entrepreneurs set and reach milestones that will bring their products closer to commercialization.

Here are the companies that received investment:

BubbleClear ($25,000 | Cleveland) is a wastewater treatment  company developing biomedia technology to increase the efficiency and ability for new and existing wastewater treatment technologies to treat wastewater. The company is developing and testing a new highly porous biomedia that could significantly increase the performance of any wastewater treatment system that uses biomedia. 

EntoBio ($25,000 | Cleveland) is developing Liquid Termite™ to naturally dissolve tree stumps. The proprietary technology mimics the digestion of termites.

Lygent ($25,000 | Elyria) is developing a novel, easy-to-use ophthalmic screening and diagnostic tool called the iStrab™. It will provide pediatricians and specialists with a quick, automated assessment of eye misalignment and other vision problems.

Apollo Medical Devices ($100,000 | Cleveland) is developing a rapid, low-cost, accurate blood analysis system that can return results using only a single drop of blood. The patented, low-cost, portable technology provides patient blood chemistry test results directly to a portable analyzer at the patient’s bedside.

Groupmatics ($100,000 | Westlake) is the first to market white-label group ticketing SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution used by professional sports teams and other public event organizations to collect traditional group attendee data while uncovering hidden revenue.


About the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation, is Northeast Ohio’s most active and successful early-stage fund. It awards technology-based startups up to $100,000 so they can validate their technologies and business concepts. The Innovation Fund averages six funding awards each quarter and fills the capital needs of businesses at the earliest stage of development, before they can attract angel and venture capital funding. Innovation Fund awards are made with funds from the Ohio Third Frontier, which have been combined with matching support and contributions from the Innovation Fund partners. These partners include the University of Akron, the University of Akron Research Foundation, Cleveland State University, the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE), the Lorain County Community College Foundation, Stark State College, Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and Northeast Ohio Medical University.