Event unveiled results of the first annual Ohio VentureReport – $149 million invested in 2013, but the capital available over next 18 months falls short of the need by $263 million- recognized venture investor David Morgenthaler and four Ohio companies. Ohio legislators, Senator Bill Beagle and Representative Ryan Smith, also recognized.

Columbus, Ohio – September 10, 2014 – VentureOhio, a trade association formed late in 2013, hosted its first annual dinner to celebrate the successes of Ohio’s entrepreneurial community and to discuss the state of venture capital activity based on the results of the Ohio
VentureReport 2013.

The Ohio VentureReport 2013, compiled from survey data collected directly from the industry, offers the first annual state-wide picture of the entrepreneurial company-building activity.

“The Ohio VentureReport found that over $149 million was invested into 129 companies in 2013,” said John McIlwraith, VentureOhio Chairman and Allos Ventures Managing Director. “We see that Ohio has a robust entrepreneurial community, however a huge unmet need for additional funding continues to exist at the early stages as these companies grow and create jobs.”

A VentureOhio report released earlier in the year reported that Ohio companies need to raise more than $523 million of early-stage capital by the end of 2015 to support continued growth and job creation. The Ohio VentureReport 2013 revealed that only $260 million is available to fill the need. The VentureReport attests to the strength of the information technology and life sciences industries, which accounted for 66% and 27% respectively of the total dollars invested during

“State programs such as the Ohio Third Frontier, have provided substantial financial support for early stage capital formation. This has led to more company start-ups that have a chance to succeed.” said Frank Samuel, VentureOhio President. “The progress Ohio has made over the last decade is threatened by the reported $263 million shortage in funding for our entrepreneurial companies that want to grow. Companies with the potential for high growth and large employment bases may be forced from the state to regions with sources of funding able to support the company’s development at every stage.”

As the first report of its kind, this year’s Ohio VentureReport will form the starting point used for future reports to compare the areas of strength and weakness in the state.

At the event, VentureOhio recognized individuals who have contributed substantially to the maintenance of the ecosystem as well as companies that exemplify the best outcomes of this community. David Morgenthaler, a pioneer in the Ohio and national venture capital communities, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his influential support of entrepreneurship. This award will henceforth be awarded in his name. VentureOhio also recognized Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) and Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) for their ongoing efforts in the economic development community on behalf of Ohio entrepreneurs with the Friend of Ohio’s Entrepreneurs Award.

“I’d like to congratulate all the finalists and winners tonight,” said Bob Savage, VentureOhio Program Committee Chair and President of Rocket Ventures. “It was a great celebration of past success and new and up-and-coming companies. We had investors, entrepreneurs, and venture development organizations from every region of the state coming together to recognize emerging and growing companies that are creating jobs. More resources for these companies will allow them to continue to grow.”

Four companies won recognition in different categories. The winner for the Exit of the Year Award went to Akebia Therapeutics (Cincinnati, OH & Cambridge, MA). The Seed Stage Financing Award went to Nextronex (Toledo, OH). The Early Stage Financing Award to LISNR, Inc (Cincinnati, OH), and the Growth Stage Financing Award to TOA Technologies (Beachwood, OH).

Both the growth of the entrepreneurial community and the constraints on continued progress were discussed by Bill Sanford, founding CEO of STERIS Corp., and Mark Kvamme, Managing Partner of Drive Capital.