January 23, 2012

Second class of 10x, Ohio One Fund launches

Aspiring business leaders with ideas for mobile and web-based applications for higher education, retail, news and entertainment industries are among the 10 teams joining the 2012 10-xelerator winter class.

10x, launched in April 2011 in partnership with Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs (ONE) Fund, is an innovative business accelerator program from the Ohio Third Frontier, designed to attract and retain the best and brightest talent to Ohio. The intensive 12-week program provides funding, mentorship and professional development for talented entrepreneurs. The first program was held during the summer of 2011. The winter program will begin on Jan. 23.

Each of the ten 10 teams will receive $20,000, individual team mentors, technology and business experts, office space, on-going coaching and workshops in partnership with The Ohio State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Fisher College of Business.

“The success of the first 10x program exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Camp, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Entrepreneurship.  “We have created a model that helps entrepreneurs gain a solid footing through mentorship, education and start-up resources and enables them to maintain momentum and thrive long after the program’s completion.”

This second class will get a new level of national support through TechStars Network, an alliance of startup accelerator programs that offers innovative strategic resources, including professional development tools and a national pool of experts.

“Through this public /private collaboration with the Ohio Third Frontier’s ONE Fund and the Fisher College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship, we are ensuring that Ohio is attracting and retaining some of the most promising entrepreneurs,” said Christiane Schmenk, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, which administers the ONE Fund. “We want them to learn what it takes to start a business here and keep it going, which is a critical part of growing a strong Ohio economy. It all starts with top talent.”

Teams were selected through a competitive application process that included video proposals of their business concepts.  The competition was open to entrepreneurs from Ohio as well as outside of the state.  The  teams, nine from Ohio and one from Singapore, are required to relocate to Columbus for the 12-week program to launch their business ventures. The development program culminates with the New Venture Showcase, to be held Thursday, April 12, where participating teams present their start-ups to local, regional and national angel and venture capital investors.

Since participating in the 10x summer session, past teams have received nearly $3 million in additional investment. For instance, Acceptd, an online platform for college applications, received $600,000 in additional Ohio investments and currently has clients from several colleges. eFuneral has recently hired fulltime staff and plans to launch its service during the winter.