Michael LeHere, chief executive officer
The problem: For 150 years, Akron, Ohio, was known as the rubber tire capital of the world. When those jobs moved out of state, Akron lost its economic foundation. To counter the industrial downsizing, the Akron Industrial Incubator was created in 1983. In 2006, its mission was modified and the name was changed to Akron Global Business Accelerator. Officials felt a roadmap was needed that would allow participation in the 21st century’s knowledge-based economy and would help attract entrepreneurs linked to core competencies that reside in our local business community and technology research institutions.
The solution: In 2006, AGBA created the Global Technology Commercialization Initiative to support new domestic start-ups and to attract foreign firms involved in advanced materials, advanced energy, biomedicine, information technology, and instrumentation/controls/electronics. The initiative provides clients with enhanced services, risk assessment and evaluation; advanced market identification; and increased networking opportunities.
Additionally, the program increased outreach initiatives, collaborated with international affiliates, formed a biomedical small business cluster, and became a contributing member of the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Wound Healing & Research.
"We developed a pipeline of entrepreneurs determined to commercialize technologies that complement our region’s technology core competencies," says CEO Michael LeHere. "As a result of direct marketing to our existing network and a local media awareness campaign, we attracted 12 new companies to the accelerator in one year."
Phone: (740) 593-4331
Fax: (740) 593-1996
340 West State Street, Unit 25
Athens, OH 45701-1565