Five companies were selected last night from a field of 162 applicants to participate in the second 1492 business accelerator program. 1492 is a collaboration among TechColumbus, Columbus State Community College and the Columbus College of Art & Design. The program accelerates the creation of innovative startups in a matter of months, not years. “We were projecting about one hundred entrants,” said Ted Ford, president and CEO of TechColumbus. “That we received 162 is testament to the strength and diversity of the region’s entrepreneurial community.”
An independent panel of judges, which included business leaders and successful entrepreneurs from Central Ohio, selected the five participants based on written applications and a formal business pitch presentation conducted Wednesday evening at the Canzani Center on the CCAD campus. “We saw an impressive breadth of business concepts in the 162 applications submitted,” said Greg Pugh, director of IT Commercialization for TechColumbus and 1492 program manager. According to Pugh applicants ran the gamut from lifestyles to life sciences and every sector in between. “We believe partnering with Columbus State and CCAD can be credited with this diversity and the overwhelming response. We went beyond the usual channels to proactively engage a new segment of creative entrepreneurs.”
Each of the five participants will receive a $20,000 grant and will embark upon an 11-week program of coaching and business mentoring – the end result of which is to launch a viable product or service by mid January 2012. As another indication of the continuing synergy and strength of Central Ohio’s entrepreneurial community, one of the semi-finalists was a company that launched less than two weeks ago out of the highly successful fifth Startup Weekend Columbus. Startup Weekends bring together aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals of diverse skill sets to form teams and launch business plans all within an intense 54-hour window from Friday evening through Sunday. The most recent Startup Weekend Columbus was held October 7-9 to coincide with the deadline for applying to 1492. “We see our role at TechColumbus as facilitator of entrepreneurial activities across the region,” said Ford. “Then, through our infrastructure, services and funding resources, we extend the runway for the most promising ventures that result from the heightened entrepreneurial activity in the region. It’s happened with previous Startup Weekend companies, as well as graduates of the first 1492 and OSU 10-Xelerator programs.”
The five companies selected for the second 1492 program are:
(Marysville, OH) Capstone Innovations has designed and patented an adaptable interlocking
pallet system made up of identical units that slide together and lock into place to build a pallet to any ten-inch increment needed at the moment. Instead of using standard sized, pre-built pallets, Capstone’s system allows the user to create a pallet to fit any size they need, thus avoiding additional shipping charges for pallets that are too large, or the costs of building a special pallet for items that are larger than the standard size. Capstone Innovations is a client of the Ohio SBDC and a tenent of the Marysville Entrepreneurial Center.
(Columbus, OH) Azoti is a complete marketing platform providing both offline support services and a suite of online tools to help the more than five million local food producers increase their share of every food dollar spent by driving demand and increasing productivity. Azoti will serve local farmers, dairies, fisheries, distributors, co-ops, farmer’s markets and artisans by providing demand aggregation services, program management and a host of CRM solutions.
(Dublin, OH) Churchsys is a software as a service (SaaS) offering developed to manage all aspects of operating a church. ChurchSys, currently serving six churches within Central Ohio, is a unique, competitively priced product providing the definitive end-to-end system for managing a church or church district, and addressing the prevailing question of how to grow and retain membership. Churchsys utilizes the latest technologies for Web-based applications, data encryption, and Microsoft SQL, .Net and Biometric technologies to provide churches with powerful member intelligence tools designed to enhance member engagement, retention and giving.
(Westerville, OH) A location-based mobile marketing, analytics, sales and loyalty platform built with street truck and cart vendors in mind. hungerly enables users to discover new and exciting local food vendors that may be around the corner but would normally go unnoticed. Once discovered, the vendor is empowered with tools to keep consumers engaged by providing proximity alerts or offering incentives for repeat business. Additionally, hungerly offers a range of mobile ordering options ranging from order-ahead to electronic catering orders.
Infinum Education LLC
(Columbus, OH) Infinum Education has developed Aviso, which allows students and instructors to collaboratively drive both student and institutional success. Aviso offers three main features including academic planning to define a future curriculum path for a student that is in line with their intent; alerting which identifies any potential challenges or trends that may compromise a student’s ability to succeed; and integrated messaging that allows students and instructors to communicate in an asynchronous way about planning, alerts, or other topics of interest.
“We also want to congratulate the other five semi-finalists that presented which include Armadillo Pocket Lock, Fulcrum Creatives, Mondokio International News, Rooftop Down and UserTOS,” said Pugh. “They all represent great business concepts and we are excited to watch them advance in the Central Ohio entrepreneurial community.”
About 1492 (www.onefourninetwo.com)
1492 is designed to accelerate the creation of innovative startups driven by market need and opportunity in a matter of months, not years. It was inaugurated by TechColumbus in 2009 as an accelerator for Web and Mobile applications and resulted in the launch of the custom mobile apps developer, MobileXpeditions, which has gone on to attract follow-on funding and customers nationwide. The second 1492 is a collaboration among TechColumbus, Columbus State Community College and the Columbus College of Art & Design, with support from the Ohio Third Frontier. TechColumbus plans to continue the program, extending its reach into the 15-county service area comprising Central Ohio.
About TechColumbus (www.techcolumbus.org)
TechColumbus is the public-private partnership whose mission is to accelerate the advancement of Central Ohio’s innovation economy. It is distinguished by its comprehensive breadth of services, including membership, advocacy, venture acceleration and seed funding. Through its services and programming, TechColumbus supports the innovation initiatives of all companies within the region from the newest entrepreneurial startups to the Fortune 500 companies that call Central Ohio home. TechColumbus measures its impact through increased economic growth and the creation of high-paying
jobs. With thousands of companies served, and hundreds of millions of dollars directly or indirectly invested, TechColumbus champions the region’s world-class technology-enabled companies and is the driver of the entrepreneurial eco-system in the Columbus region.
About Columbus State Community College (www.cscc.edu )
Columbus State Community College has been dedicated to meeting the educational needs of its community for more than 45 years. The college has grown from an initial enrollment of 67 students in 1963 to more than 30,000 students today. Columbus State’s Career and Technical Programs Division offers two-year degree programs in more than 55 areas of business, health, public service, human service and engineering technologies. Students can also take the first two years of a bachelor’s degree through the college’s Arts and Sciences Division, and then transfer to four-year institutions such as Ohio State University, Ohio University, Capital University and Franklin University. In all, there are more than 200 associate degree and certificate programs available.
About Columbus College of Art & Design (www.ccad.edu )
Columbus College of Art & Design prepares tomorrow's creative leaders for professional careers.
With a history of commitment to fundamentals and quality, CCAD advances a
distinct, challenging, and inclusive learning culture that supports individual
development in art, design, and the humanities.