News Room Articles

TechColumbus Announces Catalyst Fund

Strategic partners from industry, academia and the state team up to support entrepreneurs


Columbus, OH - 2/20/2014

Promising startups in Ohio have a new source of seed stage capital with the announcement of the new TechColumbus Catalyst Fund. The first close for the fund of $7 million includes investments from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio Third Frontier, The Ohio State University and TechColumbus, manager of the fund.

“Catalyst Fund significantly expands Ohio entrepreneurs’ access to investment capital,” said Tom Walker, TechColumbus CEO. “This is the largest fund that TechColumbus has raised and the third investment fund that we and our strategic partners have announced in sixty days. This greatly enhances the continuum of capital accessible to Ohio startups. We are ready and eager to talk to entrepreneurs who have fundable companies.”

Catalyst Fund will invest primarily in seed stage companies -- the expectation is about 80 percent -- but also will invest in concept stage startups. Initial investments will be up to $400,000 with the capacity to make additional follow-on investments.

An important aspect of the fund will be investing in technology spinouts from Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s. The fund also will support broader entrepreneurial opportunities across central Ohio.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of commercialization opportunities coming out of Nationwide Children’s Hospital as we have expanded our research and clinical activities,” said Matthew McFarland, director of Technology Commercialization at Nationwide Children’s. “It is a point of pride for our hospital that we are actively contributing to the pipeline of investable technologies in the central Ohio region. Opportunities like Catalyst Fund enable us to work with local partners and the state to create access to capital for early-stage companies, and to incent entrepreneurs that we partner with to build their business right here in our community."

The fund industry targets include advanced materials, alternative energy, information technology, and life sciences.

TechColumbus, Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office, and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s are all working proactively to identify investment opportunities.

“So many researchers at Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital create innovations with life-changing potential,” said Tim Wright, interim vice president of technology commercialization at The Ohio State University. “When these innovations become a part of high-potential startup companies, an infusion of early-stage capital is crucial to advancing the company. Catalyst Fund is a great partnership among these Central Ohio organizations to foster the startup community and provide the resources needed for success."

“We will continue to seek out the best technologies and management teams—those with the greatest opportunity to build strong new companies,” Mr. Walker said. “Favorable exits from previous TechColumbus funds have provided returns to invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our goal is to continue that trend with future investments."

About TechColumbus
TechColumbus, Columbus, OH, helps build and accelerate great companies by providing expert advice, access to capital, and business growth connections. We help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio by connecting entrepreneurs, advisors, resource providers, public sector entities, academia, and corporations who share startup passion. TechColumbus manages a continuum of investment funds made possible by the participation of Ohio Third Frontier and other strategic partners. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs and startup companies come to TechColumbus each year to receive the services and funding they need to grow into sustainable, profitable businesses. www.techcolumbus.org

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000