Entrepreneurs’ Center Wins EDA Grant to Expand Capital Access for Dayton-Region Startups

Posted by Leslie Klenke on November 10, 2023

DAYTON, Ohio, November 10, 2023 – Today, the Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC), the Dayton-based organization that fosters and empowers the development and growth of startup businesses, is significantly expanding capital access programs available to regional entrepreneurs. The program totals $800,000 and includes a $400,000 grant from the Economic Development Agency (EDA) through the Build to Scale Capital Challenge program to be implemented over the next three years. EDA granted awards to 60 organizations under its Build to Scale programs, and EC is one of 20 organizations to win a Capital Challenge grant.

It is well-documented that technology-based, high-growth potential startups rely on venture capital to launch and grow. Globally and here in Ohio, venture capital funding has decreased significantly since a 2021 peak. According to CB Insights, in Q3 2023, global venture deal volume declined for a 6th straight quarter to its lowest level since 2016, demonstrating the challenge entrepreneurs face when raising capital.

“This is a critical time for startups in the Dayton region and the west-central region of Ohio. We have significant R&D resources, terrific talent in our community, and great success accessing non-dilutive capital programs like Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) programs. The result is a growing number of high-quality startups that need all manners of support, including capital. However, today, the Dayton region lacks enough capital resources to fund these great opportunities,” said Mike McCann, VP of Innovation and Engagement at EC. “With support from EDA, this program will improve entrepreneur capital readiness, expand our EC Angel network, and improve capital access opportunities to better meet this demand.”

With this funding, EC will support startups in the greater Dayton region by helping entrepreneurs prepare to raise capital by providing targeted training on pitching investors and preparing for a funding transaction. EC will expand its EC Angel network, provide training to recruit new members, and offer enhanced programs and support for existing members. Additionally, EC will assess the region’s long-term capacity for additional forms of organized capital.

“At EC, we recognize the challenges entrepreneurs face when seeking to build their businesses, not the least of which is accessing investment capital, especially in today’s difficult venture environment,” said Scott Koorndyk, President of EC. “We’re thrilled to grow these programs and networks to expand our entrepreneur and investor support resources in the years to come.”

About Entrepreneurs’ Center

The Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC) is a modern economic development organization that powers progress and prosperity through entrepreneurship. Annually, the EC works with over 1,000 entrepreneurs to start and grow companies, create jobs, generate revenue, and attract investment. The EC empowers main street and technology businesses through complimentary professional services, including business planning, mentoring, training, networking, commercialization, and capital investment. The EC’s talented and experienced team of advisors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and staff design and facilitate diverse, world-class business acceleration programs on behalf of corporations, higher education institutions, and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense from their headquarters at The Hub Powered by PNC Bank in the historic Dayton Arcade. Learn more at EC Innovates.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers – innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions. Learn more at EDA.gov.

For More Information, Contact:
Mike McCann, VP of Innovation and Engagement
Entrepreneurs’ Center
[email protected]

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