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Third Frontier Funds Benefit Northeast Ohio

Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 1:01 PM

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Northeast Ohio continues to benefit from the state's Third Frontier technology investment program more than any other part of the state. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Last week the Third Frontier Commission distributed 39 million dollars in Third Frontier Funds to Ohio colleges, business development organizations and companies, with more than half coming to this region.

Two awards totaling 6.7 million went to the regional development group Jumpstart, which assists start-up companies with investment and other support.  Other recipients include case Western Reserve University, Greenfield Solar Corporation in Oberlin, Rolls Royce Fuel Cells Systems in North Canton and Delphi Automotive in Warren - to name a few. 

Tracy Green is Director of the Lorain County Community College Foundation, a collaborator with jumpstart and itself a Third Frontier recipient.  Green says she’s not surprised to see the region garner such a substantial portion of funding. 

“Northeast Ohio certainly serves a large population and enjoys a large deal of opportunities to invest in,” Green says. “So on that basis, we’ve been fortunate to secure quite a bit of support from Third Frontier as a region.”

The 750 million dollar, voter-approved Third Frontier program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development.  That agency is on track to being replaced by the private non-profit JobsOhio, with Governor John Kasich to serve as Chairman.  Mark Kwamme, a billionaire venture capitalist whom Kasich appointed recently to lead that transition, has said recently he hasn’t worked out what it will mean for Third Frontier. 

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