Northeast Ohio gets ‘game changing’ investment for high-tech startups

Ohio’s Third Frontier program will invest $46 million into 100 small companies
Ohio's Third Frontier has invested in companies like CoverMyMeds, a small startup in Twinsburg...
Ohio's Third Frontier has invested in companies like CoverMyMeds, a small startup in Twinsburg in 2008, now a billion dollar company employing thousands of Ohioans(JumpStart, Inc.)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 2:07 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The money will go to establish Northeast Ohio as a high-tech and health innovation hub, according to JumpStart, Inc., a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses with seed money.

“For any new company and new technology company or a new innovation, they very much need this capital to get going because getting going means creating jobs,” said Ray Leach, CEO and president of JumpStart. “Thousands of new jobs over the next three to five years.”

Some of this money will go to spinoffs from Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals as well as other small tech companies.

An example of how the money works: In 2008, CoverMyMeds was a small Twinsburg health care software company working with insurance companies. It received Third Frontier funds and recently sold to McKesson for more than $1 billion and now employs thousands of Ohioans, building a new headquarters in Columbus.

“A little investment of $200-, $500,000 today can create a company that’s worth over a billion dollars 10 years from now and that can employ thousands of Ohioans,” said Leach.

Leach says the money will get paired with non-state money, meaning more than $100 million to help these companies and the local economy.

“There are scenarios where we are going to be attracting companies, relocating companies or inventors and/or entrepreneurs to Cleveland, so I think you’re going to see new companies come to town or certainly very small companies that will be hiring dozens if not hundreds of employees,” he said.

The pandemic actually helped the region for these investments since University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic established themselves as global leaders in health care innovation as they battled COVID-19.

Leach also said JumpStart looks to invest with woman and minority-owned companies so the economy looks like the region it represents.

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