This fall marks the emergence of LaunchHouse as the first hardware accelerator in the state of Ohio. A $200,000 grant from the Ohio Third Frontier ONEFund was awarded to LaunchHouse in order to run its 16-week, intensive LaunchHouse Accelerator (LHX) program. The business accelerator will invest $20,000 in ten up-and-coming, broad-based technology startups focused on hardware/robotics and user interface technologies that will participate in its fall program.
LaunchHouse, which initially created the LHX program to invest in IT companies, has broadened its focus to include startups within the hardware, software, consumer products and the Internet of things (IoT) industries. The LHX program, now in its third year, is designed to accelerate startups as they progress from idea to validation, onto prototype. This will be the first accelerator in the state of Ohio to focus on early-stage hardware startups and technologies that support user interface.
Cleveland offers accelerator companies a wealth of resources that reside at the convergence of technology and manufacturing. As part of the program, organizations such as Cleveland State University Monte Ahuja College of Business, Jumpstart, NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and NorTech will serve as mentors and advisors for the LHX companies. These companies will also have access to numerous resource organizations within the Cleveland entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“With a rich history in manufacturing, Cleveland is now at the cross-section between technology and manufacturing,” said Todd Goldstein, CEO and managing partner at LaunchHouse. “This shift in focus will better leverage Cleveland’s niche resources to supply these types of startups with increased support, network, mentorship and potential for increased follow on funding. We have confidence that this will also lead to significant job creation and company building within the region.”
LaunchHouse has a proven track record of launching successful startups. Since 2008, the business accelerator has invested in 51 diverse portfolio companies, which have raised more than $15.5 million in follow on funding and created more than 70 jobs in Northeast Ohio.
Applications for LHX2014 are now open until July 12. The top 30 startups will be invited to participate in 2DAYdiscovery, a customer focused and metric driven process that LaunchHouse and LHX Mentors will use to further vet companies based upon their customer development traction. Last year more than 125 startups from around the world applied to the program.
Following 2DAYdiscovery, ten startups will be selected to participate in the 16-week, customer-centric accelerator program beginning on September 29. Methodologies including customer development, design for manufacturing, business modeling and human-centered design will provide startups with an increased ability to achieve accelerated market validation within 90 days.
At the culmination of the LHX program, companies will deliver their first public pitches and demo to investors, potential clients, other entrepreneurs and the general public at Demo Day. More than 300 people attended last year’s Demo Day, which was presented in conjunction with the first annual Cleveland Entrepreneurship Week.
LaunchHouse is not the only Northeast Ohio accelerator to be awarded the ONEFund grant. Fellow grant recipients include Bizdom and Flashstarts. Through these programs, more than 30 new startup companies will be funded this year. Northeast Ohio will continue to demonstrate that startups can grow and succeed in the region.
Again, applications will close on July 12 with LHX2014 kicking off September 29. Interested startups should apply at https://www.f6s.com/launchhouseaccelerator20141.
LaunchHouse provides a collaborative ecosystem designed to foster entrepreneurship through coworking spaces, educational programming and a vast resource network to help transform early-stage startups from ideas to successful businesses. Through our innovative accelerator program, LaunchHouse is focused on cultivating top entrepreneurial talent by providing mentorship, strategic business development resources and seed funding. Since 2008, LaunchHouse has provided more than $500,000 in investment capital to 51 companies, through its development efforts these companies have raised $15.5 million in follow-on funding.
About Ohio One Fund
Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs Fund (ONEFund) is an innovative approach to retaining and attracting the best and the brightest talent to Ohio. This exciting mentorship-driven program focuses on the professional development of young entrepreneurs with the necessary ambition to commercialize new technologies and looks to link promising new ventures in Ohio with early-stage investment capital. ONE Fund will aggressively recruit young entrepreneurs from within Ohio and outside the state and will foster the young entrepreneurs’ professional development by educating them on what it takes to form a business in Ohio.