YBI to receive $450,000 from state
By Burton Speakman
The Youngstown Business Incubator has been awarded $450,000 through the Ohio Third Frontier Incubation Program.
The funding is designed to provide entrepreneurial support, including facilities, counseling and access to potential investors to start-up companies in the fields of information technology and additive manufacturing.
Some of the funding will be invested directly in YBI’s current portfolio of companies, according to a release from the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Of the grant, $250,000 will be used to cover YBI administrative costs. The remaining $200,000 will be used to provide funding to business, said Barb Ewing, chief operating officer for YBI.
“The funding could help as few as two or as many as eight companies,” she said.
YBI also is considering using some of the money to attempt to lure a company from elsewhere to Youngstown, Ewing said.
“It’s very much in the discussion stage at this point,” she said. “Of course, we’d be looking to recruit start-up tech companies to move here. We’re not going to make an offer to Google.”
YBI still has to look at the grant forms to determine what companies might be eligible to receive some of the funding, Ewing said. No decisions about what companies will receive aid have been made.
The $450,000 for YBI was part of $12.8 million approved by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to fund biomedical companies and help entrepreneurs and technology start-up companies start their businesses.
“We are helping make Ohio the destination for biomedical advances and continuing our commitment to foster new technology and entrepreneurs in Ohio,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and chairman of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.
In prior years, YBI had received $350,000 from the state, which could all be used for administrative costs, Ewing said. But for at least the past four years, YBI already had been using some of that money to provide small amounts to its portfolio companies.
“It was an easy decision for us to give back $100,000 in administrative funding to provide more to our portfolio companies,” she said.
According to a document from the ODSA, the YBI application for the award was rated the second best in the state.