Wright State, UD partner in regional university incubator


Wright State University, the University of Dayton (UD), the University of Cincinnati (UC), with other regional universities, are getting together to offer promising new businesses another development tool.

The public-private partnership is “the first of its kind led by a public urban research university in the Midwest and among the first in the nation,” Wright State and the other universities said in a joint announcement Wednesday.

Start-ups formed to commercialize intellectual property developed at Wright State, Xavier University, the University of Dayton and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College are now eligible for placement in UC’s Venture Lab pre-accelerator program at its 1819 Innovation Hub, the announcement said.

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Since July 2019, Venture Lab has connected companies with more than $1.4 million funding from grants and UC investment, the universities said in their announcement.

“Working together, we can move ideas faster than what any of us could do individually,” UC Chief Innovation Officer David Adams said. “Universities are the strongest generators of start-ups. As a unified group, we can attract even more prosperity to this region and move at the speed that the knowledge economy demands. The 1819 Innovation Hub is the nexus that brings all of these efforts together.”

The Venture Lab generated a record 400 percent increase in start-ups spun out of UC intellectual property in its first year, and 1,000 percent increase to date, the universities said. More than a dozen Venture Lab graduate start-ups have attracted funding so far, they also said.

“Ohio is the most innovative, creative, entrepreneurial state in the Midwest,” Lydia Mihalik, director of development and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, said in the release. “This partnership will advance more great ideas and build new companies that strengthen Ohio communities.”

“As Wright State continues to grow its innovative culture, we are extremely excited to be able to partner with the University of Cincinnati’s pre-accelerator program,” said Wright State University President Susan Edwards. “This program is available for faculty, staff and students, and can help these budding entrepreneurs better understand the potential opportunities for start-ups and future commercialization.”

“Partnering has always been a key to success for the University of Dayton, especially with respect to innovation, which is part of Dayton’s DNA,” said UD President Eric Spina. “As such, we are excited to join our regional universities in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem to commercialize more of Ohio’s inventions by companies in Ohio.”