$10 million fund opens doors for Dayton start-ups

The Entrepreneurs' Center has thrived in the past 11 months and has recently moved from East Monument to the Dayton Arcade.
Caption
The Entrepreneurs' Center has thrived in the past 11 months and has recently moved from East Monument to the Dayton Arcade.

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Dayton tech start-ups looking for capital have a new resource.

The Ohio Gateway Tech Fund, led by Dayton’s Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC), Converge Technologies and Sumeru Ventures announced a $10 million investment fund Thursday, a fund backed by the Ohio Third Frontier to bolster early-stage startups in the Dayton region.

The “vast majority” of investments will be sourced from EC’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider program portfolio of nearly 100 Miami Valley-based high-tech companies, the center said in an announcement.

“This is a huge win for technology startups in Dayton needing venture capital to fuel their growth,” said Paul Jackson, vice president of strategic programs for the EC. “Venture funding has been a missing piece in our startup community and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Converge and Sumeru to fill this gap.”

Paul Jackson. Contributed
Caption
Paul Jackson. Contributed

The EC initially won funding to support high-tech startups in Dayton through the Ohio Third Frontier’s ESP program three years ago, after the region lost the funding.

Over those three years, the portfolio has grown from 30 to nearly 100 technology businesses.

“This fund is validation of the growth and promise in our region,” said Scott Koorndyk, president of the EC. “The EC team, alongside our entrepreneurial clients, have been working extremely hard to lay the groundwork to make opportunities like this happen. Investors, who could invest anywhere, are turning their eyes to Dayton because they see what we’re building here.”

The Ohio Gateway Tech Fund is expected to be operational and investing by early in the third quarter of 2021.