This newspaper investigates what led to Dayton Development Coalition losing out on $1.4 million in state funding.
Four Southwestern Ohio start-ups on Thursday received $1.75 million in investment funding from the Dayton Development Coalition’s Accelerant Fund I.
Three of the companies are based in the Cincinnati area, while a fourth — pharmaceutical products firm Patients’ and Consumers’ Pharma — has a Centerville office. It’s hoped that children’s clothing buyer and seller Loteda will open a distribution operation north of Ohio 63, said Michael Hadjinian, Accelerant entrepreneur in residence.
Patients’ and Consumers’ Pharma, Loteda and Ischemia Care each received $500,000. StoreFlix — which offers retail outlets and restaurants video-monitoring mobile technology — received $250,000.
Backed by $3 million in state funding and $6 million from local investors, the money went to companies that analysts believe have strong potential for growth. There’s a hope and an expectation that at least some of that growth will happen in the Dayton area, Hadjinian said.
Today, the four companies have a total of about 18 employees.
“We do want to have something happen in Dayton,” he said. But Accelerant analysts and advisors would be “foolish” to bypass promising companies because they are based for the moment outside Dayton, he said.
Three of the four start-ups have a place in technology and health care markets. Loteda’s business includes distribution.
Accelerant’s vetting and funding of the firms were not stymied by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission’s decision last month to turn down a Dayton Development Coalition request for $1.8 million in funding for a separate initiative, the Entrepreneurial Signature Program.
“Our team remains committed even with the recent (ESP) decision,” said Roger Edwards, who is also an Accelerant entrepreneur in residence.
Accelerant Fund I, a 10-year seed-stage venture fund, is the fourth investment fund since the early 2000s tied to the coalition and its mission.
“We’re very fortunate that we have some access to capital for our local entrepreneurs as they endeavor to create new products, create jobs,” said State Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, a member of the Third Frontier Commission Advisory Board.
Accelerant is advised by seven people who represent the seven largest investors into the fund, said Tarlton Thomas, chairman of Accelerant Fund I Advisory Board and chief financial officer of Dayton-based CareSource. The fund itself is based on 26 total local investors who have invested $6.1 million, he said.
Ischemia Care offers a blood test for stroke diagnosis. The company is running a 600-patient clinical trial in Dayton and nationally, said Jeff June, the company’s chief executive.
Joe DiSilva, founder and CEO of Patients’ and Consumers’ Pharma, said he “wound up in Dayton” after a journey that started in the suburbs of Philadelphia. “And I’m very, very happy to be here,” he said.
His products include those can help patients dealing with neurological disorders, taking correct dosages of tablets and capsules and changing them to liquid form, which makes the medicine easier to swallow.
Josh Fendley is co-founder of Loteda, a marketplace meant to help parents buy and sell clothing for children.
“The distribution jobs here in the Dayton area will help move the needle and get going really fast,” Fendley said.
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