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Startups & Entrepreneurs

Ohio University Innovation Center
Since 1983, the Ohio University Innovation Center has been helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses. Resources and opportunities abound at this state-of-the-art incubator. Take it from their description: “Need somewhere more spacious and well-lit than your garage’s workbench to build your prototypes? Maybe your business is growing, and you need flexible lease options at affordable rates. Maybe you just need to be introduced to the right bankers, lawyers and distributors to help you reach your goals. We can help you find everything you need for your business to grow, and we’re ready to start today!”

Athens Ohio Investment Alliance
The mission of AOIA is to support the development of sustainable, profitable businesses capable of providing a return to member investors, to serve as a catalyst to connect resources across the region to build successful businesses, and to enhance wealth creation of the people employed by the companies that receive investment from AOIA.  Learn more here:

TechGROWTH Ohio is sponsored by Ohio University and the Ohio Third Frontier program. Through TechGROWTH, entrepreneurs and technology start-up companies in southeast Ohio can access business assistance and sources of capital. Business services include assistance with: business plans, product development, legal services, marketing, executive recruitment, and more. TechGROWTH helps companies prepare to access seed-stage and angel investment capital as well as research grants and loans.

The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks offers commercial space, business counseling, technical assistance, and a large network of partners that help entrepreneurs meet business goals. With numerous services such as business incubation and marketing strategy training, ACEnet is poised to help get small businesses up and running.

The Small Business Development Center of Southeast Ohio is a wonderful resource located in Ohio University’s Voinovich School. Regional Director Melissa Jollick is a wealth of information, and the programming provided by the center is ideal for small businesses in Athens County.  Workshops and events are hosted throughout the year all over Southeast Ohio, and building a relationship with the SBDC is always beneficial to new businesses in our area.

Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia
Funded by an Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant, the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE Appalachia) is a project that seeks to make positive changes to health and wellness, education and the environment. SEE assists social enterprises, which combine the social mission of a nonprofit with the market-driven approach of a business, with financing and operational sustainability in every stage, from start-up to eventual growth and expansion. The Voinovich School and its partners, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, work throughout a 10-county region in Ohio and West Virginia to support social enterprises that share the project’s goals. For more information visit Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia | Ohio University

Minority Business Assistance Center
MBAC works to advance business opportunities for minority and small disadvantaged business enterprises, and provide market access that leads to sustainable business relationships.

Starting a business and not sure where to begin? Check out our Business Startup Guide!