Akron Global Business Accelerator: Helping Small Green Businesses

The Akron Global Business Accelerator has been functioning since 1983 to provide a foundation for small businesses to begin their growth.

Originally known as the Akron Industrial Incubator, the Accelerator was started by the City of Akron, the Akron Development Corporation, the University of Akron, and the State of Ohio as a partnership aimed at aiding business growth and helping small businesses get their start in Ohio.

Today the 200,000-square-foot facility helps high-tech organizations in the industries of biomedicine, nanotechnology, alternative energy sources, information technology, and instruments-control technology.

The accelerator serves as an incubator for small businesses, and it provides the following services that might otherwise be unaffordable to its young member organizations:

  • Business development assistance
  • Consultation on business operations
  • Marketing and sales assistance
  • Access to government grants and loans
  • Help procuring investment capital
  • Networking activities

The facility offers a wide array of amenities to its members including office space, labs, conference facilities, as well as access to IT and clerical assistance.

It currently accommodates 48 companies.

Biotechnology Bridge Program

A new initiative of the Akron Global Business Accelerator is the Biotechnology Bridge Program, a venture with the Helsinki Business and Science Park (HBSP) of Finland.

The goal of this program is to create a bridge that will open international markets for member companies of each business incubation network.

Focused mainly on companies in the life sciences industry, the Bridge Program creates a facilitated route for small businesses to expand overseas by creating so-called “portal cities” in Akron and Helsinki. These portal cities offer a location for expansion to begin and access to the incubators in each city to welcome and further aid the businesses.

Akron will offer access to Ohio and possibly the rest of North America, while Helsinki can offer access to Finland and the European Union.

Most recently, the mayors of each city agreed to further the growth of this program and test its stability by advancing between two and four companies across the bridge between 2010 and 2011.

Event Series

In 2011, the Akron Global Business Accelerator is hosting two seminar series to provide business growth education to member companies.

The “Business Basics” seminar is a series of eight events spread throughout the year. The program is hosted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and the guest speaker is Jim Griggy, Certified Business Advisor.

The “How to Write a Business Plan” seminars include nine separate events, and guest speakers for this series are Mary Ann Jasionowski, Director of the SBDC.

The following Akron Global Business Accelerator companies have been nominated for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association’s Later Stage Award:

Renewable Energy, Other: Echogen Power Systems
Waste: PolyFlow, Vadxx Energy
Water: ABSMaterials, Inc, MAR Systems

More information on the Later Stage Award can be found here.

— Brianna Panzica

Driving and Developing Technology-Based Entrepreneurial Innovation originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the first advisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative and renewable energies.


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