October 2019 Newsletter
Dear Reader,

As I reflect upon the stories below, an obvious theme emerges. This month's newsletter is really all about people . Not coincidentally, people are also the main thread that has enabled the Innovation Center's 36 years of success. This month's features are but a snapshot in time of the impact that thousands of others have made upon the Innovation Center and Southeast Ohio.

In this month, alone, we support and celebrate brave new entrepreneurs, like David Burnette. We depend upon and value partners like TechGROWTH Ohio and Ben Lachman. We stand with innovate action-oriented politicians who lead new initiatives like the Ohio IP Promise. We learn from and empower talented OHIO students like Corynn and Logan. We remember the impact of Wil Konneker and seek nominations for our university's highest honor in innovation which bears his name. We welcome new talent to the companies with whom we share a home. We applaud the efforts and elevation of our valued colleagues, Kevin and Matt. And, we look forward to engaging with inspiring like-minded people at events like the Women in Entrepreneurship panel.

In closing, if you find yourself admiring and valuing the people around you as much as we do - be sure to nominate your company for the TechOhio Culture Award!

Keep innovating,
Stacy Strauss, Director
Top Stories
Alpha Phase logo
The IC Welcomes Alpha Phase Technologies, LLC
The Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Alpha Phase Technologies, LLC to its incubation program. The early-stage startup is developing novel devices for use in the healthcare, energy, and manufacturing sectors. Its initial focus is on the commercialization of a patent-pending medical device.

Founder and President David Burnette, a native of Athens County, receiv ed his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio University. With a focus on plasma chemistry, he earned his PhD and did a one year postdoc at The Ohio State University. Owner of engineer consulting practice ARCHENEX, LLC, Burnette's career has included work for the Naval Nuclear Laboratory as well as lecturing within the Russ College of Engineering. The company is hiring a student intern; to express interest, engineering students are encouraged to email info@alphaphase.com.
Lachman Establishes Office at IC
Ben Lachman has joined TechGROWTH Ohio as its newest Executive-in-Residence (EIR). An experienced founder active in the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem, Lachman is a principal at Nice Mohawk , a digital product studio based in San Francisco and Athens that makes top-shelf apps, designs new products, and helps companies make technology decisions. Ben is also a founding member of local coworking space Athensworks. This year, he started and co-edits The Orbital Index , a weekly space and space tech newsletter.

The Innovation Center is grateful for our partner, TechGROWTH Ohio, for their stellar team of EIRs who bolster the entrepreneurial support services provided to our shared clients.
News From The IC
OHIO College of Business Students Join Team
Corynn Moore , a junior studying accounting and pre-law, and Logan Ward , a senior studying sports management and marketing, joined the Innovation Center's team at the beginning of Fall semester. They are responsible for a variety of administrative duties at the front desk, including answering phones, greeting guests as well as working on special projects for staff and clients. They round out a team of ten students that are key to keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently, while also gaining real-world experience.
Nomination Window Open For Konneker Award
Konneker medal
The Ohio University Foundation established the Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship to recognize current and former faculty members or students who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The award is named for Wilfred Konneker, an Ohio University alumnus with a distinguished record in research and entrepreneurship. The alumnus was instrumental in the establishment of the Innovation Center, as well as the university biotechnology spin-off company Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc.

Nominations for the 2019 medal may be submitted until Thursday , Oct. 31, 2019. Up to three awards are given each year. 
New Faces in the Halls of the IC
Mollie Fitzgerald
Assistant Director
Andrew Dick, Director
Engineering & Manufacturing
AEIOU Scientific, LLC
Luke Sulfridge
Executive Director
Mollie Fitzgerald has been hired as the assistant director of the Athens County Economic Development Council (ACEDC), where she previously served as project specialist from 2015-2017. Fitzgerald will take on a number of responsibilities that build the ACEDC’s capacity to take on more projects that create capital investment and jobs in Athens County. She holds a B.S. in Communication Studies and a M.P.A. from Ohio University. She most recently served as the executive director for Live Healthy Appalachia.
Andrew Dick has joined AEIOU Scientific, LLC as director of engineering and manufacturing. He is looking forward to helping the company craft and realize an effective commercialization strategy. Dick graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and has been a practicing engineer for 15 years. His career includes work with local start-ups and high-growth companies in the Athens area including Global Cooling and Ecolibrium Solar, a graduate of the Innovation Center.
Luke Sulfridge was hired as the new executive director of Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) in July . Sulfridge was recently recognized as a clean energy leader by Energy New Network. SOPEC has also welcomed Mathew (Mat) Roberts as the director of marketing and Joyce Arias as the director of finance and administration. Roberts helped start UpGrade Athens County, now Sustainable Energy Solutions. Arias joins with abundant experience in corporate customer service, operations, and translation.
Ohio University joins the Ohio IP Promise
Launched by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Ohio University joined the state's other higher education research institutions in becoming part of the Ohio I.P. Promise, an initiative to make the state's universities more attractive to innovators and entrepreneurs. The goal is to establish a best-in-class process for licensing intellectual property and nurturing startup companies. The Ohio IP Promise aims to foster an innovation-driven climate through partnerships among universities, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry.

“The research conducted at Ohio University is world-class, and we’re excited to be part of the Ohio IP Promise to help ensure our discoveries realize their full potential for benefiting the public,” said Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, Dr. Joseph Shields.
TechOhio’s Startup Culture Awards are Back
Do you know of, or work for, a local startup company that exemplifies excellent company culture? TechOhio wants to hear from you! The Startup Culture Awards were introduced last year to recognize Ohio startup companies with the best company culture. Winners are chosen for two categories: early-stage and late-stage startups. Athens-based company Global Cooling, Inc. was the late-stage winner last year. Keep Southeast Ohio on the podium and nominate the most deserving area company today. It only takes one nomination, accepted now through October 20, to be considered.
New Corporate Engagement Office at Ohio University
To build greater capacity for corporate engagement and stewardship, Ohio University has announced a new Corporate Engagement Office. Kevin King, pictured here, has been named the Executive Director of the office which will serve as a central location for personalized and accelerated matchmaking and navigation services for corporate partners. Matt Roberts, who currently serves as Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in University Advancement, will report to King. 

“Kevin King has provided outstanding leadership in the creation of our Industry Partnerships Office, with a vision of cross-cutting collaborations with private-sector partners to benefit the University’s research and teaching mission,” said Dr. Joseph Shields, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. “Bringing together his portfolio with philanthropy is a logical extension, allowing us to take our efforts in corporate engagement to the next level.”
Upcoming Events
News & Events from Our Partners
How We Can Help
The Ohio University Innovation Center (IC) provides valuable business incubation resources to fuel the economy in Athens, Ohio and the surrounding region. The IC is the recipient of the 2019 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award (InBIA) and the 2019 Rural-Based Entrepreneurship Center of the Year Award (InBIA). The center was ranked the third best University-Based Incubator in the U.S. (UBI Global Ranking 2015-2017), and was named the 2016 Rural Incubator of the Year (InBIA). 

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