Calling all Ohio-based startups in the technology industry—this one’s for you! What stage are you at in your company’s growth? If you’re in the early stages, how are you moving your business forward in growth and development? How are you funding your business to move to the next stage? If you haven’t figured it out yet, securing funding could be the next step to propel your startup forward. But where do you start?
Start here. At Valley Growth Ventures, we’ve crafted the recipe to move early-stage businesses to high-growth companies across the state of Ohio. As a $6 million micro venture capital investment fund, we’ve partnered with exceptional startups in the tech and medical fields to increase their financial footprint and place them on the path to greater success.
As an example of Valley Growth Venture’s value creation, in 2018, the firm invested in partner MedPilot, a health tech company focused on enhancing provider and patient communication to transform the patient experience. During the partnership, MedPilot gained new business relationships through Valley Growth Ventures’ network, marketing support to reach a wider audience of clientele, and guidance and expertise to navigate business challenges. In March 2021, MedPilot became the fund’s first investment exit, as the company was successfully acquired by New Jersey-based Vytalize Health.
Valley Growth Ventures is well-connected in the Mahoning Valley area and comprised of members with extensive backgrounds in various industries to provide excellence, expertise, and experience in innovation. We invest in close partnerships with local startups to increase growth, build value in the community, and focus on financial returns. Our mission is simple: Generate positive ROI for investors while driving local wealth and job creation.
Ohio is seeing an explosive increase in venture capital investments. This year alone, Ohio has seen $1.1 billion of investment go into tech companies, already breaking the state’s full-year record for venture capital investment with more than five months to go. Seen as a business-friendly state, Ohio attracts global investment and fosters growth through a simplified tax structure, affordability, and diversification. Because the state is startup-friendly, it takes less funding to get businesses growing.
If you’re ready to take your startup to the next level, reach out to Valley Growth Ventures for more information on funding. We’re ready to help you secure the financial and operational support your business needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Becoming a Workaholic Scaling Your Business? Here Are Tips to Give Yourself a Well-Needed Break
National Workaholic Day on July 5 marked a day of restoration and rest. Some may find the day honorable, being proud of the work they put into their businesses, while others may admit that they’re burned out. But, unfortunately, overworking yourself can lead to not just frustration but severe health issues, too. A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that people working 55 or more hours each week expose themselves to a 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared to people following the widely accepted standard of working 35 to 40 hours in a week. The study also found that in 2016, more than 745,000 people died from working long hours that resulted in a stroke or heart disease.
To avoid burning yourself out while building your empire, follow these simple and practical tips to maintain balance and productivity as a powerhouse entrepreneur.
Take short (or long) breaks throughout your schedule
Scheduling breaks throughout your workday can make your focus and productivity more effective. Lifehack reports that a break in between working—as short as 30 minutes—increases your productivity by 13%. But don’t crash with a sugary or unhealthy snack—get up from your desk and take a walk outside. Keep your body active to prevent a sluggish mood.
Charlotte Fritz, Ph.D., an associate professor in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology at Portland State University in Oregon, said that breaks could improve our moods, overall well-being, and performance capacity, noting “Taking regular intervals helps us to be more resilient when stressors arise, and they function as an intervention to help us deal with the daily grind”.
Establish a wellness routine before starting your day
Your routine could consist of waking up a few hours earlier before your first call to practice meditation or sipping a hot cup of coffee while catching up on the news. Setting a morning routine allows you to refocus every morning and prepare for the day ahead.
Go on vacation
It seems like vacations are underrated nowadays, but they have a significant impact on your cognitive focus when you get back to your office. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2018 Work and Well-Being survey reported 68% of working Americans reported positive effects of taking vacation time and having a better mood when they return to work. In addition, 66% reported having more energy after a nice vacation, and 57% reported feeling less stressed and more motivated.
However, the report found that the positive effects only lasted a few days, signifying the importance of having a comprehensive approach to caring for your well-being while working.
It’s essential to put your mental health and wellness first and ensure you meet your needs as a human. Making sure to break up your workdays, create routines, and regularly enjoy relaxing vacations will help you become a better focused, more productive, and happier entrepreneur.
Additive manufacturing (AM)—more widely known as 3D printing—has become one of the fastest growing industries in Northeast Ohio, and with good reason. This region is particularly suited to foster strong growth in the AM industry due to a well-established supply chain, an abundance of end users of AM products and a strong network of educational and research institutions that continually generate new AM talent. Here is a look at a few local innovators that are leading in the Northeast Ohio AM industry.
Metalcraft Solutions was founded in Akron, Ohio as Acro Tool & Die Company in 1951, specializing in the tire mold industry. As a third generation, family-owned company, they still focus on customer relationships above all else. Metalcraft Solutions employs direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), a manufacturing technology that improves output of prototyping and product development—delivering a significant advantage to their clients. Industries of all types have recognized several benefits with DMLS, including:
Additive Engineering Solutions
Additive Engineering Solutions (AES) first opened its doors in 2016, and over the course of four short years have positioned themselves as a leader in the AM space. With a team of nine employees as of 2020, and plans to continue growing, AES is poised for success. They have recently expanded into 4,000 square feet of space in their existing facility, giving them a total of 14,000 square feet of operating space to accommodate their growing arsenal of 3D printing equipment—including the first ever Large Format Additive Manufacturing polymer 3D printer, BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing). It’s only uphill from here for AES.
Fila-Mint, Inc. is a small company located in Chesterfield, Ohio. The equipment Fila-Mint employs is highly specialized to manufacture very tight-tolerance medical tubing. To remain viable and on the cutting edge, their equipment has been updated to meet the specific demands of extruding thermoplastics for 3D printers. The attention to detail in this process is key. An often overlooked area of 3D printer filament manufacturing is the winding—but Fila-Mint excels here. While a lot of the commercially available equipment for winding is intended for other products such as wire, tubing, fiber-optics, fishing line, and string trimmers, Fila-Mint has focused significant time and resources to specialize their process to create a smooth and tangle free filament, which is crucial for medical tubing.
Humtown is a three generation, family-owned operation out of Columbiana, Ohio. While Humtown does offer traditional manufacturing methods of sand cores and molds, some clients have different needs that require the precision and efficiency of 3D printing. Humtown Products skillfully uses 3D sand printing technology (additive manufacturing) to produce cores and molds for foundry customers. Humtown was one of the earliest adopters of sand 3D printing to produce cores and molds for the foundry industry, so their expertise is unmatched.
An opportunity for growth
While this was just a snapshot of some of the great innovators of AM in Northeast Ohio, it’s clear that the opportunity is immense. Through the efforts of researchers, educators, and investors, Northeast Ohio stands to solidify itself as a true hub for AM innovation in North America. If you’re an Ohio-based AM company looking for support and resources, email us today at email@example.com