Innovation Engine Accelerator seeks applicants for 2013 digital media program

Up to $20,000 in funding is available for selected startups

March 11, 2013

ATHENS, Ohio (March 8, 2013)—The Innovation Engine Accelerator, an intensive 12-week program designed to advance new digital media startups, is accepting applicants for its 2013 cohort through Thursday, March 28.

The second annual program runs from May 28 to Aug. 16 at Ohio University's Innovation Center in Athens, Ohio. A boot camp will be held during the week of May 20.

The five selected startups are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in funding from the program. Participants will refine their business plans and products, receive expert entrepreneurial coaching and advice and have the opportunity to pitch their startups to investors at the end of the summer. Each business will finish the program with a Minimum Viable Product.

Ohio University's Center for Entrepreneurship (administered by the College of Business and the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs) will provide a Lean Launch program, based on Stanford University's successful model for startups, as well as experienced venture capital advisors to participants.

Startups may use 1,000 sq. ft. of creative shared space with pods for each business, as well as conference rooms. In addition, participants can access equipment and software, including Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro X, Autodesk Maya, Unity Pro Suite, iPhones, iPads, Android Devices and iMacs.

Dozens of mentors—startup entrepreneurs, venture and angel investors, C-level industry executives, technical specialists, professional service providers and venture development executives—will provide intensive business coaching to the five startups. The program offers no or low-cost legal assistance through its attorney-in-residence partner Bricker & Eckler for easy company formation.

Companies are not required to have formed prior to the start of this program. However, if an entity exists, preference will be given to a startup company, which is defined as a company that is less than six months old, has fewer than three employees and has less than $25,000 in revenue.  In addition, preference will be given to startups in which 50 percent of the founders were enrolled in a college or university within the last five years, as well as to founder applicants who can reside in Athens, Ohio during the duration of the program.

The Innovation Engine Accelerator will conduct interviews with prospective applicants during the first week of April, with selections announced on April 5.

More details about the program and application process are available at www.innovationengineaccelerator.com.

Program sponsors include TechGROWTH Ohio (a public/private partnership administered by Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs), WesBanco and Ohio University's Innovation Center, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity, Center for Entrepreneurship, Scripps College of Communication and Russ College of Engineering and Technology.