The Innovation Fund of the Lorain County Community College Foundation, established in 2007, is a regional fund focused on supporting technology-based entrepreneurial endeavors and emerging technology-based businesses. The purpose of the Innovation Fund is to make grants to technology business "start-ups", while at the same time supporting an entrepreneurial educational opportunity for students, faculty or staff of Lorain County Community College or its University Partnership institutions across the region. In addition, the Innovation Fund will make a limited number of grant awards to validate technology concepts. Innovation Fund awards are available to technology-based businesses that are headquartered in Northeast Ohio, and to entrepreneurs who reside in the Northeast Ohio area and whose business concept involves innovative or cutting-edge technologies or new applications for existing technologies.
The Innovation Fund is unique in the country and is the result of a landmark decision by the IRS. Realizing that tax consequences for foundations that provide seed money for incubator activities can include threats to foundations’ tax-exempt status, the LCCC Foundation submitted a special request to the IRS, seeking permission to accept charitable contributions for the Innovation Fund. In January 2006 the LCCC Foundation received a positive ruling from the IRS; a groundbreaking decision only applicable to the LCCC Foundation. This model requires every financial award distributed to include and educational component for students and faculty, allowing them to experience entrepreneurship in action. The inclusion of this educational component directly supports the missions of both the College and its Foundation, and therefore was deemed by the IRS as an acceptable philanthropic investment.
The following companies were awarded the first Innovation Fund Awards.
Nanomimetics’s technology is a patented polymer coating that significantly improves the performance and lifespan of materials used in aqueous environments without the use of any toxicant. They received $25,000.
VASOLUX MICROSYSTEMS, LLC
VasoLux MicroSystems, LLC is medical device company developing next-generation diagnostic medical imaging devices. VasoLux MicroSystems is focused on improving patient diagnoses by providing objective and quantitative information to physicians that will assist them in determining the most appropriate therapeutic intervention. They received $100,000.
WIRELESS ENVIRONMENT, LLC
Pepper Pike, Ohio
(Will be locating their research development lab in LCCC’s
Entrepreneurship Innovation Center)
Wireless Environment is a leading innovator and industry pioneer in the invention, design, and manufacture of efficient, long-lasting light bulbs using Light-Emitting Diodes (LED’s) as their light source. They received $100,000.
For more information, please visit The Innovation Fund