Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you doing this?

We are here to create jobs and build the economy of SE Ohio through supporting startup technology companies. Small businesses create the majority of new jobs in our economy, and focusing on assistance to startups has a major economic impact. Learn More

Why does TGO exist?

The State of Ohio’s Third Frontier program created six regions, covering all Ohio counties, for locally-supported tech-based economic development. In 2007, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs applied for and was awarded the Third Frontier grant that brought TechGROWTH into existence because of its history of entrepreneurial support in the region. We are in the business of helping startup companies acquire resources to accelerate their growth and sustainability.

What do you get out of it?

The entrepreneur receives access to the human and financial capital needed to succeed. Learn More

What is technology-based economic development?

Technology-based economic development is the is a set of best practices designed to support the transformation of the U.S. economy to one driven by knowledge and technology. This involves the creation of new industries and the application of new technologies in traditional industries. To be competitive globally requires innovation and entrepreneurship. Technology-based economic development seeks to create a climate where the knowledge-based economy can thrive.

Who are we?

TechGROWTH Ohio is supported by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier program and by support from both the public and private sectors. Learn More

What is considered technology?

A business based on a technological innovation is one that hinges on a unique idea, process, or product that comprises protectable “intellectual property” that gives the company a competitive edge in the marketplace. The highest standard for intellectual property is that it can be protected by a patent, but this is not a necessary condition of participating in the TechGROWTH program. Note that simply using technology or being a technology-enabled business is not the same as a business whose basic concept and competitive edge is based on a technological innovation. TechGROWTH is a gateway into all of the entrepreneurial and business assistance available in the region. If your business does not qualify for the TechGROWTH program, we can still find the help you need through the extensive network of collaborators in the TechGROWTH system.

Are you part of OU?

TechGROWTH is administered by Ohio University. TechGROWTH is comprised of a wide partnership of regional economic development entities, and these collaborators are located throughout the 20-county service area covered by TechGROWTH.

How can I get an event in my community?

TechGROWTH organizes and supports a number of events and programs throughout Southeast Ohio. We are interested in attracting and serving entrepreneurs in our region. Please contact our events coordinator for additional information.

‘s about the entrepreneur and the process


How do I form a company?

Forming a new company in the State of Ohio is an easy process. There are choices involved as to the type of company you want to form (e.g., an LLC, an S-corp, C-corp, etc.). TechGROWTH can help you work through the best choice for you. If you are an entrepreneur with an innovative idea for a new technology or invention, it is not necessary that you first form a company before TechGROWTH can provide assistance.

Are there charges for TechGROWTH services?

Although all TechGROWTH services are free to the client, we do expect your wholehearted engagement in the process. It will cost you time and effort to form a company and bring an innovation to market, but there are no charges for TechGROWTH’s assistance in helping you commercialize your idea.

How long does it take?

There are many factors that influence how long it takes to bring a technological innovation to market and start-up a new business venture. There are stages of commercialization every enterprise needs to go through. TechGROWTH’s continuum of services helps determine where you are at in the process and seeks to accelerate the transition to the next phase of development. Time frame depends on your current place in the cycle, your opportunities, your aspirations, and a number of other case-specific factors. There is no cookie-cutter. TechGROWTH’s services are highly customized to the client.

What if I am not in one of the 20 counties?

TechGROWTH is pleased to provide a initial assessment and assist you in locating the best service provider in your region, regardless of your location. If your business has a substantial anchor or impact in our region, you may qualify for our services even if your headquarters are located elsewhere. If not, there are other Third Frontier and business assistance programs that may aid you. TechGROWTH is a gateway into all the available programs and services that can assist entrepreneurs.

What do you need from me?

Tell us your story. We will work with you to develop all information needed for an evaluation of the opportunity you envision and for an effective business plan and strategy to realize its commercial potential.

Will my privacy be protected?

In order to validate both technology and market opportunities, TechGROWTH will request access to confidential information. Protecting the confidentiality of our clients’ information is of crucial concern to TechGROWTH. Among the competitively-awarded services available through TechGROWTH are legal assistance for intellectual property protection. Protected intellectual property is paramount to technology-based economic development. In helping clients achieve investment, TechGROWTH will aid you in protecting your intellectual property at each step.

What if I have already spoken to other economic development entities?

TechGROWTH counts as partners and collaborators all the economic development entities in our region, and we will work together to advance your interests.

How do I start?

Give us your ‘who-what-where-when’ story. Depending on how far along you are in the development of your idea or business, you may not have answers for all of the questions asked. That’s okay. We’re here to help fill in the blanks. One of our professional staff will call you to learn a little more about you and answer any initial questions. After this screening call, that person (or another with expertise in your business area) will be assigned as your ‘Advocate,’ who will be your TechGROWTH point of contact and your guide to our assistance and processes.

Are there other resources if I do not qualify?

TechGROWTH partners closely with all other economic development entities in the region and will refer you to the entity best-placed to answer to your particular needs.

Do I have to go to Athens?

No. TechGROWTH assists clients throughout our 20-county service region.

What if I have an idea but no company?

TechGROWTH works with innovators and companies at the earliest stages of development, including the earliest of imagining a new venture.

How do I compete for investment funding and/or grant funding?

TechGROWTH helps prepare you to compete for the acquisition of resources from TechGROWTH and other available sources. Learn More

Is funding guaranteed?

No. Funding is a competitive process. Resources are limited. TechGROWTH helps prepare companies for funding, but it must be won.

Are there size restrictions on companies?

Yes. As a rule of thumb, TechGROWTH works with start-ups, or existing companies with new technologies entering new markets. For an existing company to qualify for TechGROWTH assistance, it must be under $5M (verified) in annual sales with fewer than 30 employees. It is important to note that TechGROWTH is available for start-up companies with needs that cannot be addressed in other ways. If a company has existing identifiable resources, TechGROWTH is not an appropriate source of replacement funding.

Are there industry limitations?

TechGROWTH assists technology companies. Although TechGROWTH specializes on certain areas, any technology company can qualify for service.

Who decides what TechGROWTH’s professional staff of Entrepreneurs in Residence make the initial assessment to qualify companies under the TechGROWTH program?

Qualified companies are eligible for TechGROWTH services, operational assistance, and funding competition. Entrepreneurs in Residence collectively vet funding requests, and their recommendations are considered by a committee of partners in the TechGROWTH program. An investment committee managing the TechGROWTH pre-seed funds renders decisions on large grants and investments. The process follows the continuum of services and prepares qualifying companies to make competitive pitches for funding. TechGROWTH also prepares companies to compete for resources and investments beyond TechGROWTH’s own funding sources, and these opportunities are subject to their own internal decision making processes. Learn More