Local startups raised nearly $67 million in seed- and venture-capital funding in 2011 – a 26 percent increase over 2010.
David Willbrand, a partner at Thompson Hine and chair of the firm’s Early Stage and Emerging Companies practice, will speak about the increase in startup activity and investment in the region at the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association’s State of Startup Investment luncheon, Wednesday, April 25.
The luncheon also will feature three short startup pitches, a keynote talk and a panel discussion by local investors on the state of startup investing in Greater Cincinnati. The event is being held from 11 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. at Mainstay Rock Bar, 301 W. Fifth St. More information and a link to register can be found here
A total of 29 startups received venture investments in Cincinnati last year. The majority – 41 percent – of deals made in Southwest Ohio last year were in information technology companies, including batterii, Blackbook HR, Define My Style, Ilesfay Technology Group and ThinkVine.
The other leading category was health care/bioscience. One new health-care startup was Airway Therapeutics, a company based on 10 years of research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that is developing proteins that significantly improve lung development in premature infants. Another was eMerge Health Solutions, which automates documentation during treatments at ambulatory surgery centers.
eMerge is a software-as-a-service provider. Other startup companies in this sector that received initial investments last year include SoMoLend, a social and mobile peer-to-peer lending technology. Balanced Insight, which provides business intelligence software to help other companies improve collaboration and productivity through intelligent data-driven decisions, received a follow-on round.
A trend that seems to be growing is investment in social-sharing startups – companies that provide content based on a user’s interests and location that the user in turn shares via his or her social networks. The three companies in this sector that received investment in 2011 were Girls Guide To, VenturePax and VenueAgent.
By Sarah Blazak