Senator Kearney upset over lack of Third Frontier funds for Cincinnati startups

The Ohio Department of Development awarded more than $11 million in Pre-Seed Fund Initiative and Entrepreneurial Signature Program funds to six Ohio-based projects on May 26th.  The funding is intended to give new start-up technology companies access to "early-stage capital" so that they can develop new products and technologies.

The funding announcement comes on the heels of a voter-approved $700 million bond issue this past May that over the course of Third Frontier's 10-year, $1.4 billion program is expected to attract billions in private investment.  However, the issue one Ohio state senator has with the $11 million in start-up funds is that none of it was awarded to Cincinnati-area companies.

"Cincinnati has great entrepreneurs and hard-working, creative business people. They deserve support too," said Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Avondale).  "It's unfortunate that Cincinnati was overlooked, but I will continue to fight for Cincinnati's small businesses."

Kearney pointed out that Cleveland received approximately 88 percent of the total funding awarded, with the remaining $1.3 million going to the Columbus region.

"It seems that the Cleveland area always gets the most funding, and that's not fair to Cincinnatians," Kearney stated.  "Our area might not apply as well as we should, and we might have to do a better job at that, but Cincinnati is still a major market and we should get some of those resources."

Senator Kearney's office previously fought for the Cincinnati developers when they felt they were left out of the Ohio State Historic Preservation Tax Credit process.  Following his office's actions, a second round of funding was released that included many Cincinnati-area projects like the ongoing phase of Gateway Quarter developments in Over-the-Rhine led by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

Senator Kearney concluded by saying he wants the Greater Cincinnati area to get more Third Frontier dollars, and is encouraging those interested to contact him by email at [email protected], or by mail at "Senate Building, 1 Capital Square, Ground Floor, Columbus, OH 43215."

"It's important that I hear from my constituents so that I can take what I get to the Third Frontier Commission and the Governor's Office and let them know that people in Cincinnati are upset about this."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
Stay connected by following Randy on Twitter @UrbanCincy
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