RGP fosters technologyWritten by Steve Weathers | | email@example.com
During the past 100 years, Northwest Ohio has built an extraordinary reputation as a successful manufacturing giant on the strength of a dedicated, committed and productive work force.
Yet in today’s global economy, we recognize that long-term growth will not come from just those traditional manufacturing sectors. It is critical that our region identify growth areas where we can be more competitive, particularly in the knowledge-based industries.
To become more innovative, we must commit to transitioning our economy to one that is growing, more diverse and globally competitive. The success of transforming the region’s economy will depend on the collaborative efforts of many private, public and academic organizations and individuals, as well as the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP), which is committed to working with all partners across the region to stimulate this transition and growth.
Those partnerships start with the RGP’s business development team, which works collaboratively in its efforts to facilitate economic development and communicate with key site consultants.
In 2008, the business development team will continue hosting and visiting site consultants, and will also target major corporations in key cluster industries.
In its effort to help create a knowledge-based entrepreneurial environment, the RGP has developed and promoted its major technology programs, Launch and Rocket ventures. Launch is a program designed to provide business assistance services, at little or no cost, to early-stage technology companies in Northwest Ohio.
Many technology-related firms have already taken advantage of these services to help their companies grow and create new wealth and good-paying jobs. In 2007, the RGP Launch program was awarded a $350,000 grant, which represented a 40 percent increase from the previous grant.
Rocket venture is a pre-seed early-stage fund for technology-based entities and companies in Ohio. This past year, the RGP received a
$3.2 million grant that fulfilled its original $15 million request through the state’s Entrepreneurial Signature Program.
Since that time, Rocket has named a full-time director, hired five new staff members and established a formal look and identity.
To best communicate the successes and assets of our region, RGP has utilized a national editorial marketing program. The results of this program in 2007 were amazing. Through our efforts, reporters from Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal made personal visits to the region to interview businesses involved in alternative energy. More importantly, these visits and interviews led to major stories in both national publications, highlighting our assets in the solar industry.
While the RGP is proud of its accomplishments in 2007, we will continue to set higher standards by implementing an aggressive strategic plan focused on results and achievements.
With the commitment and collaboration of partners across the region, we will continue our successful transition toward an innovative, globally competitive economy.
Steve Weathers is president and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership.