The University of Toledo’s LaunchPad Incubation Program has been selected as the March Incubator of the Month by the International Business Innovation Association.
This puts the program in the running for Incubator of the Year, a prestigious honor held by very few incubators across the globe.
UT’s LaunchPad was selected for the monthly honor based on a longitudinal study by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Business Innovation Association, which is a global nonprofit that has supported entrepreneurial organizations for more 30 years. Their study assessed the incubators’ services, economic outcome, and the number of companies graduated.
“We are incredibly honored to be given this award as the International Business Innovation Association is the lead benchmarking association within innovation ecosystems,” Jessica Sattler, director of economic engagement and business development programs at the University, said. “Our outcome metrics and our mode of operation were measured against international centers much like LaunchPad, so to be No. 1 speaks volumes about the exciting developments within our companies and the programs we’ve built to serve them.”
“The LaunchPad Incubation Program is an essential component of UT’s research, technology development and commercialization programs,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT vice president for research, said. “As improving UT’s national stature is an important element of the University’s strategic plan, the recognition of our incubation program by the major international business incubation organization is a testament to the quality of the program under the leadership of Ms. Sattler.”
The LaunchPad Incubation Program is a business startup and entrepreneurial assistance leader that provides a framework for companies to become innovative, thriving members of the community.
Since its inception in 2014, LaunchPad has served more than 250 entrepreneurs, creating nearly 250 jobs and nearly $30,000,000 in sales revenue and professional investment within the northwest Ohio region, according to Sattler. Many of these companies have been composed of UT students, faculty and staff.
“Most STEMM-based research centers across the U.S. and the world are engaging and investing in innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization,” Sattler said. “UT has always been a pioneer and leader in this area, and this award illustrates this leadership to the international and academic innovation community.”
She added the LaunchPad Incubation staff hopes this achievement alerts students to the opportunities available through the program.
“We hope this will help raise awareness about LaunchPad and drive students to our center, where we can help them further develop their ideas, understand the market potential, and help them launch their venture,” she said.
LaunchPad has strong experience in this area as it has helped several student companies, including Tom Burden, founder and CEO of Grypshon Industries and successful “Shark Tank” contestant.
“Tom built his company while he was a student here at UT. He would go to class and then come to the LaunchPad, and we want to help other students who have that type of entrepreneurial vision and drive,” Sattler said.
The LaunchPad Incubator is located at the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex, 1510 N. Westwood Ave.