Author: Kate Murphy
2 SW Ohio startups win Venture Ohio awards
Two Cincinnati-based startups took home top awards at the third annual VentureOhio gala Thursday night.
The 2016 awards honor the top entrepreneurs and investors from across Ohio who have contributed substantially to the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Assurex Health won Exit of the Year after its $225 million acquisition by Salt Lake City-based genetic test developer Myriad Genetics earlier this month. Assurex Health is an informatics-based medicine company that created a genetic test for people suffering from mental health disorders.
“In just eight years the team has successfully led the company to an exit worth up to $410 million dollars,” VentureOhio CEO Falon Donohue said. “This team knows how to make things happen.”
Last year, Assurex Health won the VentureOhio Growth Stage Financing of the Year award and 11 months later successfully exited their company.
The company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Don Wright, took home a second piece of hardware for the company, winning Entrepreneur of the Year.
Donohue said Wright is a “tireless leader” who has spent nearly a decade growing Assurex Health from a much-needed technology invented at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Mayo Clinic to a company of over 480 employees serving almost 400,000 people with mental health conditions.
ConnXus, a supplier diversity software company headquartered in Mason, was named the Early Stage Company of the Year.
The company uses a cloud-based technology platform helps grow small and diverse businesses, including minority and women-owned suppliers, by connecting them with large corporations.
“ConnXus was selected as our Early Stage Company of the Year for the progress they are making in an important sector of our economy,” Donohue said. “The company’s ultimate goal is to disrupt the $10 billion-a-year supply chain and procurement software market.”
Twenty finalists were selected out of a total of 88 nominations, with the final seven winners chosen by a panel of expert judges. Six of the finalists were Cincinnati companies.
The panel was led by Mark Brandt, Director of Business Development for RSM. John McIlwraith of Allos Ventures, Jonathon Vinocur of Thompson Hine, Calvin Cooper of NCT Ventures, Jeff Toewe of Athenian, Ryan Helon of Rev1 Ventures, Ray Leach of Jumpstart and Falon Donohue, CEO of VentureOhio, were also on the panel.
On top of the wins, all three finalists in the “Exit of the Year” category were Cincinnati startups. That’s indicative of the “massive startup growth happening in the city,” according to a release from VentureOhio.
Cincinnati recently jumped seven spots on the latest Kauffman Index of Startup Activity to 24th metro area in the nation. It was one of five metros that saw the biggest positive shifts in rank this year. The Queen City ranked third for fastest startup growth, according to the study, which is the first and largest index tracking entrepreneurship across cities, states and nationally.
VentureOhio is trade group that acts as a resource for Ohio’s entrepreneurial community by promoting and facilitating collaboration between economic resources, universities, state resources, and entrepreneurs. Its goal is to ensure there is adequate capital available to support high-potential companies in Ohio, particularly early-stage companies.
Cincinnati Business Courier
Greater Cincinnati startups take home state awards
Two Greater Cincinnati startups won top awards in a state competition.
Assurex Health and Connxus were named Exit of the Year and Early Stage Company of the Year, respectively, at the third annual VentureOhio gala that honors the top entrepreneurs and investors in the state.
Assurex received its honor after its $225 million acquisition that could be worth up to $410 million by Salt Lake City-based genetic test maker Myriad Genetics.Assurex won the VentureOhio Growth State Financing of the Year award in 2015.
Assurex executive vice president and chief operating officer Don Wright also won the Entrepreneur of the Year category.
All three finalists in the Exit of the Year category hailed from Cincinnati.
Software company Connxus was selected as Early Stage Company of the Year for its progress in growing a key sector of the state’s economy with its plan to disrupt the $10 billion supply chain and procurement software market. Six of the 20 finalists nominated in that category were from Cincinnati.
The prominence of Cincinnati startups in the awards shows the power of its growing startup ecosystem, which was recently ranked 24th among all metro areas in the U.S.