The Research, Entrepreneurship, Discover & Innovation Zone (REDIzone®) business incubator at Northeast Ohio Medical University has received its third consecutive award from JumpStart, Inc. – an award totaling almost $450,000 over the next three years.
As a collaborator since 2013 in the region’s entrepreneurial support network, the REDIzone incubator received the award as a subcontractor to JumpStart under the state’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) program funded through Ohio Third Frontier. The ESP program, coordinated by JumpStart, is a network of regional economic development professionals that assist entrepreneurs and startup companies in Northeast Ohio.
The latest funding supports the REDIzone’s daily endeavors to advance medical innovation and stimulate economic growth in the region.
One example? The work of Takhar Kasumov, Ph.D., a researcher who is developing early-stage screening of diabetes and prediabetes patients. More than 34 million people in the United States live with diabetes, and innovations such as Dr. Kasumov’s are needed to improve population health.
Dr. Kasumov, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NEOMED, availed himself of the REDIzone incubator’s mentoring services to navigate the complexities of transferring technology from the lab to the marketplace.
Early on, REDIzone executive director Elliot Reed advised Dr. Kasumov to file a provisional patent application to protect his intellectual property. Reed connected him with legal counsel in NEOMED’s Technology Transfer Office as well as with a patent attorney.
So that Dr. Kasumov could learn about business ideas and share his discovery with the research and business community, Reed urged him to apply for the opportunity to present at the TechConnect World innovation conference, a highly competitive event that provides international exposure. Dr. Kasumov’s abstract describing glycated plasma protein as a new biomarker was accepted and selected for oral presentation at the conference.
Reed’s mentorship extended to helping Dr. Kasumov pursue small business grant funding through the National Institute of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Reed connected Dr. Kasumov with a startup company to collaborate on the grant submission.
Providing a network for collaboration
As facilitated by the REDIzone incubator, links between researchers like Dr. Kasumov and experienced, specialized professionals and business networks help new ideas gain traction and enter the market, says Reed.
While the REDIzone business incubator is situated on NEOMED’s campus to leverage the University’s research infrastructure, its mentoring and advising services are available to any regional entrepreneur and startup company – resident or non-resident alike.