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Ohio hopes to keep, import young entrepreneurs with ONE Fund

The state of Ohio has unveiled plans for an 11-week summer competition that’s designed to attract and retain young entrepreneurs and help them set up businesses in the state. The program, called Ohio’s New Entrepreneur (ONE) Fund, calls for grants of $20,000 to 10 teams of up to five young people. During the competition, aspiring […]

The state of Ohio has unveiled plans for an 11-week summer competition that’s designed to attract and retain young entrepreneurs and help them set up businesses in the state.

The program, called Ohio’s New Entrepreneur (ONE) Fund, calls for grants of $20,000 to 10 teams of up to five young people. During the competition, aspiring business professionals will work under the guidance of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts to prepare technology concepts and business models that will be pitched to angel and venture investors, according to a statement from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD).

The ONE Fund is sponsored by Ohio’s Third Frontier technology support program and Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“We lose some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs every year,” said Ben Lagemann, risk capital program manager for ODOD, which administers Third Frontier. “Now it’s time to start bringing them back and showing them what we have.”

The program is targeting young professionals, recent graduates and young entrepreneurs, Lagemann said. “We’re not limiting ourselves to Ohio,” he said. “We’re looking anywhere we can find the best entrepreneurial minds.”

Any company formed through ONE Fund must be set up in Ohio. The up-to-five-person teams in the competition must have at least two participants who are at least 18 years old. At least half the members of a team must have been enrolled in college within the last three years.

Applications for the program are due on April 24. The competition runs from June 13 to September 1, when participants present their ideas to investors.

“If you are confident your current idea is a game changer, you owe it to yourself to apply now to be here this summer,” the website advertising the program intones.