Entrepreneur Program for Ohio Farmers and Agricultural Businesses

February 10, 2010 at 8:15 am

The following was written by  Brad Bergefurd, OSU South Centers Extension Specialist:

Do you have an idea for a new agricultural or natural resources process or technology that you would like assistance with to take it to market and commercialize? Does your idea have commercial potential to be used in Ohio and beyond?

You may want to consider visiting with one of the OSU South Centers’ Business Network Specialists to see if you can participate in an opportunity to develop your idea. One way to do this is to start working with one of the OSU South Centers’ Specialists to learn more about the Entrepreneur Signature Program (ESP), which is funded by the Third Frontier Initiative–a $1.6 billion Ohio Department of Development project. The “signature” aspect of this program focuses on technology-based sectors that have the potential to become important economic prospects for Ohio. OSU South Centers is a participant in the regional Third Frontier sponsored Entrepreneurial Signature Program called TechGrowth Ohio. The South Centers signature area is Agbioscience technology. This program provides clients access to resources to help develop their agricultural ideas or inventions. This program will help a farmer or inventor take an agricultural idea to a market or find additional assistance to make this invention possible.

The purpose of the program is to significantly increase and to focus the efforts and outcomes on the agriculture technology-based sector that offers exceptional economic development prospects.The program represents a comprehensive, coordinated network of high value services and assistance providers that is visible and easily accessible to agriculture technology-based entrepreneurs and small businesses. This program provides an approach that tightly integrates sources of one on one counseling, business planning, access to technology development or enhancement resources, entrance into the university network for assistance, deal flow, entrepreneurial support, and access to capital to effectively grow the bio-agriculture technology-based entrepreneurial commercialization outcomes.

The operational assistance available addresses the two most common obstacles to entrepreneurial and business growth:

  • Attracting sufficient equity capital
  • Access to technical assistance for starting and expanding businesses

Entrepreneurs in Bio-Agriculture develop innovative products, processes and practices in the intersection of biology and agriculture. The OSU South Centers is affiliated with state-wide OSU research facilities in aquaculture, soil and water resources, and horticulture, as well as forestry, timber harvesting, and wood products research. OSU South Centers encourages entrepreneurialism in all areas of bio-agriculture, by offering support and facilities through its Endeavor Center incubator and experienced professional staff of agricultural business consultants.

Bio-agricultural innovation encompasses all elements of the agriculture supply chain including natural resources. New market opportunities are emerging from scientific and technological innovations in bio-agriculture.

Entrepreneurial opportunities in bio-agriculture include:

  • Aquaculture
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Forestry and Wood Industry Efficiencies
  • Natural Resource Development
  • Alternative Energy Feed Stocks
  • Biomass Conversion
  • Genetically Modified Crops
  • Sustainable Techniques and Applications
  • Innovative Agriculture Equipment
  • Farm Management
  • Horticulture
  • Soils
  • Bio-capacity and Bio-renewable Resources

Program qualifications:

  • Companies or businesses must have less than $5 million in total revenues and fewer than 25 employees
  • Company or client must have a new technology or porcess improvement project
  • The project can be in the imagining or incubating phases of commercialization.

Explore the potential of your agricultural or natural resources idea! For additional information on how we can help you or your agricultural clients take advantage of this program contact:

Brad Bergefurd

Extension Specialist

Ohio State University South Centers

(800)860-7232 ext. 136

(740)289-2071 ext. 136

Cell (740)253-0998

email bergefurd.1@osu.edu


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