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OhioHealth and TechColumbus Announce $5 Million Innovation Development Fund

OhioHealth physicians and associates have an exciting new opportunity to spinout the technology developed at OhioHealth. The OhioHealth Innovation Development Fund will provide $5 million in investment capital for proof-of-concept, seed, and early stage companies that are based on discovery and invention that happens at OhioHealth. TechColumbus will manage the fund. The OhioHealth Innovation Development Fund adds to the multi-faceted strategic partnership between TechColumbus and OhioHealth.

“We have partnered with TechColumbus on more than 200 projects supporting clinical innovation over the past seven years,” said Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, chief medical officer, OhioHealth. “Developing an investment fund was the logical next step in supporting our physicians and staff in creating new innovations to improve patient care as well as taking our partnership with TechColumbus to the next level.”

“OhioHealth is committed to helping advance medical discoveries and inventions from their physicians, researchers, and medical teams,” said Tom Walker, TechColumbus CEO. “This is a wonderful approach to fund the challenging early stages of commercialization for medical professionals with intellectual property, especially when most of the traditional venture capital community isn’t funding seed or even early stage deals.”

OhioHealth launched its Commercialization Program seven years ago and is now being led by veteran technology commercialization professional Christopher Willson, PhD. Hired in January, Willson has more than 13 years of experience in intellectual property (IP) commercialization including technology assessment, patent management, marketing and negotiation of intellectual property agreements. He also has significant life science research and project management experience that produced numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as experience working with large and start-up companies, venture capitalists, and angel investors.

His experience will help OhioHealth further expand its Commercialization Program, which has a portfolio of nine products in clinical use including devices for urology, orthopedics and surgery which are already in the market.

The robust program includes the entire product development cycle, from early research through development and market entry. It provides a variety of resources, from market research to prototyping and fundraising, to helping doctors, nurses, and other employees who want to consider licensing technology or forming a company based on intellectual property or even a breakthrough idea.

The truly unique aspect of OhioHealth is that unlike commercialization initiatives at many other medical or academic institutions, the inventor, not OhioHealth, retains full ownership of the intellectual property. OhioHealth receives financial benefit only as an investor in the OhioHealth Innovation Development Fund.

“The OhioHealth Innovation Development Fund further demonstrates OhioHealth’s continued commitment to helping medical professionals improve patient care by developing new types of medical devices and innovations for the treatment of disease,” Dr. Vanderhoff said.

About OhioHealth
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization with Methodist roots. Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is currently recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics. It is also recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for eight years in a row, 2007-2014.

Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 28,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 member hospitals, 25+  health and surgery centers, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 40-county area.

OhioHealth member hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital-Columbus, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital-Nelsonville, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth MedCentral Mansfield, OhioHealth MedCentral Shelby and OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.

About TechColumbus
TechColumbus, Columbus, OH, helps build and accelerate great companies by providing expert advice, access to capital, and business growth connections. We help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio by connecting entrepreneurs, advisors, resource providers, public sector entities, academia, and corporations who share startup passion. TechColumbus manages a continuum of investment funds made possible by the participation of Ohio Third Frontier and other strategic partners. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs and startup companies come to TechColumbus each year to receive the services and funding they need to grow into sustainable, profitable businesses. www.techcolumbus.org