Upper Arlington News

Business program sets up shop in Upper Arlington


An Upper Arlington facility is hosting a program the Ohio Department of Development hopes will bring aspiring business leaders and new entrepreneurs to the state.

The second class of the 10-xelerator program, or “10x,” has begun its winter program at the Tree of Life Ministry Center facility, 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Launched last year in partnership with Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs Fund (ONE) and OSU’s Fisher College of Business, 10x is an Ohio Third Frontier business accelerator program that is designed to attract the best and brightest talent to Ohio and keep it here, according to Katie Sabatino, Ohio Department of Development spokeswoman.

“When the Third Frontier program started, we marketed this idea across the country and the entire world,” Sabatino said. “We really wanted to target those young entrepreneurs and recent grads, along with those still in college, to foster their ideas and show them how to start a business in Ohio.”

As part of the 12-week program that kicked off in UA on Jan. 23, 10 teams of young entrepreneurs work with venture capitalists and investors, mainly in the technology field, to learn how to enact a successful business start-up. Each team receives $20,000, office space, mentors, access to technology and business experts. They take part in workshops at OSU and throughout the area.

As part of the program, the teams are required to relocate to the Columbus area for the program to launch their business ventures.

“Through this public/private collaborationÉ we are ensuring that Ohio is attracting and retaining some of the most promising entrepreneurs,” said ODD director Christiane Schmenk. “We want them to learn what it takes to start a business here and keep it going, which is a critical part of growing a strong Ohio economy. It all starts with top talent.”

Superintendent Todd Marrah said Tree of Life is excited to be bringing the program to Upper Arlington.

“The É facility is a good fit for combining business and education,” Marrah said. “Upper Arlington has long been identified with the university, and now through the partnership between Ohio State and Tree of Life, the city is a host for future technological innovation.”

While the first class of the 10x program gathered last summer around Columbus’s Arena District, Sabatino said Upper Arlington was selected for the second class to show entrepreneurs the full gamut of what central Ohio has to offer.

“We really wanted to locate the teams in areas where they could enjoy themselves with plenty of resources and restaurants,” Sabatino said. “While in town they will be frequenting a lot of the area resources, and it’s a nice opportunity for them to see what we have in our region. Arlington is close to downtown Columbus, but they’ll also be able to see what the suburbs are like and just what there is to offer outside of downtown.”

At the end of the 12 weeks, the program will culminate on April 12 with the New Venture Showcase, where the teams will have a chance to present their start-up businesses to local, regional and national investors, Sabatino said. A location for the showcase will be announced in coming months, she said.