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Accelerant hopes to ‘start something big’

The Dayton Development Coalition’s new entrepreneurial effort is taking on an identity of its own.

The program is now called “Accelerant,” with its own logo, tagline and public website,

Shepherded by Joel Ivers, the coalition’s new vice president, entrepreneurial development, the brand is meant to help unify the region’s various programs and efforts meant to boost promising small businesses and start-ups.

The coalition brought Ivers — himself a veteran of five start-up companies and former chief executive of three — on board this summer to recharge the coalition’s work with business owners and give entrepreneurs a single place to seek assistance.

Today, start-ups can look for help from The Entrepreneurs Center, several universities, government development offices and others. Accelerant — with its tagline “Start something big” — is meant to be a “rallying point” for all of those continuing efforts, Ivers said.

Accelerant will be very much a part of the coalition, but with its own brand identity, Ivers said. That brand was developed with Dayton-based Hafenbrack Marketing.

Ivers is pursuing another goal: He’s working to raise $10 million by the end of the year for a new fund to invest in promising technology start-ups in the coalition’s 14-county area, which includes Montgomery, Miami, Greene and Clark counties and parts of Butler and Warren counties. Ivers hopes to launch the fund by the end of September, and he’s confident the fund will in time attract state matching money, although he said it was too soon to talk about amounts.

“We are favorably positioned,” Ivers said.

Eighty percent of new jobs originate with companies already in the area, so new team members focused on development are always welcome, said Erik Collins, Montgomery County development director. He noted that the county has long worked with the coalition.

“It’s really going to take everyone, from workforce (training) to capital,” Collins said.

The new website will be only a landing page with a few links early on. It will be developed in coming weeks and months.

The coalition is the regional arm of JobsOhio, Ohio government’s private development arm.

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