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Northern Kentucky Creates Business Accelerator for Info Cluster

With a vision to fuel economic growth in Northern Kentucky and lay the foundation of an informatics-industry cluster, a super business accelerator called UpTech has been created to provide startup companies with what every new business seeks –financial and developmental support.

UpTech is committed to funding 50 of the best and brightest early-stage informatics companies from the United States and abroad, and invites those with good ideas to apply for this program. Applications will be accepted beginning on Feb. 1 and the application period will close on March 1.

UpTech will invest up to $100,000 into each of the 50 winning startup companies that demonstrate their commercial potential through an application and review process. UpTech will also provide each business with six months of free, premium riverfront office space in, with a view of the Cincinnati skyline, along with essential business support.

“Several Greater Cincinnati-area companies have joined forces with UpTech to provide the winners with the critical business support they need during the early foundational stages,” said Bill Scheyer, co-founder of UpTech. “These local companies will provide the legal, financial, accounting, and marketing/public relations support startups need to become strong, successful businesses.”

The UpTech winners will also receive support from faculty, staff and graduate assistants and two student interns from Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics for each company along with on-campus informatics labs and facilities for collaboration, events, and seminars.

“With one of only a handful of informatics colleges in America, Northern Kentucky is poised to develop as an international leader in the informatics field,” said NKU President James Votruba. “This initiative is the next step in that development. Attracting innovative companies — and the high-paying jobs that come along — to our region will be critical to our continued growth and prosperity.”

“We believe UpTech has the tools to be among the nation’s top tier of tech-related business accelerators, attracting passionate and creative entrepreneurs whose ideas could spark tomorrow’s most dynamic enterprises,” said Rich Boehne, president and CEO of E.W. Scripps Company, a Fortune 100 media company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. “This initiative will take advantage of Greater Cincinnati’s fertile environment for business creation, which has created some of the world’s most entrepreneurial enterprises.”

The UpTech selection process will consist of five rounds of submissions, with each round having 10 companies as winners. The rounds will be completed over the next three to five years, with a total of 50 startups winning a portion of the overall $5 million in equity investment. A panel of national informatics, futurists, business and investment experts from leading companies such as CBS, Cisco, Dell, Procter & Gamble, SAP, Scripps, and Summus Software will serve as the contest judges.

Winners will be determined through an online application and review process, which will look at seed level ideas to support five sectors of informatics: health information technology, cloud computing virtualization, business analytics, and digital media, and cyber security.

More information and an entry application for UpTech can be found at http://www.uptechideas.org . The first round applications are due March 1, and the winners will be announced in mid-April 2011.

About UpTech

A partnership of Vision 2015, a public visioning effort that focuses on economic and community development and the future of Northern Kentucky, UpTech, LLC, is a super business accelerator program designed to attract startup companies to the area to support regional growth. The goal of the program is to attract and support 50 national and international early-stage informatics companies and provide them with financial and developmental assistance. UpTech, LLC is funded by independent investors. For more information, please visit http://www.uptechideas.org .

About Informatics and the College of Informatics at Northern Kentucky University

Informatics is the process of collecting, cultivating, and organizing digital information so that it can be better used by businesses, organizations, and individuals. Informatics bridges the digital divide to bring people, information, and technology together. By putting technology to work to solve complex problems, we create better organizations and improve the human experience.

Last fall, the NKU College of Informatics one of only a few of such colleges in the world opened in Griffin Hall, a $60-million state-of-the-art informatics facility on the NKU campus designed to develop and integrate skills and competencies across a range of disciplines. The college offers eight different bachelor’s degrees and five different master’s degrees in informatics. The areas of curriculum focus are Business Informatics, Communications, Computer Science and the Center for Applied Informatics. Applied research areas include Health Informatics and Consumer Health Innovation; Cyber Security and Assurance; Media Informatics and Data Visualization; Cloud Computing and Virtualization; and Business Intelligence

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