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Enterprise Appalachia Offers Entrepreneurs Access to VC

In a recent white paper, Inc. magazine highlights the various forms of funding accessible to entrepreneurs in Ohio's Appalachian Region

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 22, 2010) - Experts have identified four criteria that make up an ideal location for entrepreneurial business development: access to business capital and support services, access to supply chain and markets, access to knowledge and labor, and access to a balanced life. Inc. magazine recently announced development of a series of white papers that will help Ohio entrepreneurs evaluate potential locations for starting or growing their businesses. The first paper, "Finding Funding," (http://www.inc.com/obdc/index.html) highlights resources found in abundance in Ohio's Enterprise Appalachia.

Seed capital and early-stage funding are critical to the success of emerging businesses, and Ohio entrepreneurs in Enterprise Appalachia have ready access to angel investing through one of the largest rurally focused investment funds in the country. The East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund (ECOTAF) is a group of experienced investors that helps new and established companies by providing venture capital coupled with entrepreneurial support services. Working with the leading business development entities in the region, ECOTAF (www.ecotaf.net) provides assistance to Ohio entrepreneurs in: creating business plans, conducting market research, performing executive searches and preparing presentations for investors and bankers. These services help to make startups more attractive to other investors and increase the odds of successful business development. For example, after working with ECOTAF, several Appalachia-based startups received funding from angel investors outside of the state - and country. Since its inception, ECOTAF has helped to raise $11 million for startup companies in Ohio's Appalachian Region.

"Most entrepreneurs agree that finding business capital is one of the most challenging aspects of new business development," said Ed Burghard, executive director of the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "With organizations like ECOTAF, the challenge is less daunting for entrepreneurs starting business in Ohio's Appalachian Region."

Access to business capital is just one of the incentives for Ohio entrepreneurs find in Ohio's Enterprise Appalachia. Inc.'s "Finding Funding" explores multiple funding sources for entrepreneurs, including: the bank of family and friends, angel investors, bank loans and lines of credit, venture capital and government funding.

In addition to ready sources of business capital, Appalachian Ohio delivers on the other ideal location criteria for business start-ups: ready access to knowledge and labor, access to supply chains and markets and access to a balance life. To learn more about the strategic advantages of Ohio's Appalachian Region, visit http://ohiomeansbusiness.com/enterprise_appalachia/.

About the Ohio Business Development Coalition The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a nonprofit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.

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