Get Excited About 2020: Ohio Startups’ Big News to Start the Year!


From product launches to expansion, how Ohio’s awesome entrepreneurial scene is evolving

Think 2019 was a great year for Ohio startups? Just wait until you see what 2020 has in store.

It’s a new decade and all around the state, companies are using recent successes to propel them to greatness. From partnerships and mergers to awards and anticipated releases, the state’s startups are buzzing in anticipation of a big 2020!

Abre, an education management platform

The education-management platform continues to grow. The Cincinnati startup is launching the new Abre Community solution and its Partners app, which allows community partners to use the platform to manage after-school activities, communicate with parents, students and educators, and submit attendance and notes.

“The value for schools is that they can now see which students are engaged in which programs and they can begin to assess the impact of the various programs on student growth,” said Chris Rose, Co-Founder and VP of Product.

The platform also gives schools the ability to provide data back to learning partners so they can evaluate and improve their own programs. Eventually, Abre will be able to match programs to a student based on need, and automatically connect them or a parent to a learning partner.


As part of their mission of continued growth in support of the entire artist journey, Acceptd announced in January their acquisition of My College Audition.

My College Audition promotes individuality and encourages students to strengthen and embrace their distinctive voice in the competitive musical theatre industry through one-on-one, personalized coaching, workshops, webinars and more.

In 2020, they plan to launch a rebranded presence and begin scaling the offerings of My College Audition to help artists flourish nationwide.

HCDC Business Center

HCDC Business Center

For the HCDC, an incubator, lender and services agency in Cincinnati, 2020 is about capitalizing on recent accomplishments.

The center was just recognized as one of the top 10 public business incubators in the world by UBI Global, who engages the interactive learning community with international events, competitions and awards. HCDC also received recent recognition from the International Economic Development Council, who gave the center their gold prize for entrepreneurship.

The HCDC has come a long way since its launch in 1989 as an urban renewal project in Cincinnati. The organization has seen more than 200 graduates generate revenues of over $225 million and attract more than $125 million in funding.

Infuseon Therapeutics

It will be a busy 2020 for Cleveland’s Infuseon, which is starting its first sponsored clinical trial to treat Glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

Infuseon has developed a device that bypasses the brain-blood barrier and carries cancer medication directly to a tumor.

The trial is set to begin at the end of January with partners OncoSynergy and Parker Hannifin, a global manufacturer headquartered in Cleveland.

JuggerBot 3D

Youngstown-based manufacturers at JuggerBot 3D

The Youngstown-based manufacturers at JuggerBot 3D head into 2020 with a new partnership. The company announced in January that fellow local manufacturer The Brilex Group of Companies will be backing JuggerBot moving forward.

With the additional support, the startup will be launching a new machine to meet the growing demands of additive manufacturing. It will be the first in JuggerBot’s “Tradesman Series,” built to complement machines that produce patterns, molds and dies.

Launch Runner

Springfield web-services startup Launch Runner will look different in 2020 after the startup acquired Minneapolis company Blue Earth Innovation at the end of 2019. The company plans to bring both organizations together and rebrand as Torrch.

“It’s all good things on the road ahead,” said co-founder Dana Akers.

The merger will help expand web design services for custom software and app development and give the company the ability to “rapidly expand” its 22-person team.

“With two agencies being brought under the same roof, it didn’t make sense for one of us to simply swap their name out with the other,” said CEO Steve Swearengin. “Instead, we’ve decided for the sake of unity, to take these two teams and become something new together.”


Cincinnati-based NaviStone has reinvented digital targeting with web-powered direct mail, and the startup is following its record-breaking year with additional growth and innovation in 2020 on the heels of their big Startup Culture Awards win.

In January, NaviStone announced Dave Cameron, VP of Data Science, and Scott Setera, VP of Operations, to their leadership team and announced that its leading-edge, double-blind technology is patent approved for 2020. The startup’s tech allows marketers to bridge the gap between online website browsers and direct mail purchasers.


Columbus vending-machine startup PopCom already has plenty in the works for 2020.

The company recently opened a new office, completed a working prototype of their PopShop 2.0 digital pop-up shop and completed development of their PopCom Kiosk.

The new products launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the National Retail Federation’s 2020 event in New York City.


The container-transport specialists at QuickLoadz are looking ahead to a busy year of growth in Nelsonville.

The southeast Ohio company recently graduated from the London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE Program in partnership with JobsOhio, and is preparing to expand into the Bill Theisen Industrial Park in Athens County, where it will be adding 40 new jobs to grow to 52 employees over the next three years.

“QuickLoadz is a great example of how innovative companies can establish a business in southeast Ohio and continue to thrive and grow,” said Dana Saucier, JobsOhio Vice President and Head of Economic Development. “This investment demonstrates the confidence QuickLoadz has in Athens County’s talent, and brings new opportunity to a vacant facility there.”

Reward Mark

The fundraising experts at Reward Mark are launching a new product called Givevia, which amplifies social impact for nonprofits and charities.

Givevia empowers a nonprofit’s supporter base to generate a new funding stream through a shop-to-give program and increases advocacy for the cause through social gamification. is launching soon with a handful of local organizations, and there is no fee for a nonprofit to join the platform.


Cincinnati VR startup VECTRE As Cincinnati VR startup VECTRE continues to grow and expand its offerings, its CEO and Co-Founder Myra LalDin keeps coming up in important conversations. She was recently featured on the Minority Report Podcast and was a speaker at the 2020 Talent Development Think Tank.

The entrepreneur discussed her overseas upbringing, how her global experience has shaped who she is and why she is so passionate about VECTRE’s mission of diversity and inclusion.

Across Ohio, entrepreneurs are building the career they’ve dreamed of and proving every day that invention is in our DNA!

With a busy year ahead, we can’t wait to see what new developments are in store for 2020.

Be sure to keep up-to-date with the most recent happenings across Ohio on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and newly launched Instagram, and let us know what’s exciting about your Ohio company this year!

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