Looking For the Next 10 Second-Stage Companies

Grow Hamilton County’s Economic Garden!

Have you ever heard of the term “Economic Gardening”?  Neither had I until about six months ago. Nonetheless, in taking on the Director of Innovation Services role for HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity (OIC) I’ve seen first-hand the OIC’s opportunity to driving the local economy behind its Economic Gardening Program.  We have the opportunity to help second-stage companies scale and grow by providing access to in-depth market research, geographic market expansion potential, and connection to implementation resources. After a successful inaugural 2018 campaign, we can use your help in identifying companies for the 2019 program.

Economic Gardening focuses on helping second-stage companies grow.  “What is a second-stage company?” you may ask.  Second-stage companies, sometimes called emerging growth companies, have $1 – 50 million in sales and 10 – 99 employees.  They have proof of product and proof of management skills. These companies have sustained growth potential that would likely bring outside dollars into the community, but they do not have access to sophisticated tools and data at the fingertips of larger companies.

Second-stage businesses are important because they are powerhouses of job and revenue generation.  According to the National Center for Economic Gardening, they produce approximately 35 percent of all jobs, 25 percent of positive job growth, and 35 percent of sales within a community.  These companies just need a little help from qualified resources to help them make the right strategic decisions. HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity is focused on this segment and supported by Hamilton County.

2018 was a great start to Hamilton County’s program.  10 local companies representing multiple local municipalities and industries benefited from 36 hours of sophisticated market research, digital analytics, and more that helped them identify incremental sales opportunities.  Costs for the program were offered at no expense to the individual companies and helped each company answer critical strategic growth questions. 

Some of the 10 companies were even able to quantify the direct impact of the program.  Mathew Sokany, CEO of Standard Bariatrics, found great value in the program. Here’s what he had to say, “With the help of HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity and the access to their extensive marketing resources and capabilities, we identified up to 200 potential high value customers and their critical contact information for our sales representatives to follow up with.  We expect to realize sales potential of over $1 million in revenue through this partnership…”   Visit the Office of Innovation’s web page (https://hcdc.com/oic/) to learn more about the participating companies.

Now, after completing the initial program, we are looking for the next 10 companies to benefit from our Economic Gardening program.  We need your help recruiting our next group of companies. You can do this by making proven second stage companies aware of HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity Economic Gardening Program.  Similar to 2018, companies selected to participate will receive 36 hours of sophisticated market research, digital analytics, and other strategic information to address 2 – 3 strategic growth questions.  All costs for the program come at no expense to the company.  Together, let’s make 2019 as successful as our inaugural year! 

Please refer companies to Paul Fisher, the OIC’s Director of Innovation Services, at pfisher@hcdc.com.  

To participate, companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Located in Hamilton County, Ohio
  • Have $1 – $50 million in revenue and 10 – 99 employees
  • Consistent revenue growth (e.g. – 3 of the past 5 years)
  • Embrace innovation or technology in the business model
  • The CEO must be willing and able to dedicate 8 – 12 hours of time

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