A local research and development organization has been awarded a new grant to create an online database for entrepreneurs.
Parallax Advanced Research in Beavercreek won a $750,000 Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovations Technology (SPRINT) grant to establish the Launch Dayton Digital Toolkit — a virtual database of interactive videos and documents that will allow first-time founders of new companies to tap into community resources.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration designed SPRINT to harness America’s entrepreneurial spirit to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to support innovation-focused economic recovery efforts.
“Parallax is a proud partner in the Launch Dayton community, and our local team has been central to the growth of the Dayton region’s startup community,” Parallax President and CEO Dennis Andersh said. “We are thrilled to continue this work to foster diversity and inclusion in Dayton’s innovation space.”
The Launch Dayton Digital Toolkit will house online resources created specifically to guide new entrepreneurs through the specific activities in qualifying and engaging with various entrepreneurial resource providers and programs available across the Launch Dayton community.
“Early grassroots efforts to connect entrepreneurs often involved one-on-one meetings to help new founders navigate the resources available across the Launch Dayton community," Parallax Program Manager John Owen said. "As we grow, new entrepreneurs outnumber resource providers, and these first-time founders are often overwhelmed by the range of programs and organizations they discover. Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity. The Launch Dayton Digital Toolkit will foster a more inclusive and diverse startup community by organizing and identifying the opportunities available to help all entrepreneurs grow their businesses.”
The Launch Dayton Digital Toolkit will assist entrepreneurs to build foundational business knowledge, connect with customers in the defense and MedTech industries, and establish e-commerce platforms to reach national markets. Topics will range from how to conduct market research, customer analysis or financial projections, to how to secure a government contract, write a proposal, or deploy an e-commerce business model.
The toolkit will build on work conducted by Launch Dayton partner The Entrepreneurs’ Center when the organizations moved the T3 Defense Accelerator online last spring, just as Covid-19 hit and restricted travel and in-person meetings.
“With the impact of Covid-19, we needed to be agile and leverage all digital resources at our disposal," said Lauren Tiffan, director of strategic programs at The Entrepreneurs’ Center. "We moved quickly, acted boldly, and reset our mindsets to successfully deliver our high-quality training program remotely to our clients nationally. Creating value-adding digital assets to evolve the scope of our reach and efficacy has proven impactful in empowering small businesses for prosperity in the post-Covid future. We are looking forward and excited about continuing this work with fellow Launch Dayton partners.”
Based in Beavercreek, Parallax is a nonprofit organization that performs applied scientific research and development. It aims to tackle global challenges by accelerating innovation, and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the nation.
Parallax is the former nonprofit research arm of Wright State University. It was rebranded as Parallax when the nonprofit's nine-year affiliation with the university ended in October 2020.