A Leading Hub for High-Tech Innovation

A behind-the-scenes look at Lorain County Community College’s Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise
Monday, June 3, 2013

Lorain County Community College is filling the pipeline in Northeast Ohio with innovative and dynamic technology companies that are primed for investment, while helping to educate Ohio’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE) is one of northeast Ohio’s premier drivers of economic development. Housed on the campus of Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, GLIDE utilizes its resources to accelerate innovation and business growth, leading to job creation and technology investment in the region.

Founded in 2001 by a partnership between the Lorain County Commissioners, Lorain County Community College, and the Ohio Department of Development, GLIDE mentors entrepreneurs to help them wrap sound business strategies around technology ideas. In July 2006, the State designated it an Edison Technology Incubator, the only one in Ohio  based on a community college campus.

“GLIDE focuses on the business process rather than specific technologies thereby ensuring that many more ideas, companies, and people at any stage of enterprise development have a place to go for assessment, advice, and direction,” said LCCC President Roy Church.  “GLIDE has developed an organization that provides any business, or potential business, with the resources and tools needed to navigate toward commercial success.”

The Impact of GLIDE, GLIDE has incubated over 50 companies and is home to 21 companies currently occupying incubator space. Over 700 jobs with an average salary of $48,000 have been a direct result of the entrepreneurial center’s contributions to the regional economy.. Over 2,500 entrepreneurs have been assisted in bringing their ideas to life.  GLIDE has seen $60M in revenue increases and $81M on follow-on funding.

Not only does GLIDE add to the region’s economic growth, it offers graduates early access to the workplace, providing valuable experience to new technologies  and fully preparing them for a life and career after college.

Success Stories

SMART Center
Founded in 1966, Pressco is the world leader in machine vision inspection tools for the food and beverage container industry. The company is commercializing a patented AltaTherm technology that uses semiconductor materials and processes to dramatically improve efficiencies in the food and materials processing industries.  Pressco is working with the Desich SMART Center to develop and conduct device testing in parallel with Pressco tooling up their own facility, thereby reducing the development cycle.  In addition, Jonathan Katz, COO said, “Using the capabilities of the Desich SMART Center, Pressco will expand its staff to fulfill product development and marketing demands.”

Looking beyond the development and demonstration stage, the ATLAWAVE technology can lead to expanded manufacturing in Ohio. Projections indicate the possible creation of as many as 500 manufacturing jobs in five years after commercialization in order to meet the expected demand for ALTAWAVE food processing technology. The company also foresees a strong impact on the regional supply chain.

“Scope” of Success: A Closer Look at a Successful Start-Up
Clear Image Technology is a company that is housed at LCCC’s GLIDE offices. It is a company that specializes in manufacturing medical equipment such as the InnerVue Diagnostic Scope System. It is a device that allows for healthcare professionals to take a closer look at joints inside of the human body. The scope is used in a used in a procedure called a “micro-invasive” diagnosis.

GLIDE’s relationship with Clear Image began when the owners of Micro Medical Devices, a company that has developed several related technologies, met at the LCCC campus in early 2002. GLIDE suggested that Micro Medical spin off the technology for a company to develop exclusively. Clear Image was born out of that process.