YBI receives $125,000 in funding


Youngstown State University has partnered with the Innovation Fund to bring a $125,000 investment to two portfolio companies of the Youngstown Business Incubator.

The Innovation Fund, founded in 2007 by the Lorain County Community College, funds up-and-coming technology-based businesses throughout northeast Ohio.

YSU provides direct financial support and technical assistance to the Innovation Fund.

Campus Shift, a portfolio company with the YBI, was awarded $25,000.

It offers a search engine that allows students to compare current prices of textbooks and update them on money-saving offers.

Another portfolio company, via680, was awarded $100,000 to develop its product, Ving.

Ving is a website application that allows the consumer to send video messages, surveys, audio files and pictures via email and notify the sender when the email is received and watched.

Keith Sicora, operations manager of the YBI, said he is excited for the opportunity to expand business opportunities.

“It’s obviously a tremendous opportunity,” Sicora said. “This will show people that you don’t have to go to New York, you don’t have to go to Boston. You can have a thriving technology based economy right here in Youngstown.”

Quixby, a virtual portfolio company of the YBI, will also receive a portion of the funding.

This up-and-coming website allows consumers to easily find their perfect computer by comparing prices on computer components.

Cynthia Anderson, president of YSU, is excited for the opportunities this will open up to students.

“We are proud to work in this unique program to boost entrepreneurship in northeast Ohio,” Anderson said in a released statement. “This is not only good for the economy, but the internships and other opportunities that it affords are good for our students as well.”

She added that as an institution YSU is proud to support local businesses.