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North Coast Opportunities Technology Fund

Cuyahoga County Technology Loan Program Receives National Award of Excellence

The National Association of County Community and Economic Development (NACCED) professionals, an affiliate of NACo, selected Cuyahoga County’s North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Technology Fund as the winner of the NACCED Award of Excellence in the category of Economic Development. Read more...

New Worthy:  Tremont Electric was our first North Coast Opportunities Loan read their success story here: Tiny Tremont Electric Finds Big Interest In Its Green-Energy Ideas

Cuyahoga County created a pre-seed fund in the fall of 2008 to accelerate technology-based entrepreneurship, create new high paying jobs, and increase the flow of private investment to Cuyahoga County technology companies. Known as the North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Technology Fund, the County established the program as a regional collaborative approach to support the development of early stage companies that are well positioned for future capital investment. The County works with partners to identify and vet companies. The program provides payment-deferred, low interest loans to complete a specific project that will make the company more attractive to investors.

NCO Technology Fund Loans

  • Loans range from $25K- $125K, with typical loans in the $50-75K range
  • Interest rate is recommended by Department of Development Staff reviewed by the NCO Selection Committee and approved by Cuyahoga County - typically the interest rate is 5.00% fixed for the term of the loan
  • Interest-only payments and principal deferred for 4 years or until a significant financing event - $1.5 million or greater.
  • Loan proceeds must be used for a specific project or
    initiative that will bring the company closer to
    achieving follow-on funding.


  • Must be a high growth, technology company that is judged by the selection committee to have excellent prospects for raising venture capital in the future.
  • Must be located in Cuyahoga County at the time of application
  • Must be a JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network registered and supported company:
    • Applicants must be sponsored by a Jumpstart Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) or a MAGNET Inc. Entrepreneurial Expert
    • EIR Must Review and Approve your application prior to submission
    • If an EIR has not been assigned visit to register


  • Submit a brief description of the specific project that funding is being sought and illustrate how the project will bring the company closer to venture or seed stage funding.
  • Companies with the highest potential for attracting future venture capital investment will be ranked highest by the NCO Selection Committee and be invited to provide a short presentation about the proposed project.
o  The NCO Selection Committee consists of JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network Director and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, the MAGNET Incubator Director and Entrepreneurial Expert, and a Cuyahoga County representative
  • Recommendations are submitted to Cuyahoga County for final approval.
  • The County will draft loan documents based on the selected and approved project – the description must identify project milestones.
Please complete the NCO Technology Fund application and submit it by the dates list below:

 2015 NCO Application Schedule

Deal Flow
Application Review Meeting Selection
Round 1

March 9, 2015

March 16, 2015

March 23, 2015

April 6, 2015

Round 2

May 11, 2015

May 18, 2015

May 26, 2015

June 8, 2015

Round 3

July 13, 2015

July 20, 2015

July 27, 2015

August 10, 2015

Round 4

September 14, 2015

September 21, 2015

September 28, 2015

October 12, 2015

Round 5

November 9, 2015

November 16, 2015

November 23, 2015

December 7, 2015

Program Outcomes:
  • Cuyahoga County NCO Technology Fund invested $3.1 million across 37 local technology-based companies and provided technical assistance to 183 companies.
    • 2 companies have paid in full and 4 companies are in repayment
    • 3 companies have gone out of business and 2 loans are delinquent
  • The NCO Fund has leveraged over $3.8 million in non-county funding
  • NCO funded companies combined have raised over $28 million in follow-on funding
  • NCO funded companies combined have created 77 jobs and added over $5.4 million in annual payroll - resulting in an average annual salary of $70,000
    • One job per $38,000 received in County financing
  • The County leveraged $51 million from the Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Signature Program for the Northeast Ohio Jumpstart Entrepreneurial Network ($26 to $1 leverage)

The NCO Loan has allowed us the opportunity to complete our market- ready product more quickly and effectively than we could have without the capital. As a result of this progress, we are more attractive to outside investment and can begin generating revenue by early 2010.

John Knific, CEO of Citizen Groove

For more information contact: 
David Lukas
Senior Development Finance Analyst
2079 East Ninth Street
7th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44115
Lorne Novick
Investment Associate
JumpStart, Inc.
6701 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44103
(216) 363-5457


NCO Technology Fund Portfolio Companies