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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

The North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Technology Fund accelerates technology-based entrepreneurship, creates new high paying jobs, and increases the flow of private investment to Cuyahoga County technology companies. Cuyahoga County established the NCO Technology Fund in the fall of 2008. The NCO Fund was developed by the County Department of Development in connection with the Cuyahoga Next Advisor Task Force and in association with JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network.

The NCO Technology Fund is a Cuyahoga County led vehicle to encourage and develop very early stage Cuyahoga County technology companies. The program targets companies that are excellent candidates for future capital investment. Approved companies will receive a payment-deferred, low interest loan to complete a specific initiative or project that is expected to make the company significantly more attractive to pre-seed 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
  • Payments deferred for 5 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:


2014 NCO Application Schedule

Deal Flow Meeting
Application Deadline  Application Review Meeting Selection Meeting
Round 1  January 13, 2014 January 20, 2014 January 27, 2014 February 10, 2014
Round 2 March 10, 2014  March 17, 2014
March 24, 2014
April 7, 2014
Round 3  May 12, 2014 May 19, 2014
May 27, 2014
June 9, 2014
Round 4 July 14, 2014  July 21, 2014
July 28, 2014
August 11, 2013
Round 5 September 8, 2014 September 15, 2014
September 22, 2014
October 6, 2014
Round 6
 November 10, 2014    November 17, 2014
November 24, 2014
December 8, 2014

Program Outcomes:

  • Cuyahoga County invested over $2.5 million to capitalize the NCO Technology Fund.
  • The NCO Technology Fund has provided over $1.8 million in funding to 25 county based technology- companies.
  • NCO funded companies have raised over $18 million in follow-on entrepreneurial funding, created 73 jobs and added over $3.9 million in annual payroll.
  • The success of NCO funded companies has been profiled by prominent national and local media: National Public Radio, ABCNews.Com, Business Week, FoxBuisness News, Bloomberg News, hiVelocity, WKYC Channel 3, The Plain Dealer, Crain’s, and IdeaStream

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