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TechConnect networking events back after absence

Rocket Ventures adds new element to program

After a lengthy absence, Rocket Ventures LLC, the Regional Growth Partnership’s venture capital fund, is restarting its TechConnect networking events with an eye toward highlighting the region’s tech start-ups.

The first TechConnect in more than a year will happen from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Toledo Museum of Art’s GlasSalon, with another to follow Aug. 21 in Findlay.

Bob Savage, Rocket Ventures president and fund manager, said that because a TechConnect hadn’t been held in so long, the thought was to make them more than a networking event in order to reinvigorate the program.

During the event, participants will hear presentations from three companies receiving funding from Rocket Ventures — AquaBlok Ltd., Blue Water Satellite Inc., and Roost Software.

AquaBlok makes cleanup materials used to deal with hazardous spills and to clean Superfund sites. Blue Water Satellite analyzes satellite map data. Roost develops “push” notification technology for Web site use.

Roost will make its presentation via video conference from Mountain View, Calif., where its owners and staff are going through a company acceleration mentorship program run by Y Combinator Inc.

Mr. Savage said it “will be good for the audience to hear from some of our [incubator] companies. We have highlighted some of our companies in the past and so we will have some of them who have made even more progress come and talk about their success.”

“The story we want to tell is that there are more neat and exciting companies in northwest Ohio than people hear about,” Mr. Savage said.

About 150 people who are tech-oriented, involved in local businesses or services, or are involved in investing and start-ups are expected to attend.

“We thought part of what we’re trying to do is raise the entrepreneurial ecosystem around here. You hear of the bigger companies, but not a lot from the smaller companies,” Mr. Savage said.

It is time, he added, to get the northwest Ohio tech community back to interacting with itself and with the business and services community.

“We certainly also hope to be getting new entrepreneurs who didn’t know us before. This is a good way to make key connections,” Mr. Savage said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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