Program HistoryThe University of Toledo, a major public research university, has been pioneering photovoltaic solar technology with international recognition for nearly 30 years. The world's largest and most successful manufacturer of solar cells, First Solar, actually had its origins in the laboratories of the University of Toledo. Business incubation services at the University of Toledo had their genesis in this successful melding of technological innovation and entrepreneurial drive.
In 2001, UT took its first step toward developing an incubation program with a commitment to building a program of national excellence in alternative and renewable energy. The initial focus on solar energy expanded to fuel cells, biomass energy, hybrid vehicle technologies, and wind energy.
The establishment of the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator was the next step in this commitment, giving university spin-off businesses and start-up alternative energy companies a place to nurture and grow into stable, expanding businesses that can enhance the business community of the Northwest Ohio region. The incubation offerings of the university expanded once more soon after the merger of the Medical University of Ohio into the University of Toledo, when the Laboratory Incubation Center opened to incubate life sciences and biomedical companies needing specialized laboratory facilities.
In 2010, UT Business Incubation opened its flagship facility, Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex. This space, appropriate for alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, and information technology businesses, is appropriate for both business incubation and business acceleration needs.
The cultivation of knowledge, generation of regional wealth, creation of high-wage jobs , and fostering the regional entrepreneurial climate are the aims of UT Business Incubation and the efforts to which the University of Toledo and its partners are strongly committed.
The LaunchPad Incubation Program at the University of Toledo is Northwest Ohio's premier business start-up and entrepreneurial assistance program for innovative and high-tech companies. The program is funded, managed, and operated by a partnership of the University of Toledo, University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises Corporation, Rocket Ventures LLC, and the State of Ohio Edison Technology Incubator Program.
The University of Toledo operates three incubator facilities which provide specialized equipment, laboratory, office, and manufacturing space:
- Research and Technology Complex I
- The Laboratory Incubation Center
- Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex