A Hilliard technology incubator is being recognized as a 2023 honoree of the Columbus Inno BizTech Fire Awards, presented by Columbus Business First newspaper.
Converge Technologies, which partnered with the City of Hilliard to begin Hilliard City Lab last year, is one of only 10 honorees.
“The program honors innovators with amazing stories reshaping the ecosystem in the Columbus region,” according to an email from Nick Fortine, president and publisher of Business First.
Converge Technologies is currently guiding eight high-tech companies through the product development and commercialization process. The products include an automated drone network to support first responders that NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and other government agencies expect to become a national template.
John Bair, Converge’s co-founder and CEO, describes the space as “the place where innovation is applied.”
Hilliard City Lab turns the entire Hilliard community into a real-world lab where start-up technology firms and other companies can test and launch their products into commercialization. The City of Hilliard provides access to its infrastructure, expertise, data, existing technology, and funding opportunities.
The unique partnership allows Converge Technologies to support and help grow innovative businesses that contribute to the economic growth of the community, build workforce skills, and attract new businesses.
In return, the City hopes to create jobs and expand tax revenue. It also allows companies to test their technologies locally to improve public services.
Tech companies that want to demonstrate their idea in the City can apply to partner with the lab, which allows them to apply for grants of $25,000 or more to test technologies or build prototypes.
The City is also building out its partnership so participants will be able to access resources and workshops on topics ranging from accounting to patents, and others in between.