Published on
May 28, 2024

Launch Dayton program to transition from Parallax Advanced Research to new leadership at the Entrepreneurs' Center after nine years of continued growth 

In 2015, Parallax Advanced Research led efforts to write a $7M Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant to build and support Dayton’s startup community. That effort brought together a community of entrepreneurs across the Dayton region. As this community grew, so did the organizations supporting those entrepreneurs, and in 2019, 10 organizations came together with a shared vision that grew into Launch Dayton.

Nine years later, the Launch Dayton program has supported nearly 500 entrepreneurs, organized eight Startup Week conferences, trained 126 entrepreneurs in foundational business skills, created a free online curriculum featuring more than a dozen courses, hosted 200+ events to connect the region’s entrepreneur community, and published more than 900 stories celebrating entrepreneurs and sharing opportunities for them to move their businesses forward.

And on June 1, the Launch Dayton program, which has been hosted by Parallax Advanced Research since inception, will move to its new home at the Entrepreneurs’ Center.

Launch Dayton will continue to play its critical role as the entry point for new and established entrepreneurs, who will have even greater access to connect to the full range of resources and support provided by the Entrepreneurs’ Center and its partners.

“It’s been a joy to watch a shared idea become a real program — especially one that has come to mean so much to our community. The Entrepreneurs’ Center is eager to build on the legacy of Launch Dayton to support the explosion of entrepreneurial energy that we’ve witnessed over the last eight years,” said Scott Koorndyk, President of the Entrepreneurs’ Center.

As the EC steps in to lead Launch Dayton program, they remain committed to meeting entrepreneurs where they are, sharing their stories, and connecting them to our community’s wealth of support resources. During this transition, the Entrepreneur Rising Academy will be on pause, but all other Launch Dayton activities, including Startup Week, will continue as scheduled.

"Nine years ago, Parallax Advanced Research saw a need to bring density to Dayton's startup ecosystem and built the community infrastructure for entrepreneurs to connect with area resources and each with other,” said Dennis Andersh, president and CEO of Parallax Advanced Research. “As the community grew, that infrastructure became the backbone for a collaborative effort called Launch Dayton in 2019, which Parallax has hosted for the last five years. As we transition that role to the Entrepreneurs’ Center, we carry with us the legacy of Parallax’s commitment to excellence and community building. We trust in the Entrepreneurs' Center's capability to continue this journey, empowering dreams, and shaping the future of Dayton’s entrepreneurial landscape."

In a new short film, Launch Dayton team members and participants from throughout the years reflect on the impacts of the program.

“When we began this work, Dayton was on some hard times. We saw entrepreneurship as a path forward. If we could help founders commercialize tech and grow companies that could hire people in Dayton, we could better our community,” John Owen shares. “When we started having those meetings with entrepreneurs, it really became more about the individual people than the companies they were going to build.”

“People first” became a core value for the team and the community.

“Launch Dayton represents a safe and welcoming place to be an entrepreneur,” shares Matt Veryser, Director of Product at Ascend Innovation. “Being an entrepreneur is tough. You’re taking a risk, you’re putting your brand, your identity out there, and It’s so important that we have a community of like-minded people that have been there to help build you up.”

Connect with the Parallax Launch Dayton team one more at Thursday’s mixer at The Reserve on Third, Thursday, May 30, 5-7 p.m.

And make sure you mark your calendars for Launch Dayton Startup Week, Sept. 10-12!


About Entrepreneurs’ Center

The Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC) drives economic growth and prosperity by championing entrepreneurship. With a mission to empower innovators, the EC annually collaborates with over 1,000 entrepreneurs, catalyzing the creation of businesses, job opportunities, revenue streams, and investments. Offering a suite of professional services, including business planning, mentoring, training, networking, commercialization, and capital investment, the EC serves as a beacon for both main street and technology enterprises.

Anchored by a dedicated team of advisors, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and staff, the EC orchestrates world-class business acceleration programs in collaboration with corporations, academic institutions, and government entities, including the U.S. Department of Defense, from its headquarters at The Hub Powered by PNC Bank within the historic Dayton Arcade.

About Parallax Advanced Research

Parallax Advanced Research is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit research institute that tackles global challenges through strategic partnerships with government, industry, and academia. It accelerates innovation, addresses critical global issues, and develops groundbreaking ideas with its partners. With offices in Ohio and Virginia, Parallax aims to deliver new solutions and speed them to market. In 2023, Parallax and the Ohio Aerospace Institute formed a collaborative affiliation to drive innovation and technological advancements in Ohio and for the nation. The Ohio Aerospace Institute plays a pivotal role in advancing the aerospace industry in Ohio and the nation by fostering collaborations between universities, aerospace industries, and government organizations, and managing aerospace research, education, and workforce development projects. More information on both organizations can be found at Parallax and OAI websites.