Three Northwest Ohio tech startup firms were recognized on a statewide level at the VentureOhio annual dinner in Columbus on Sept. 10.

Nextronex Inc., a Toledo-based solar component manufacturer, received the Seed Stage Financing Award from VentureOhio. Roost and American Broadband and Telecommunications, both of Toledo, were nominated as finalists in two of the four categories.

“I’d like to congradulate all the finalists and winners. It was a great celebration of past successes and new up-and-coming companies,” said Bob Savage, president of Rocket Ventures who served as program committee chairman for the event.

Both Nextronex and Roost are client companies of Rocket Ventures, a business assistance and pre-seed venture capital organization based at the University of Toledo and serving 18 counties in Northwest Ohio.

Roost achieved a major accomplishment this summer by gaining acceptance into a top start-up accelerator program in California. It was named a finalist in the Seed Stage Financing category won by Nextronex.

American Broadband, one of the largest local exchange communications companies in the region, was named a finalist in the Exit of the Year category. The firm has provided both business and residential customers with a comprehensive and innovative suite of communications services since it was founded in 2004.

VentureOhio, a trade association formed in 2013, hosted its first annual dinner to celebrate the success of Ohio’s entrepreneurial community and discussed the state of venture capital activity based on the results of the Ohio Venture Report 2013.

VentureOhio describes itself as the unified voice for capital sources and other organizations that finance or support high-growth companies based in Ohio. Rocket Ventures is a founding member of VentureOhio.

Savage said Northwest Ohio was the only region outside the three Cs (Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati) to have companies named as finalists or winners.

“Rocket Ventures and the start-up companies within our program are starting to be recognized statewide and beyond,” Savage said.

“We had investors, entrepreneurs, and venture development organizations from every region of the state coming together to recognize emerging and growing companies that are creating jobs. More resources for these companies will allow them to continue to grow,” Savage said.

In the other three categories, Akebia Therapeutics of Cincinnati won the Exit of the Year Award, LISNR Inc. of Cincinnati won the Early Stage Financing Award, and TOA Technologies of Beachwood won the Growth Stage Financing Award.

“It is an honor to be selected by VentureOhio in recognition of Nextronex’ business success. We are proud to be one of the young, growing venture companies that are fueling job growth in Northwest Ohio,” Nextronex CEO Jay Troger stated.

“Our patented Distributed Architecture is the best central inverter system in the industry, producing more energy and operating with higher reliability than competitive systems,” Troger stated. “We are proud to be a part of the tremendous growth of solar energy in the United States.”

Nextronex is considered a leading supplier of high-performance solar inverter systems used to operate solar power installations around the world. The system delivers up to 8 percent more energy output than conventional central or string inverter systems, according to the company.

Nextronex has a patent covering the company’s unique solar inverter configuration, Distributed Architecture, which consists of multiple RAY-MAX Inverters connected to a shared DC Power Strip and managed by a Smart Controller. The inverters function in a master-slave relationship, according to Troger.

Each day, the Smart Controller selects the inverter with the least cumulative run time to be the master. The master inverter comes on first and establishes the MPPT. Additional slave inverters are turned on only as required by the insolation conditions and the amount of energy on the DC Power Strip.

Earlier this month, Nextronex delivered its RAY-MAX Power PodiumInverter system to Settle Muter Electric (SME) for its solar installation project in a parking lot in Columbus. SME officials were pleased with the simplicity of incorporating the Power Podiumsolution into this project.

“The delivery of the inverter system from truck to final position was very efficient and happened in less than 10 minutes. Once the parking lot canopy solar panels are installed, we will just need to hook up some final connections and we will be ready for solar power,” stated Dave Caulkins of SME.

Nextronex announced in July that it had increased the functionality of the web portal monitoring for the Distributed Architecture RAY-MAX inverter system. The new alert options of its remote monitoring system add to the functionality included in the purchase of the Nextronex inverter system, according to the company.

Providing customers with the convenience of accessing their inverter data through the internet has always been a priority to Nextronex. Power plant owners want to be able to conveniently access their performance data remotely on a real time basis.

With the updated web portal system, Nextronex customers now have the option to receive alerts as a standard feature of their RAY-MAX Inverter solution. The alerts ensure immediate notification of conditions that require attention, according to Dillon Ashton, chief technology officer at Nextronex.

“It is vital that we offer our customers the ability to gather and review data on the performance of their inverter system at their convenience. This is especially important to our clients who are monitoring multiple sites,” Ashton stated in the July press release.

Written by Duane Ramsey | | news@toledofreepress.com

Congradulations to Nextronex and Roost!
~From my techie cloud to yours
Michelle Emahiser-Allen