The Youngstown Business Incubator was awarded a $10,000 grant Wednesday from the Home Savings Foundation.
The money comes as YBI is trying to raise $2.5 million over the next five years to make improvements to better serve emerging businesses.
“It’s going to be used to build up our technology infrastructure. We’re a little bit behind the times for a technology incubator,” said CEO Jim Cossler, Youngstown Business Incubator. “When we’re finished with technology upgrades, there’s going to be nothing like us, perhaps, in the Midwest.”
Cossler said Home Savings has been a faithful supporter of YBI since its start in 2000. The foundation made a $10,000 contribution in October.
The YBI launched a fundraising campaign on Jan. 31 to raise money for the center’s operating expenses. The incubator’s most notable startup, Turning Technologies, was called the fastest growing software company in the country five years ago, and YBI directors said more money is needed to help other companies grow in a similar manner.
Seven years ago, the YBI received 70 to 80 percent of its funding from the state, but government sources now account for only half of the incubator’s $1 million operating budget. Directors hope the campaign will help make the incubator self-sufficient.
According to an economic impact study released in January, YBI supports 610 jobs, which in turn creates $24 million in wages and income. And the companies associated with it generate $76 million in sales.