Secretary of State Husted talks ideas with Warren tech center

The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren shared its ideas Wednesday with Jon Husted

The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren shared its ideas Wednesday with one of the state's leaders from Columbus.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren shared its ideas Wednesday with one of the state’s leaders from Columbus.

Technology is always changing. It takes a lot of work for businesses to be successful in the field — as well as some great ideas.

One of the places where that happens is the Warren tech center.

“It’s great to have interesting innovations and research,” said John Husted, Ohio Secretary of State. “But it has to be something you can turn in the form of products and services that people are going to buy and create jobs.”

Wednesday, Husted got to feel a new type of golf cart battery that’s lighter. It’s one of the developments that has come from TBEIC.

Eleven companies populate the facility. They’re trying to accelerate the development of early stage energy technologies like fuel cells, battery storage and even the power which winds up in an electric car.

“People that come in with new ideas and new technologies, they can start right here at a very low barrier to entry,” said Rick Stockburger, Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center chief operating officer. “But then we can incubate them up to where we hope they can graduate and they can start filling the building next door and the building down the street.”

TBEIC offers a path to commercialization, just like the business incubator does in Youngstown. And the Mahoning Valley is trying to stay ahead of the pack.

“If you look at the success at YBI in downtown Youngstown, I think that’s an indicator this is a very successful model that could be replicated everywhere throughout the state,” said Patrick Mokros of Empire Stock Transfer.

Starting businesses is ultra competitive.

Wednesday’s tour for Husted was an opportunity for him to see what’s happening in Warren. He could see what competitive advantages exist in Trumbull County and share some advice on working with state government.

“We have to do everything we can to create the innovation and talent that we need in Ohio to out-compete the rest of the world,” Husted said.

If you want to start a new business in Ohio, that starts with the Secretary of State. The state has over 10,000 more new business filings this year compared to the same point in 2016.

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