Scott Koorndyk,

Entrepreneurs’ Center

April 15, 2024, 10:54am EDT

In Dayton, Ohio, the Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC) is an entrepreneurial leader offering support and guidance for startups eager to make their mark. Among these, three companies — Smart Response Technologies (SRT), Global Neighbor and Spintech Holdings — embody the spirit of innovation and determination that characterizes the city’s startup business landscape. Their stories, woven through the fabric of creativity, resilience and a customer focus, highlight the transformative impact of the EC’s nurturing environment.

Smart Response Technologies (SRT) — Empowering the emergency response community

At the helm of SRT is Tim Shaw, whose life’s work has seamlessly blended with his passion for making a difference. With a rich background in national security and emergency management, Shaw’s leadership as the president of SRT has been pivotal in the development of Delphini, an innovative solution designed to empower emergency-call-takers and -dispatchers with real-time voice-to-text transcriptions.

“The formation of SRT was a direct response to a critical need in the emergency response community,” Shaw said. “Our technology, developed in cooperation with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), represents a leap forward in ensuring that first responders have the information they need when they need it the most.”

Delphini’s impact is profound, offering a customizable keyword highlight function that significantly increases comprehension and decreases the chance of missing critical information — a feature Shaw describes as a game-changer in high-stakes situations.

Global Neighbor — Revolutionizing agriculture

Jon Jackson, the visionary behind Global Neighbor, narrates a journey of unexpected discovery and unwavering perseverance. It began with a solicitation from the Air Force for a project that seemed tangential to his expertise but led to the creation of a handheld weed killer poised to revolutionize agricultural practices.

“We quickly realized our technology had applications far beyond the initial project,” Jackson recalls. “The moment we understood our prototype could tackle herbicide-resistant weeds, we knew we had something special.”

Global Neighbor’s path to success was not without its hurdles, but Jackson emphasizes the critical role of teamwork and the EC’s support in navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. “Being an entrepreneur is a challenging journey, filled with setbacks and learning curves. But with a strong team and the EC’s backing, we’ve been able to bring our vision to life.”

Spintech Holdings — Innovating aerospace

Craig Jennings, CEO of Spintech Holdings, brings to the table a narrative of innovation in the aerospace and defense sectors. Spintech’s divisions, Hawthorn Composites and Smart Tooling, are at the forefront of manufacturing solutions that are transforming how complex geometry composite parts are produced.

“Our company’s inception was a direct result of identifying unique needs in the market and leveraging the incredible capabilities of shape-memory polymers,” said Jennings. “The support from the EC was instrumental in not just starting up but scaling our operations to meet the growing demand.”

Jennings highlights Spintech’s journey from its early days of overcoming skepticism and operational challenges to its current position as a key player in the industry. “We’ve had to pivot and adapt, but the belief in our technology and the vision for its application has seen us through.”

The EC a “cornerstone of growth”

These stories of SRT, Global Neighbor and Spintech Holdings are not just reports of individual success but are emblematic of the collective spirit of innovation fostered by the EC. Each founder’s reflection on the journey emphasizes the EC’s pivotal role in providing marketing, legal assistance and critical funding connections.

“I had recently engaged the EC to discuss potential targets to receive funding for our Series B capital raise that took place during the summer and fall of 2023,” Jennings said. “One of the introductions that came out of that meeting resulted in a $1.5 million investment.”

“The EC has been a cornerstone of our growth,” Shaw said, a sentiment echoed by Jackson and Jennings. They highlight the EC’s unparalleled support, underscoring its role as a catalyst for their achievements.

As Dayton continues to emerge as a hub for innovation, the EC remains committed to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. The stories of SRT, Global Neighbor and Spintech serve as beacons of inspiration, urging aspiring innovators to solve significant market problems and take advantage of the EC’s resources and expertise.

For those on the cusp of their entrepreneurial journey, the message from these founders is clear: The Entrepreneurs’ Center is not just a resource; it’s a partner in turning visionary ideas into tangible successes.

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