AKRON -- The Akron Accelerator sounds like a machine and it sort of is -- one that grows businesses from the ground up.
On Thursday, the 28-year-old business incubator celebrated a new milestone. It now has more than 400 employees and 53 startups under its roof.
More than 200 of those employees met for a picnic lunch to get to know each other and share ideas across their different industries.
One of the startups, FMI Medical Systems, is ready to start building its medical imaging devices in Akron.
Researchers recreated CT and PET scans from software to machine, and expanded the business around the globe.
Just two years ago they opened inside the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Now they have offices in Dayton, Ohio, as well as China, Finland and Canada.
President and CEO Bill McCroskey says none of it would be possible without the ideas and leadership they found in Akron.
"We went from nothing to, with the $18 million financing, and company-wide, we have about 60 employees," McCroskey said.
Mike Lehere, CEO for the Accelerator, says FMI is not alone in its success.
"The accelerator is full of high energy people. They share ideas. They share solutions to problems. They share war stories," Lehere said.
The goal of the Accelerator is to keep creating jobs in our region. To do that, they'll keep working to increase the likelihood that new businesses succeed through coaching and in-depth business planning.
For more information, go to Akron Global Business Accelerator