Customized: Before TechGrit begins its design, the TechGrit team does a detailed situation analysis on your area, including existing programs, accelerators, investors, and entrepreneurs. By understanding the people, culture, and objectives of your community and region, TechGrit customizes the design to make the innovation hub successful for you.
Entrepreneur-Centric: A TechGrit designed hub is a destination for entrepreneurs who want to enhance their businesses through value-added programming, informative/collaborative culture, and an enabling/creative ecosystem. A TechGrit-designed hub does more than develop startups. It develops entrepreneurs.
Successful: TechGrit initiatives have helped create hundreds of new jobs, millions of dollars in new investments, and millions of dollars in local, state, federal, and foundation dollars. The programs help entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses, which enhances the value of real estate where they are housed and creates wealth for stakeholders through new revenues and equity.
Sustainable: Thanks to TechGrit, corporations, communities, and universities of all sizes can create thriving entrepreneurial environments affordably by leveraging existing assets, minimizing capital outlay and startup costs, and utilizing local talent. In addition to a design, TechGrit defines a pathway for resourcing, financing, and planning...and each step can be guided by our experienced team.
Who TechGrit Has Helped
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“Dr. (Anthony) Margida is a committed leader who brings passion, intellectual fervor, teamwork and integrity to his work.”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
— Thomas V. Chema, Chairman, Gateway Group & Director, Akron Growth Council
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Dr. (Anthony) Margida is a committed leader who brings passion, intellectual fervor, teamwork and integrity to his work.
— Tom Chema, CEO, Gateway
Led by the Margidas, TechGrit has designed hubs that:
Leverage existing assets, minimize capital outlay and utilize local talent
Incorporate business and educational initiatives, incubation and accelerator programs, and uniquely leveraged business
programming and community engagement
Assist participants with funding, program development, and staffing
Transform communities, corporations, and educational institutions
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Andrea Margida, M.S., FOUNDER & President, has a long pedigree as an entrepreneur and educator. She is majority owner and President of TechGrit and serves as President and CEO of The Valentine Project, a nonprofit that lends support to families affected by childhood chronic illnesses, including cancer.
Andrea holds an M.S. in food science. She possesses certification from the prestigious Cornell University Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and INBIA’s International Business Incubation Management. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, serves on the Akron Public Schools Advisory Board for the Academy of Global Technology and Business Entrepreneurship and Marketing, and is a graduate of the Women's Network Community Leadership Institute. As an educator, she has taught language arts and science to middle and high school students and science, technology, and nutrition at Ohio University, West Virginia University, and Walsh University.
Andrea founded the LaunchChef™ competition to create opportunity and elevate the food startup scene. She has a vast array of experience, ranging from quality control in the food industry, to development of innovative food products for the marketplace. She has been an advocate and leader in farm- to- table, locally sourced and low carbon footprint food. She has had the privilege of hosting farm-to-table and entrepreneur day seminars for groups of international diplomats in conjunction with the U.S. State Department. Andrea continues to share her passion for integrity in quality food sources on her farm, Morning Mist Farm, which was established as a model of sustainable agriculture, using farm practices promoting her belief in being a good steward of the land.
Anthony Margida, Ph.D.
FOUNDER & CEO
Dr. Anthony J. Margida, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, visionary and accomplished entrepreneurial ecosystem architect, brings energy and expertise to customizing tech startup programing for communities, universities, and corporations. His depth of experience spans business accelerator design, equity investment, private/public partnerships, company formation, and organization sustainability. As CEO of Akron Global Business Accelerator, he envisioned and spearheaded its transformation into an entrepreneurial super-hub creating 450 new jobs and securing $75 M in equity investment while securing over $10M in grant funding to ensure multi-year operations.
His 30-year career in innovation has focused on developing/commercializing new technologies and the creation of companies spanning the specialty chemical, advanced material, cleantech/energy, IT, medical device, and food/agriculture industries. As Director of Technology at HB Fuller, he led development and global commercialization of a waterbased footwear adhesive offering an alternative to a highly abused toluene based staple. His Magnetorheological Fluid (MR) patents are widely cited and are core to GM’s Magneride suspensions on over one million vehicles.
A nationally recognized thought leader, Dr. Margida serves on the US Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan recommending organization for US policy. He is President of LaunchTown Experience™, a program designed to promote entrepreneurship for Ohio students. He has served on the Akron ARCHAngels Deal Flow Committee and the University of Akron Research Foundation Spark Fund Board focusing on investment of University technologies. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of Wooster, Dr. Margida received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Akron and his business education from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Ocie Iron’s work focuses on community economic development. He has provided training, coaching,
and advisory services to small business owners and entrepreneurs for more than a decade.
Mr. Iron led the development of programs for entrepreneur development at TechTown Detroit. He also provided leadership for a prominent co-op developer in Detroit, and the office of a large ESO in Toledo, Ohio.
Earlier in his career, Ocie gained experience he uses to this day in project management, marketing, sales, and operations management. He also co-founded indoor farming and home monitoring businesses and started a maternal and infant health agency.
Irons earned his MBA from Columbia University and holds a Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development.
LEGAL | GOVERNMENT
An accomplished attorney specializing in business, policy development, and government relations for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and environmental consultants, Kevin Foy served as Mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and during his tenure the Conference of Mayors designated it “America's Most Livable City.”
He teaches environmental law at North Carolina Central University School of Law and Vermont Law School.
Michaela Margida, Ph.D.
SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS | ECOLOGIST
Michaela Margida is a science communications professional and Ph.D. ecologist currently working as a science policy fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
As a member of Senator Booker's agriculture and environment legislative team, Ms. Margida has provided scientific perspectives during the policy development process on diverse topics ranging from food waste management to endangered species conservation.
Michaela enjoys applying methods such as persuasive writing, collaborative problem-solving, learning together in real-time, and summarizing new findings for decision makers to a variety of issues.
In her free time, Michaela enjoys reading literature, writing poetry, learning languages, and distance running; but most of all, she loves to meet new people, make genuine connections, and learn from others.
STRATEGIC MARKETING | MENTORING
Chris Bolinger spent 27 years in tech firms in software engineering, product management, and strategic marketing roles.
In 2006, Mr. Bolinger co-founded Akron-based Summit Data Communications, a provider of Wi-Fi solutions for mobile computers and medical devices, which was later acquired by Laird Technologies.
Chris now lends his innovative spirit as an advisor to tech startups and emerging businesses.
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS | BRAND MANAGEMENT
Christine Meeker is a strategic communications executive who specializes in omnichannel brand management and innovation, c-suite thought leadership conent development, public relations, and executive and organizational communications strategies.
Throughout her career, she has worked for startups and with established public and private organizations on product and program development teams, focused on transforming ideas into engaging initiatives, brands, stories, programs, and events that build loyalty, inspire action, and increase revenues.
In her positions at Ringling College of Art and Design, Arthur Andersen Technology Solutions, and working with a variety of clients under her ideaDNA consultancy, she has led and contributed as a key member of worldwide organizational rebranding and brand creation initiatives.
GROWTH | TRANSFORMATION
A global leader with deep experiences in healthcare, wellness, and consumer sectors; Anurag Khanna has a track record of delivering sustainable P&L results, commercializing emerging opportunities, building iconic brands, and developing energized organizations.
A chemical engineer by education, Mr. Khanna has lived in different countries and has adapted to different cultures, ownership structures and crisis situations. He currently leads Panacea Global Partners, a management consulting firm.
As a sales, marketing, and business development expert in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, Mairin McCann has helped design, develop, and commercialize enterprise software solutions for industry leaders including Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Seven Bridges Genomics.
Ms. McCann's expansive global network includes collaborators and key contacts throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Chuck Abraham, CPA
A seasoned operational excellence executive, Chuck Abraham was CFO of Hitchcock Fleming & Associates.
The ad agency received the prestigious Brand Builder Award for the most innovative and effective marketing campaign in the commercial design and construction industries.
Abraham is a collaborative leader whose experience spans fiscal administration, real estate and property management, contractual relationships, client affairs, and human resources.