The Akron tech startup, nurtured in the business incubator in the city’s downtown, is planning to relocate to Independence. Cuyahoga County is luring the company, 7signal, with a Business Attraction Forgivable Loan. The county’s loan will be forgivable “only upon the company’s creation of 48 jobs and maintenance of those jobs within the County over 7 years,” according to a news release issued by Cuyahoga County.
7signal, located in space in the Akron incubator called the Akron Global Business Accelerator, has more than 20 employees and over 100 customers across the United States and in Europe.
Engineers in Finland, who worked for mobile giant Nokia, started the company that provides software that makes wireless communications connect easily and operate more reliably inside buildings such as hospitals. In addition to the Cuyahoga County loan, the city of Independence has said it will give 7signal a job creation grant valued at up to $200,000, according to the Cuyahoga County news release.
The company moved to the United States in 2011, setting up shop in the business incubator known as the Akron Global Accelerator. The facility is in the former B.F. Goodrich complex off South Main Street downtown. 7signal initially got some traction by targeting hospitals, places where monitoring the quality of Wi-Fi performance is especially critical.
7signal has attracted significant investment, including money from the new NEXT Fund, established by the nonprofit regional economic development group JumpStart Inc., with offices in Cleveland. The fund is JumpStart’s first for-profit fund, and its investments in companies range from $500,000 to $1.5 million.