NKTelco Launches Innovation Fund

$500,000 to Benefit Local Entrepreneurs

July 18, 2023. New Knoxville, OH NKTelco, in partnership with their parent company, Schurz Communications, is proud to announce the launch of the NKTelco Innovation Fund in Auglaize County, Ohio. This Fund will provide investment dollars to local entrepreneur’s startup and growth companies to support, sustain and grow businesses in the county.

Applicant’s business should be focused on technology, innovation, or businesses with a technology angle that can take advantage of broadband technology. Examples of these businesses could be digital media, artificial intelligence, cyber security, gaming etc. to create/retain well-paying jobs in the ecosystem in Auglaize County.

The Fund will provide $100,000 per year of local investment for five years. An Investment Committee led by NKTelco and Schurz will include local business leaders in Auglaize County. The committee will review applications and make the investments. The Investment Committee will:

  • Develop specific investment criteria based on viability, potential, growth and return characteristics that would create jobs in Auglaize County and benefit the most from local expertise and the NKTelco infrastructure.
  • Special consideration will be given to women, people of color, people with disabilities and members of other minority groups who have met basic investment criteria.
  • The Investment Committee will make public, at least annually, a report on all firms that receive Innovation Fund investments and the local community impact.

Schurz Communications funded the first trial of the Innovation Fund in Burlington, VT in 2019. Since then, there has been great local interest in the Fund with the development of multiple successful businesses, positive community support for the fund, and significant community impact.

About NKTelco:

NKTelco is a locally operated fiber provider that has been in business since 1905 and currently offers data, voice, and video services to residential and business customers in communities in West Central Ohio. NKTelco has a long history of expanding its fiber network to provide the best service possible to its customers. Currently, NKTelco serves the New Knoxville, New Bremen, Minster, Fort Loramie, Botkin’s, Anna, Maria Stein, Chickasaw, Osgood, Russia, Jackson Center, Sidney, Piqua, and Versailles communities.

About Schurz Communications, Inc., is a Mishawaka, IN-based news and information company that consists of cable and digital media. It also owns broadband companies and phone directories. Geographically, Schurz Communications has a presence in Arizona, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.