About the Wooster Opportunity Loan Fund

The Wooster Opportunity Loan Fund, or WOLF, is a local loan program for technology-oriented start-ups, including inventors, information technology developers, and manufacturers creating proprietary products. These types of firms may apply to WOLF for prime-rate loans with payments deferred for five years, with the following seven years amortized. The program is meant to provide gap-financing for critical launches for start-up businesses when financial flexibility is most needed.

The WOLF was launched in late 2010 by the City of Wooster and the Wooster Growth Corporation in collaboration with JumpStart and with support from the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce, Wooster Community Hospital, and nonprofit Cascade Capital. Since its launch, the fund has awarded capital to a diverse array of promising young area companies.

The Wooster Opportunity Loan Fund (WOLF) is a hyper-local fund designed to support early-stage, high growth technology companies made available through the Wooster Growth Corporation, the community improvement corporation of the City of Wooster (www.woosteroh.com). The Fund is part of the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, a connected group of advisors, incubators, accelerators and seed funds delivering resources to tech entrepreneurs across Northeast Ohio. Wayne County-based startups with the potential to grow and raise additional capital, generate revenues and eventually create new jobs in the County can now apply for loans of up to $35,000.

The JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network is a non-profit connected group of entrepreneurial support organizations collaborating to provide the space, capital, advice, support and connections Northeast Ohio startups need to grow. Members of the Network include pre-seed and seed funds, incubators, business advisors, accelerators and an online community. Visit www.jumpstartnetwork.org for information on regional resources and upcoming entrepreneur-focused events.

To apply, we first ask propspective applicants to please contact the Wooster Growth Project Manager (Jonathan Millea, Jmillea@woosteroh.com and available at 330.263.5250) who can help provide you with more information for your specific project and better track your application. Applications are made online through jumpstartnetwork.org/apply. The nonprofit JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, a major WOLF Partner, is a connected group of entrepreneurial support organizations collaborating to provide the space, capital, advice, support and connections Northeast Ohio startups need to grow. The application process starts with basic personal and business information. Once submitted, JumpStart and Wooster Growth will review your application. Additionally, our partners at JumpStart will also consider other grants and special programs available within the region. (Past WOLF recipients who received WOLF funding also accepted funding from other loan and grant programs specifically serving Northeast Ohio with JumpStart's support.)

Please let Wooster Growth know if we can be of assistance!

Other Wooster Area Resources for New Business Start-Ups

Wooster offers a myriad of valuable resources to help local entrepreneurs, or those thinking about starting a business. From educational workshops, to one-on-one mentoring from proven business leaders, to counseling on budgeting, in addition to non-profit financial resources similar to WOLF, but available to non-technology firms as well. Visit our Wooster for Entrepreneurs Page here.