Bounce Innovation Hub was founded in January 2018 and is the region’s first open innovation hub serving northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial and innovation community. Located in downtown Akron in the former B.F. Goodrich plant, the building comprises more than 300,000 square feet of office, lab and light manufacturing space. With more than 50 organizations in the building, Bounce accounts for more than 200 people working and creating.
Bounce currently offers an incubator program, a mentoring program and a software accelerator. We also host, as well as offer event space, for entrepreneurial events.
The Generator, opening in 2019
Bounce is currently undergoing a major renovation to the first floor that is expected to be complete at the end of the year. Comprising 27,000 square feet, the Generator will include a new and more inviting entryway, office space, co-working space, a makerspace, a café and meeting area, conference rooms, and a University of Akron esports lab.
Open to all
Bounce encourages open collaboration among diverse groups through unique opportunities, programs and events. We look to engage anyone and everyone with a mind for innovation, including startup founders, small businesses, large corporations, investors, makers, individual innovators, artists and universities. We aim to create meaningful connections, where new ideas are born through collaboration and relationships with like-minded innovators.
Bounce is here to help grow Akron’s innovation ecosystem.
Honoring the Past, Looking To the Future
Bounce stands on the foundation of Akron’s first wave of innovation and industry – the B.F. Goodrich Company, founded in 1870. Like many startups today, B.F. Goodrich was a young man with little capital and a big dream. He left New York to come to Akron to establish the first rubber company west of the Appalachian Mountains. However, he didn’t do it alone. Members of the Akron community helped him raise the capital he needed to get started.
The journey wasn’t easy; B.F. almost went bankrupt twice. Still, he kept at it and with the invention of the pneumatic tire – and, of course, cars – technology advanced, tires were in demand and the rest is history.
Eventually, of course, the rubber industry that B.F. Goodrich started would eventually dwindle to almost nothing by the late 1970s and early 1980s, resulting in thousands of lost jobs and a severe economic downturn for the city and region. It was during that time, that the Akron Global Business Accelerator, now known as Bounce, was founded in 1983. It originally housed manufacturing startups, and eventually became solely a technology incubator. In 2015, it founded The Bit Factory, a software startup accelerator. The incubator program has been absorbed by Bounce and the Accelerator name is no longer used; however, The Bit Factory remains intact and serves as Bounce’s accelerator.
A century and a half later, Akron is once again at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship, continually rethinking and reinventing itself to build a new innovation ecosystem right here where it all started. As Akron’s first open innovation hub, Bounce provides services and programs to help any and all with a mind for innovation to make their visions become reality.