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11/17/06..Contact: Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark at 740-597-2938 or, or Director of Research Communications Andrea Gibson at 740-597-2166 or Awards $3.5 Million for Southeast Ohio Business Growth.Ohio University, Adena Ventures partnership to benefit Appalachian entrepreneurs..ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 17, 2006) - The state of Ohio has awarded $3.5 million to Ohio University's Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs and venture capital firm Adena Ventures to invest in new technology businesses in the 19 counties of Southeast Ohio. ..The funds will expand the partnership, which has become a national model for rural economic development. This initial award - which sets up a pre-seed fund and business assistance for digital technology companies - is part of a larger proposal submitted to the state that could attract more funding this spring.   ..The Ohio Department of Development announced the award of funds from its Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Signature Program, which supports technology-based business growth throughout the state. ..The Voinovich Center, Adena Ventures and area investors will identify and support regional entrepreneurs who need professional expertise and funding to launch their businesses. The program is unique because it offers venture capital funding to smaller, higher risk ventures in the areas of digital interactive media and life sciences for the first time in Southeast Ohio...?Adena and the Voinovich Center have a five-year track record of assisting early-stage companies in Appalachian Ohio. This award represents an important milestone for furthering our work in this region,? said Lynn Gellermann, a founding partner of Adena Ventures. ..Since 2002, Adena Ventures has invested $13 million in 10 companies and provided nearly $4 million of operational assistance to more than 60 companies. This activity has been significantly leveraged by co-investors and lenders, bringing a total of nearl