>Ohio Venture Association names Venture of the Year 2009

>Veteran Northeast Ohio entrepreneur Len Pagon was recognized by the Ohio Venture Association on June 12th, emerging from four strong nominees to win OVA’s Venture of the Year award.

At the age of 23, Pagon founded his web-development company in 1989 as New Media. It was later renamed Brulant, and in 2008 merged into New Jersey-based Rosetta, which calls itself the largest independent interactive agency in the U.S. But Pagon proudly noted that about 450 of the company’s 680 employees remain in Northeast Ohio. Through all those changes, challenges and turnarounds in 20 years, he joked that he belongs to the “Captain Ahab school of entrepreneurship.”

The other nominees included Bargmann Management, purchased recently by Invacare; Expensewire, a travel-expense company sold recently to Rearden Commerce; and NDI Medical, begun with a $220,000 investment and recently sold for more than $40 million to health care giant Medtronic.

Last year’s winner was Jim Hummer, founder & CEO of Whole Health Management.

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