EDGE Innovation Hub is a creative ecosystem for fueling innovators.

Our vision is a future where food is abundant, accessible, healthful, sustainable, and delicious. 

Our mission is to build principle-based businesses that lead with love and drive food innovation to the edge of possibility.



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Based on the power of positive thinking and the Golden Rule, Jim Grote founded Donatos Pizza in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio. Knowing that there must be a better way, after years of applying sliced pepperoni by hand in the pizza shop, he went on to invent his Pep-A-Matic, a machine to slice and apply pepperoni directly to pizza. He founded The JE Grote Company on this invention in 1972, which manufactures food processing equipment globally. Grote recently founded The EDGE Innovation Hub, a center for creativity, where forward looking companies can innovate at the edge of possibility.

Grote’s moonshot is working with the robot Sophia of Hanson robotics to instill unconditional love into artificial intelligence, countering the apocalyptic predictions surrounding AI.

After growing up in the Catholic tradition, Grote began his search for a deeper understanding of the golden rule, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. He learned about the Christian traditions of unconditional love, eastern traditions of yoga philosophy, meditation and the teaching of Buddhism on loving kindness and compassion. Jim’s massive transformative purpose is to help evolve the American capitalist system to a profitable model based on the power of love and the Golden Rule, which he calls Agape Capitalism.




Thomas grew up on the Columbus Ohio's south side, working at the original Donatos Pizza and later rising to the post of Chief Operating Officer as the business grew from seven restaurants to over 150.

He graduated with a finance degree from Miami University, and his MBA with honors from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He opened the groundbreaking Out On Main, a casual fine dining restaurant which celebrated the lives of gays and lesbians. Thomas became chief financial officer for Green Biologics, a UK based biotech company, and continues to consult in business development and brand strategy. Thomas is and has been a tireless advocate for LGBTQ equality.

Tom lives with his husband and two Daughters in German Village, Ohio.




Craig’s passion is to create community. As a brand strategist, visual communication designer, artist, and musician; Craig uses creativity to solve problems and help organizations grow. He developed the Superpower Brand Strategy Process specifically for businesses driven to make the world a better place. With this unique process, businesses connect with an audience that shares their vision and wants to join their mission, creating value and multiplying the good work they do.

Craig has Bachelor’s degrees in Fine Art and Visual Communication Design, as well as a Master’s degree in Design Research & Development. He has taught Design, Brand Development, and Innovation Process at the Ohio State University. Craig lives happily in Columbus, Ohio — the city he loves.



EDGE Innovation Hub
1140 Gahanna Parkway
Gahanna, Ohio 43230