JumpStart Inc. (general)

Every small business is different. However, there are some basic principles that stay the same no matter who you are or what kind of business you’re trying to grow.

In this episode of the JumpStart Podcast, Larry Fulton, Owner of LEFCO Worthington, Constance Hill-Johnson, MPA, Owner and Managing Director of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services, Lamont Mackley, Principal of Entrepreneurial Services and Investing at JumpStart and Mike Marchetti, Venture Partner at JumpStart reveal their secrets to small business success.



Larry Fulton, Owner, LEFCO Worthington
Larry Fulton leverages an awarding winning strong entrepreneurial background across sectors including government, banking,manufacturing and non-profits. His areas of expertise include business planning, strategic growth, financial analytics, and M&A. Larry is currently the owner of LEFCO Worthington, a Cleveland-based producer of custom engineered wood crates that sells into the defense, utilities, and general industrial markets.

Constance Hill-Johnson, MPA, Owner & Managing Director, Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services
Constance started her business in 2002, and now in its 16th year, has successfully served hundreds of seniors throughout the greater Cleveland area and surrounding communities. Her professional background includes over 10-years of senior healthcare management experience in a variety of healthcare settings. She also spent five years as an institutional sales broker on an equity sales and trading desk for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in Detroit, Michigan.

Lamont Mackley, Principal, Entrepreneurial Services and Investing, JumpStart
Lamont assists entrepreneurs as they work through their seed funding pursuits to stimulate initial growth and adequately prepare them for follow-on funding. Lamont brings extensive executive and management experience to the JumpStart team. Most recently, Lamont taught business and professional studies courses at Chancellor University and the Jack Welch Management Institute. He also founded Another Level Resources, an executive coaching and development firm specializing in facilitating solutions to problems for business executives.

Mike Marchetti, Venture Partner, JumpStart
As a Venture Partner, Mike provides advisory services to high-growth, early-stage startup and existing scaleup companies. He partners with entrepreneurs and management teams to help companies grow, overcome challenges and boost value. Prior to JumpStart, Mike was in San Francisco leading Business Operations and Technology for software-as-a-service company ClearSlide. Prior to ClearSlide, Mike was the Senior Director of Business Solutions at Yelp, where he helped scale Yelp from $30 million to $600 million in revenue and prepared the company for IPO.

This is the first event in JumpStart’s Core City: Cleveland Program 2017-2018 series “The Habits of Successful Small Businesses.“

Direct download: Business-Secrets-Final_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

Your website should be the hub of all your marketing efforts…so is yours a 24/7 lead generating machine or an out-of-date embarrassment?

With years of digital marketing experience, the web gurus at Kiwi Creative—a Cleveland-based marketing studio for B2B software and technology companies—have seen the good, bad and downright ugly of all things website-related.

In this episode, Kiwi Creative's Jen Lombardi and Patrick Zangardi share their top 10 picks for things NOT to do when building or revamping your company’s website.

Direct download: 10-ways-to-ruin-a-website.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46am EST

Building a brand today requires more than some brochures and the occasional press release.

Whether you’re wooing social media influencers on Instagram or pitching reporters in a newsroom, knowing how to find and engage the people who can help get your message to your customers is key.

On Wednesday, September 20th, JumpStart welcomed Kate Lienesch, PR coordinator for Hello, a Cleveland engagement agency, for an insightful presentation on how to work with third party influencers to help amplify your brand message.

Direct download: Outside-Influencers-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am EST

When it comes to running a business, time stands still for no one. New competitors, new customers and new industry disruptions add up over time to create one simple truth—If you stop working to stay relevant, your business will inevitably start to decline.

In this session of "Scaling Up"—a new JumpStart event series focused on small business growth—a panel of entrepreneurs and small business owners talk about thinking creatively and reaching for the kinds of new opportunities that have helped them grow beyond what they previously thought possible.

Adam Fleisher - Owner, The Wine Spot
Brian Gale - CEO & President, I.D. Images
Dave Westerfield - General Manager, PACE Converting Equipment Company

Moderated by Greg Carlin

Direct download: GrowOrDie-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EST

Whether you live in Cleveland or California, building a world-class startup requires you to think on a global scale. 

On Thursday, March 30th, JumpStart invited a panel of experienced NEO entrepreneurs to Bottlehouse Brewery, to share real stories and offer real advice about getting the most out of your local resources, while also keeping your eye on the big picture.

Direct download: StartupStories-Local-Global.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46pm EST

On Thursday, January 12, JumpStart hosted an IP workshop with Isaac Molnar, Assistant Attorney General and Intellectual Property Counsel, Business Counsel Unit for the State of Ohio.


This program focused on issues unique to web-based/software/app-based (“IT”) companies. The first topic, Intellectual property or IP, refers to trademark, trade secrets, patent and copyright law. Each of these areas has issues unique to IT companies including: scope of trademark protection for SaaS companies, steps to take to preserve trade secrets, patentability of software and copyright ownership rights in source code.


In the second part of the event, Mr. Molnar addressed transactional or contract issues with a focus on SaaS agreements and end-user license agreements (EULA).

Direct download: IP-Podcast-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm EST

Entrepreneurship can be exciting and rewarding. But the long hours and high stress can take a real toll—on you and the people who care about you.

On Tuesday, December 6, JumpStart invited entrepreneurs and their families to the Great Lakes Science Center for an honest discussion about the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.

Sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: CandidConvo-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EST

On Thursday, October 27 JumpStart hosted a conversation about setting up a strong financial structure that can help attract investors and set up both startups and scaleups for long-term success.

The panel experts provided both insight and advice, as well as stories from real entrepreneurs who are leveraging strong financial practices to drive growth.

Direct download: AccountingForGrowth-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59am EST

Relocating to Cleveland’s reimagined Health-Tech Corridor (HTC) offers tremendous opportunities for innovative biomedical, healthcare and technology companies.

On Wednesday, October 19, JumpStart and BioEnterprise hosted a discussion on the opportunities available in the HTC, as well as an overview of the resources and funding available through both organizations.

Direct download: HTC-Podcast_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EST

On Wednesday, September 21st, JumpStart hosted Jacquie Chakirelis, Senior Digital Director at Advance Ohio, for a discussion on the foundation of building a strong personal brand. In this podcast, Jacquie examines why the process of cultivating and managing a personal brand is so valuable for both entrepreneurs and business leaders, and also gives tips to help you start separating yourself from the competition immediately.

Direct download: Blockbuster-Brand-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am EST

Ryan O’Donnell understands that great ideas don’t sell themselves. As co-founder and CEO of Cleveland-based SellHack, a sales prospecting and lead generation tool, he has set out to ensure the profitability of great products and services.

On September 14, Ryan led an interactive discussion, How To Get Your Next 100 Sales Leads, where he explained how technology can eliminate time-consuming manual processes—freeing time for entrepreneurs and sales teams to build relationships and close deals.

Direct download: 100SalesLeads-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EST

Did you miss this standing-room only session at Startup Scaleup 2016? Did you leave the session looking for even more information? If so, now's your chance to listen to a second edition of “How to Take Your Business From $2M - $10M.”

In this podcast, you’ll meet a whole new lineup of experienced entrepreneurs who share stories about growing their own businesses, including the challenges they faced and the resources they found most helpful.

Participants include:

Sally Schriner (moderator)- Venture Partner in JumpStart’s Entrepreneurial Advisory Services & Investing program.

Eamon Larkin- Chief Financial Officer at Budget Dumpster, a fast-growing Westlake company that specializes in providing local dumpster rentals to homeowners and contractors in 46 states.

Jeff Leo Herrmann- Chief Revenue Officer at Fathom, a digital marketing agency based in Valley View that is focused on sustainable growth and inspired transformation.

Pattie Wagner- Founder and CEO of Release Yoga, Inc.,an Akron-based yoga studio and boutique that has experienced triple-digit growth since its opening in 2013 and was recently voted “top yoga studio” by the Akron-Canton Hot List.

Sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: 2to10-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am EST

On Wednesday, May 18, JumpStart and the Women’s Business Center of Ohio welcomed a panel of successful business owners for a discussion about women-owned, minority and disadvantaged business certifications.

The group explored the pros and cons of each certification type, and talked about how to leverage your certifications to gain additional business.

Sponsored by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: OverLunch-51816-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm EST

On Tuesday, April 19th, Citizens Bank and Growth Opportunity Partners hosted a conversation about the best ways companies can position themselves to become anchor businesses in their community.

The discussion, sponsored by Citizens Bank, centered around Cleveland’s historical assets, how those assets have changed throughout the city’s history and how companies can use them as a key driver in business growth.

Direct download: WellBeingOfTheCititzen_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am EST

From introducing a new product to entering a new market, a comprehensive approach to market research can help reduce the risks involved in growing your business. 

On Tuesday, March 8, JumpStart's Market Research Analyst, Jaclyn Sommers, hosted an informative seminar on how to validate product and target market assumptions across varied industries and technologies, and the importance of market research for startups and small businesses.

Sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: overlunch3816-final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EST

On Tuesday, January 19, Citizens Bank and Growth Opportunity Partners hosted a discussion with Dr. Ken Mayland on economic forcasting in 2016.

 Dr. Mayland discussed the data and trends related to job growth, impact of a rising interest rate environment, GDP growth and general economic trends, and how the changing economy could influence the financial strategy for your business this year.

Direct download: Podcast-GrowthOpps-KenMayland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08pm EST

To take your business to the next level, you need to grow; and to grow you need highly effective marketing and sales strategies to improve your bottom line.

Building these kinds of strategies takes a comprehensive understanding of the market, including your customers’ needs and the unique value your product or service brings. With so much on the line, it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin.

On Wednesday, May 20, JumpStart hosted an open discussion on how to get started evaluating, planning and executing successful marketing and sales strategies for small businesses.

Sponsored by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: OverLunch-5202015_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01am EST

For young businesses, financial forecasting is often an overwhelming undertaking. Learning how to build and present financial projections that attract the attention of bankers and investors without venturing into unrealistic territory can be a difficult task to master.

On Wednesday, December 3, JumpStart held a two-part evening seminar aimed at conquering the numbers and helping business owners create a financial roadmap for success. (View Part 1 here.)

During the second half of the event, JumpStart's Lamont Mackley sat down with Shawn Ondrejko, Vice President of Business Banking at Charter One, and Todd Federman, Executive Director at North Coast Angel Fund, to discuss what to look for in a forecast and common red flags that might sour a deal.

Direct download: Financial-Forecast-2-Podcast-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:47pm EST

High-profile cyber breaches with companies such as Target, Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase have proven how easy it is for hackers to steal information (including credit card numbers, passwords, social security numbers, client records, etc). Small businesses wear the biggest bulls-eye when it comes to being targeted by hackers for many reasons – often small organizations don’t have onsite IT support or are not thinking about prevention when planning.

During an evening seminar on Wednesday, November 12, JumpStart’s new Small Business team took an in-depth look at Cyber Security to find out what you can do to stay ahead of the game.

Moderated by Michael Jeans, President of Small Business Lending and Senior Partner at JumpStart, this session covered the steps small businesses can take to protect their customers, assets, employees, and ultimately their business. Panelists include Eric Vanderburg, Director, Information Systems and Security at JurInnov Ltd., Barbara Paynter of Hennes Paynter Communications and Mary-Alice Frank, CEO of the American Red Cross Cleveland.

Direct download: Cybersecurity-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am EST

On October 23, JumpStart Inc. partnered with Tech Savvy Women for a sold-out event connecting job candidates with companies currently recruiting new talent.


The event, titled Tech Savvy Women: Working for a Startup, featured Jumpstart Senior Recruiter Angie Kilgore, who spoke about what it takes to work at a startup, as well as Tanya Wagener from Big River and Christine Knific from Movable, who shared their personal stories and lessons learned during their time working for Northeast Ohio startups.

Direct download: TSW-Working-For-A-Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm EST

Presenting to venture capitalists or other early stage investors can be challenging. These investors want to know how your company can make them money with explosive growth, why your solution matters to customers, just enough of your technology to get the “secret sauce,” how you protect your IP and why your team is the one to pull this off. Oh—and you might have to do all of that in 15 minutes.


“It’s About The Story!”—a one-hour presentation by Chris Mather, Chief Executive of National Initiatives at the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center—is designed to help early stage entrepreneurs create and present a targeted, crisp and compelling story for high growth investment audiences. Topics covered include how best to present your technology, ensuring that your value proposition is central to your pitch and determining what information is most important to cover.

Direct download: Mather-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm EST

As businesses become increasingly more data-focused, the need for quality IT talent, along with programs that cultivate a passion for technology into a career, is growing exponentially.

The ability to understand and use efficient coding languages helps diversify and strengthen job applicants. Two local programs, the Software Craftsmanship Guild and Tech Corps, aim to bridge the gap between traditional classroom education and hands-on tech skills sought by employers to build a new tech workforce with the aptitude and dedication to succeed.


In this episode of the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network Podcast, we chat with Software Craftsmanship Guild founder Eric Wise, Jennie Zamberlan of Avantia Incorporated and Lisa Chambers of Tech Corps about the benefits of an education in coding, the importance of engaging children in technology-based activities, and the opportunities that exist for others to shift their career toward the IT space.

Direct download: Coding-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am EST

Every entrepreneur wants to see his/her small business grow. But what does it take to make this happen, especially if you’re a busy business owner with limited resources?

In this JumStart panel discussion, three recent graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program frankly discuss how they've navigated these challenges and the valuable insights they've gained as a result.

This event was sponsored by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College.

Direct download: SpringForward-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EST

On April 7 at the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo, four seasoned Midwest investors came together for a conversation about the challenges and opportunities companies in the middle of the country face when it comes to funding. The one-hour panel discussion, "Attracting Capital Between the Coasts," explored the changes in VC and angel investing in the U.S., and how these impact entrepreneurs in Ohio and in the Midwest. Topics the investors covered include the advantages of launching startups in the Midwest; where they see the funding landscape going in the future; and what stakeholders and legislators can do to encourage more investment in the coming years.

Moderated by Crain’s Cleveland Business publisher John Campanelli, the panel featured Drive Capital Co-Founder Mark Kvamme, Allos Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Director John C. McIlwraith, JumpStart Inc. CEO Ray Leach and Draper Triangle Ventures Managing Director Jay Katarincic.

Direct download: Expo-Panel-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm EST

A new trade association is bringing together the groups, organizations, investors and corporations that help Ohio entrepreneurs access the capital they need to grow. 


VentureOhio plans to work on making Ohio’s increasingly robust entrepreneurial scene more self-sustaining by building a more cohesive network, advocating for entrepreneur- and investor-friendly policies, sharing the State’s story—and its successes—broadly, and helping to develop more sources of early-stage Ohio equity capital. “We’re at a point where [current efforts have] supported the creation of a lot of new companies that will need increasing levels of financing as the successful ones mature,” explains VentureOhio president Frank Samuel.



In this podcast, Samuel, board member Lisa Delp and secretary/treasurer Stephen Haynes talk to Samantha Fryberger about the group’s goals, Ohio’s challenges and opportunities when it comes to investment capital, and why this was the right time to launch this type of coordinated effort.

Direct download: VentureOhio-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am EST

High-tech startups are a key driver of job creation and young, entrepreneurial companies can lay claim to creating all net new jobs in the US over the last 30 years. So, it should be no surprise that communities faced with a loss of industry are working to expand their economic development strategies past traditional attraction and retention to include the ability to support the launch and growth of new, tech-based businesses.

For most areas of the country, this shift represents both a tremendous challenge and a great opportunity. JumpStart and our partners having been working on creating and entrepreneurially-friendly and resource-rich environment in Greater Cleveland since 2004 and, beginning in 2011, the nonprofit began sharing its decade of experience with other communities Entrepreneurial leadership in Memphis initially approached JumpStart looking to increase the number, growth and impact of high-potential startups in their region. Working with Andre Fowlkes and Eric Mathews of venture development organization Start Co., JumpStart initially helped determine if there was untapped deal flow in the region and found ways to help Memphis leverage its existing resources. Recently, the two organizations announce the creation of MEMx, a development plan to spur entrepreneurial growth and new programs in the Memphis market.

In this JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network podcast hosted by JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger, Andre, Eric and JumpStart Regional Advisor Erin Dorsey talk about inclusive startup-focused community initiatives in Memphis, the relationship that has developed between JumpStart and Start Co. and how both groups are benefiting from the partnership.

Direct download: Memphis-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EST

Every entrepreneur wants to see his/her business succeed. But what does it take to create and implement a growth plan, especially if you’re a busy business owner with limited access to capital? In this panel discussion, sponsored by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College and moderated by JumpStart’ Senior Advisor Lamont Mackley, three recent graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program frankly discuss how they’ve navigated these challenges and the valuable insights they’ve gained as a result.

Listen as Steve Presser, Owner/Operator of Big Fun, Sue Borison, Editor-In-Chief of Your Teen Magazine and Monica Green, Owner of so CURLY so KINKY so STRAIGHT The Salon, share their experiences with the free mini-MBA program, and talk about how participating helped them grow as business owners.

Direct download: 10ksb-takethefirststep-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am EST

Entrepreneurs and small businesses have a variety of funding options available, but figuring out which capital source to pursue—and at what stage of development financing is needed—isn’t always clear.

In this “Capturing Capital” panel discussion, sponsored by Charter One and moderated by JumpStart’s Jerry Frantz, listen to panelists Eric Diamond of ECDI, Deborah Perkins of The Presidents' Council, Chris Sklarin of Edison Ventures and Lee Zapis of Zapis Capital Group talk about the different types of funding, what companies should focus on and ways to best position your startup for investment success.

Direct download: CapturingCapital-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EST

With reports showing that high-tech startups contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of the economy and are a key driver of job creation, regions around the world are interested in becoming innovation hotspots. The reality is that most markets are not venture capital meccas like Silicon Valley. Still, there are creative ways to spur and support entrepreneurial activity and civic and corporate leaders, nonprofit foundations and economic development organizations are experimenting with novel approaches to launch and accelerate the successes of high growth companies in their communities.

A Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, is being created by Professor Michael Goldberg at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University that will, among other things, examine one such public, private and philanthropic intervention—the decade-long effort to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greater Cleveland.

In this panel discussion moderated by JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger, Professor Goldberg, Innovation Fund America Director Lisa Delp and FSVC Egypt Director Nevine Dakroury talk about the change taking place in Northeast Ohio and why work being done in the Buckeye State could be of interest to transitioning economies across the United States and around the world.

Direct download: MOOC-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm EST

At any given time, JumpStart Inc.'s job board lists 60 to 80 job openings at early stage companies in Greater Cleveland. Clearly, the region's young companies are creating opportunities. But how do cash- and time-strapped entrepreneurial firms identify, recruit and retain the tech talent they need in today’s globally competitive environment? And how do they find skilled workers that are a cultural fit for the fast-paced, constantly changing startup world?

In this roundtable moderated by Samantha Fryberger, Rushabh Sheth of Decision Desk, Kara Hornikel of JumpStart Inc. and Teri Hembree of OnShift discuss what it takes to work at a young, growing company, and talk about creative ways entrepreneurs are recruiting top talent.

Direct download: Jobs-At-Startups-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EST

Through Venture for America, a highly competitive program launched in 2010, some of the nation’s best and the brightest grads have the chance to experience entrepreneurship while making an impact on a young company’s growth.

Cleveland was added to the list of Venture for America cities this year. There are eight fellows in town for the next two years, and several JumpStart client companies have added this enthusiastic young talent to their ranks. “Our goal is to continue to funnel smart, talented builders to startups and high growth companies across the country and in communities like Cleveland, where they can contribute and add value to the growth of the business and help create jobs,” says Venture for America’s COO, Eileen Lee.

Listen to Lee, Paragon Robotics’ CEO Julian Lamb and Cleveland Fellow Mehves Tangun discuss the merits of the program.

Direct download: VentureForAmerica-Final2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Social media is one of the most important promotional tools a business can use. However, figuring out what platform to use—and what to share with customers—can be challenging. This fireside chat between Insivia CEO and owner Andy Halko and Renter’s BOOM Founder and CEO Lindsay Sims is an overview of how and why growing companies can benefit from using social media.

Direct download: SocialMedia-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EST

As any entrepreneur knows, despite best-laid plans, nobody is successful 100 percent of the time. Thankfully, most people recognize that mistakes alone can’t define them or deliver a fatal blow—rather, they are an opportunity for growth.

In this discussion, part of a series of local meet-ups called Small Talks presented by Turnstone in cities across the U.S., panelists Chris Seper of MedCity Media, Sue Borison and Stephanie Silverman of Your Teen Media, and José Vasquéz of Quez Media Marketing tell their stories about how they overcame challenges to achieve greater successes and positive outcomes.

Direct download: Turnstone_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EST

Entrepreneurship education in higher education is exploding with 5,000 colleges and universities offering entrepreneurship courses in 2013, compared to 250 in 1985. That’s according to the Kauffman Foundation, who also reports that more than 500 universities have instituted majors, minors or certificates in entrepreneurship.

In this roundtable discussion, JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger sits down with Deborah Hoover, President & CEO, Burton D. Morgan Foundation; Peter Abramo, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Wooster; Julie Messing, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Initiatives, Kent State University; and MBA student/entrepreneur JeShaune Jackson to explore the excitement around and benefits of entrepreneurship education.

Direct download: HigherEd_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm EST

Human Resources is the backbone of any organization, responsible for structuring and enforcing the hiring process, employee benefits and company culture. Startups and small businesses have unique needs as they grow and add employees—from figuring out the hiring process and determining benefits to creating an engaging workplace and attracting the right talent.

This panel discussion moderated by The Nielsen Group owner Lee Nielsen covers designing a benefits plan and compensation package, as well as navigating the onboarding process. Other topics discussed include how to be intentional about culture creation, and how to align the performance management process to support this intended culture. Panelists include Thermalin Diabetes CEO Rick Berenson and Executive Recruiter Fran Rubin, ECHOGEN Power Systems Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Julie Maurer, and Diane McNally Consulting’s Diane McNally.

Direct download: HR_Panel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

On Wednesday, August 7, JumpStart hosted a half-day Human Resources event that covered topics important to small business—from the hiring process and determining benefits, to creating an engaging workplace. One topic of particular interest to many companies is providing healthcare coverage for their employees. As part of the event, JumpStart welcomed Trish Decensi, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Medical Mutual of Ohio, to discuss new policies and laws related to the affordable care act and how they affect small business.

Direct download: HR-MedMutual-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm EST

TechStars, 500 Startups, Y Combinator…these well-known accelerators work with promising young companies for a limited time, exchanging mentoring and pre-seed funding for equity. With nearly 200 accelerators already in existence and new ones sprouting up all the time, how does an entrepreneur know if a startup launch program is right for him or her? We sat down with Charles Stack and Jennifer Neundorfer from FlashStarts and Dar Caldwell from LaunchHouse—both Northeast Ohio-based accelerators—to talk about the benefits these programs can provide and how to pick one that’s the best fit for your business.

Direct download: Accelerator-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:09pm EST

On Thursday, July 25, Jumpstart hosted “First To File,” a panel discussion on patent law changes. Moderated by Barbara Morgan and featuring panelists Elyse Ball, Esq. of The University of Akron Research Foundation; Patricia Smith, Esq. of P.A. Smith, LLC; and Daniel J. McMullen, Attorney At Law for Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP; the discussion covered major aspects of the first-to-file system and how it differs from the previous patent process.

In addition, the event addressed the implications of this reform on entrepreneurs and their technology, and even how it might change how startups, universities and other innovation hubs conduct business.

Direct download: First-to-file-FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:57am EST

In 2012, there were nearly 1,300 incubators in the United States. The 2012 State of the Business Incubation Industry report revealed that around 93% of those incubators were nonprofit organizations focused on economic development and about 47% of them operated in urban areas. In Greater Cleveland, there are a number of incubators that, while working in their individual communities, are part of a connected Network of entrepreneurial resources—including seed funds, accelerators and mentors—across the region. JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger sat down with Jim Cossler, Chief Evangelist and Entrepreneurial Expert of the Youngstown Business Incubator, George Buzzy, Executive Director of TECHudson, Bob Cohen, CEO and Director Of Business Assistance of the Braintree Business Development Center, and Dave Crain, Director of Entrepreneurial Services for The Incubator at MAGNET, to learn more about their individual missions, benefits and collective impact when it comes to accelerating high potential companies.

Direct download: Incubator-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EST

In 2012, 108 Northeast Ohio companies raised $212 million in equity capital from angel and venture capitalists to grow their businesses. Still, the process of raising capital is a struggle for many, if not most, entrepreneurs. Imagine convincing potential investors—especially ones you don’t know—to put money into your company above other opportunities. It requires, among other things, technique, a strong business model and confidence.JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger sat down with a succesful fundraiser (Onshift CEO Mark Woodka) and an investor (Karen Spilizewski of Rivervest Venture Partners) to to find out what else it takes to get the money your company needs to grow.

Direct download: Funding-Pitching-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EST

Greater Cleveland would not have been thought of as the land of entrepreneurial opportunity or activity 10 or so years ago. The region survived on established industry for quite some time, but found itself coming up short on jobs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Over the past decade, the region banded together to get the entrepreneurial ball rolling with seed funds, incubators, accelerators and other key resources. Now Northeast Ohio is flush with an array of programs and startups successfully raising capital and getting national attention. But that’s not the complete picture of a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. There needs to be vibrancy, a sense of connection, culture and community.

We sat down with Nick Barendt, Laura Bennett, Paul McAvinchey and Nichelle McCall to discuss the importance of culture and opportunities created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs ... many of which are focused on peer networking and education.

Direct download: grassroots-final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am EST

Every business needs capital to grow—but getting that funding in place can be a challenge.

In this panel discussion moderated by JumpStart Chief Inclusion Officer Darrin Redus, Charter One Bank President Ken Marblestone, JumpStart President John Dearborn, Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) Vice President Eric Diamond and RiverVest Venture Partners Vice President Karen Spilizewski discuss the variety of ways an entrepreneur can finance their business—from bootstrapping to securing investors.

Listen as the panelists explain the pros and cons of loans, equity capital and grants, and help entrepreneurs determine what type of funding could be most beneficial to their growing venture.

Direct download: FindingFinancing-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EST

The City of Alliance recently became the sixth Northeast Ohio community to launch a hyper-local fund to support tech entrepreneurs, following Akron, Canton, Wooster, Barberton and Cuyahoga County. Listen in and learn more about the excitement around this forward-thinking economic development initiative and hear from the entrepreneurs interested in this new source of early-stage capital.

Direct download: AllianceFundFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EST

Pitching an investor can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things an entrepreneur has to do.

On Wednesday, April 17, JumpStart hosted “Perfecting Your Pitch,” a panel discussion about what to do (and not to do) when approaching investors, as well as what makes a compelling pitch that resonates with investors.

Moderated by JumpStart Venture Partner Lee Poseidon, the panel included: Dennis Cocco, Director of GLIDE, serial entrepreneur and investor Doug Weintraub, JumpStart Venture Partner John Blair and George Buzzy, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for JumpStart, TECHudson and the Youngstown Business Incubator.

Direct download: pyp-final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:09pm EST

On Thursday, April 25, nine Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial companies were recognized as new members of the Charter One Launch100 Leadership Circle. The Circle, which was established in 2012, recognizes diverse entrepreneurs committed to turning their business ideas into some of the region’s most impactful companies.

The 2013 class joins the members of last year’s inaugural Launch100 Leadership Circle in forming a regional peer network of high-growth minority-and women-led companies.

Direct download: Charter-One-Launch100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40pm EST

On Wednesday, April 17, Northeast Ohio business leaders, investors, college students, faculty and families gathered at the University of Akron's Martin Center for the 7th annual LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Awards. An academic idea competition available to students of any major area of study from Northeast Ohio colleges and universities, LaunchTown seeks to find the best new idea for a business, product or service to create wealth. The winner receives $10,000, courtesy of a Burton D. Morgan Foundation grant, plus a package of mentor and advisory services from the LaunchTown Leadership Team.

Direct download: LaunchTown_Final_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25am EST

As the US looks to create new jobs, new opportunities and new industries, we're supporting and investing in our regional entrepreneurial ecosystems--which represent the collective of tech-based economic development organizations, entrepreneurial incubators, colleges and universities, venture and angel funds, and other resources dedicated to spurring the creation of a region's high growth entrepreneurs. And yet, we’re not reaching everyone. For example, according to CBInsights, in 2011 only 1% of venture-backed companies had a black founder.

JumpStart had the opportunity to discuss the importance of and the barriers to creating inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems with Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, Claude Kennard and our own Darrin Redus.

Here’s some of our lunchtime conversation about how communities can foster the development of inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems that produce higher growth, diverse businesses and why that’s ultimately critical for our country’s economic competitiveness.

Direct download: Inclusion_Final_Mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EST

On Tuesday, March 12, the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, with help from BioEnterprise, hosted a presentation led by Liz Powell, Principal and Founder of G2G consulting, about the Rapid Innovation Fund and related funding opportunities from the Department of Defense for biosciences, IT, aerospace and other high-tech innovations that can assist the military.

The Rapid Innovation Fund program provides $500 million in awards of $3 million each in the form of a contract to companies conducting R&D. So far, 172 companies have received funding since the Rapid Innovation Fund was launched in 2011.

Direct download: Rapid-Innovation-Fund-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm EST

If you think mentoring only benefits companies and entrepreneurs who are just starting out, think again: Whether you’re an established business owner or a newly minted startup founder, getting (or giving) advice can help you grow.

On Tuesday, March 19th, JumpStart hosted a lively discussion about what mentoring is, how it can help businesses grow and why it’s more important than ever—to both mentors and mentees.

Moderated by Anthony Hughes, Director of JumpStart’s mentoring program, the discussion panel included: Albert Ratner, Co-Chairman Emeritus of Forest City Enterprises; Samuel Gerace, CEO of VERITIX ; Paul Allen, Leader of Bizdom; and Lissette Rivera, CEO of SafeCare.

Direct download: Final_Mentor_Panel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am EST

The mentoring program at JumpStart was created to expand Northeast Ohio’s capacity to deliver resources and assistance to some of the region's most promising entrepreneurs.

The initiative, supported by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, is focused on channeling the expertise of teams of experienced and successful business leaders to support of the region’s newest technology entrepreneurs.

By doing so, the program gives a boost to promising young companies that could go on to become significant employers in our community.

In this roundtable conversation, JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger is joined by Lee Nielsen, Gordon Daily and Anthony Hughes to discuss the values and benefits of mentoring programs for entrepreneurs.

Direct download: mentoring-roundtable-final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:25pm EST

In 2012, over half of Northeast Ohio companies that attracted outside equity investment received some money from angels.

In this panel discussion, moderated by JumpStart Managing Venture Partner Jerry Frantz, eFuneral Co-Founder Bryan Chaikin, StreamLink Software President and CEO Adam Roth, and Clay Rankin, Manager of North Coast Angel Fund, discuss their experiences and offer advice to young companies seeking and receiving angel investments.

Direct download: AngelPanelPodcast-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Angel investments can be vital to a company’s growth and development. However, knowing how to access this capital—or figuring out what angel investors are looking for—can be daunting. In this roundtable conversation, angel investor Ben Sheridan, North Coast Angel Fund Executive Director Todd Federman and JumpStart Chief Investment Officer Lynn-Ann Gries discuss the angel investing process—everything from what they look for in an investment and how companies should prepare to pitch (or receive) angel investment to why angels are important to the economy.

Direct download: AngelPodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm EST

We opened Cleveland Magazine’s annual issue devoted to the region’s most interesting people and were thrilled, but not surprised, to see two of JumpStart’s favorite entrepreneurs featured this year: Laura Bennett, CEO and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance and Lindsay Sims, founder of the IT startup Renter’s Boom. Both IT-savvy female founders are growing innovative companies and blazing trails as part of a growing number of successful female entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio.

Direct download: FemaleTreps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

The 2012 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo featured 117 young companies, more than 30 entrepreneurial support providers and welcomed over 1200 registered attendees ... making it JumpStart's biggest startup showcase yet.

One of the highlights of the expo was an entrepreneur panel discussion, "Northeast Ohio Startup Success Stories You Should Know" which offered many insights into starting and growing a multimillion-dollar company in Northeast Ohio.

Hosted by Jacqueline Acho, President of The Acho Group, the panel included: Dr. David Kay (CMO of Orthohelix Surgical Designs), Andy Lefkowitz (President and CEO of Ganeden Biotech), Ron Seide (VP & General manager of Connectivity Products Business Unit at Laird Technologies ) and Brittney Gonzalez (PR Manager at LivingSocial).

Direct download: Entrepreneur-Panel-Podcast-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EST

LLC, C-Corp or S-Corp: What's Right for My Business?

On Thursday, September 6, JumpStart invited Jonathon Vinocur, Partner at Thompson Hine, LLP, to speak at the information session, "LLC, C-Corp or S-Corp: What's Right for My Business?" At this Dominion-sponsored event, Vinocur discussed why forming an entity is one of the most important things entrepreneurs can do to protect their businesses and personal assets. He also explained the differences among LLCs, C-Corps and S-Corps--including the requirements needed to maintain them-and also shared examples of times when entrepreneurs made the right and wrong choices.

Direct download: LLC_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am EST

Why is Northeast Ohio the right place to start a business? Listen to the podcast to hear how some of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs are harnessing Northeast Ohio’s funding opportunities, comprehensive small business resources and top talent.

Direct download: Why_Northeast_Ohio_is_Great_Place_to_Start_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EST

According to a new survey of Generation Y workers, one of the most popular majors for that group is "entrepreneurial studies." This is a relatively new area of study, and it’s also a discipline that’s not easily summarized. Still, the Northeast Ohio educators, entrepreneurs and students interviewed in the latest JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network podcast believe that entrepreneurial education has great value outside of the classroom—and fosters skills and strengths which resonate long after graduation.

Direct download: Entrepreneurship-Education.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:34am EST

On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network invited regional investors to provide an overview of area  funding opportunities and take questions from entrepreneurs about accessing capital— from venture capital investors to the federal government and everything in between.

The Capital Continuum in Northeast Ohio, sponsored by Charter One and moderated by Jumpstart's Chief Economic Inclusion Officer Darrin Redus, featured an investment panel of Ken Marblestone (President of Charter One and RBS Citizens), Daniel Kellogg (Managing Director of Crystal Venture Funds), Clay Rankin (Manager of North Coast Angel Fund), Jerry Frantz (Managing Venture Partner at JumpStart), and Dennis Cocco (Associate Director at Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise and Manager of the Innovation Fund).

For more information on Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial resources visit www.jumpstartnetwork.org.

Direct download: CapitalContinuumFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EST

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, JumpStart and The Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) invited area interns to learn about tech-based entrepreneurship in Greater Cleveland and network with other college students interning in the region.

Direct download: Intern101_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EST