JumpStart Inc. (general)

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT