JumpStart Inc. (general)

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT