SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shaker LaunchHouse, a lean business accelerator based in Northeast Ohio, is seeking early stage, broad-based technology startups focused on technology, Internet, mobile and hardware/robotics to apply for the LaunchHouse Accelerator (LHX) program. Applications for the LHX 2013 program open March 8, with the program kicking off August 12.
With the $200,000 ONEFund grant, LHX will invest in 10 tech companies consisting of two or more co-founders, to participate in the LHX program. The startups are required to remain in Cleveland for the duration of the 12-week, boot camp-style accelerator program.
From its inception in 2008, LaunchHouse has invested in 40 diverse companies that have raised more than $5.5 million in follow on funding. Since the conclusion of the inaugural LHX 2012 program, the companies have been able to create more than 20 jobs, a majority of which are in Northeast Ohio.
LaunchHouse's adaptations of the customer development model popularized by Steve Blank, and the business model canvas framework of Alexander Osterwalder have proven to quickly help startups to reach validation. Teams are required to "get out of the building" in order to talk with potential customers to validate elements of their business – the problem/need and the solution – while generating early adapters.
The strong LaunchHouse mentor network is another asset of the LHX program. It consists of a fusion of business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio and beyond. The network includes more than 60 experienced individuals, from over 20 industries, with experiences that range from technical experts to seasoned CEOs.
As part of the selection process, LaunchHouse will host a "2DAYdiscovery" in which the top 30 teams will have a "taste" of the LHX methodology, and will speak to potential customers, analyze the data and report back to the LHX mentors. LaunchHouse, with the help of its mentors, will select the 10 teams to participate in the LHX program. During the 12-week program these companies will have an opportunity to grow their business, achieve validation and ultimately be one step closer to market entry.
At the culmination of the LHX program, companies have the ability to pitch and demo to investors, potential clients, other entrepreneurs and the general public at Showcase Day. More than 200 people attended Showcase Day 2012, with live streaming to 30 more investors nationwide.
LaunchHouse and Bizdom Cleveland are the only accelerators in Northeast Ohio to receive the ONEFund grant. Bizdom Cleveland, a non-profit business accelerator founded by serial entrepreneur Dan Gilbert, runs an accelerator program "focused on software and web opportunities in healthcare, consumer finance, real estate, entertainment, sports, online marketing and gaming," according to The Ohio Third Frontier.
Since Bizdom Cleveland began calling downtown Cleveland home, LaunchHouse and Bizdom Cleveland have been able to forge a beneficial partnership for the region, as well as Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs. Through these accelerator programs, LaunchHouse and Bizdom Cleveland will continue to attract entrepreneurs to the region, and retain talented individuals who can grow startups and succeed in Northeast Ohio.
"We are excited to continue to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio, through the LaunchHouse Accelerator, while building awareness that Cleveland is a place to start a business," said Todd Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer and managing partner of LaunchHouse. "Cleveland has offered us an abundance of resources, mentors and partnerships, which will directly benefit each of the 10 startups in the development process, and ultimately assist them in securing follow on funding."
Again, applications for the LHX 2013 program will open March 8, with the program beginning August 12. Those interested can apply at www.launchhouse.com/accelerator.
LaunchHouse is a lean business accelerator in Shaker Heights that fosters entrepreneurial success and job creation through seed capital, education and innovation. Based in Northeast Ohio, the LaunchHouse mission is to recruit, nurture, and grow the Midwest's most promising startup companies not only through funding but also through mentorship and strategic business development resources. Visit www.launchhouse.com for more information.
About Ohio One Fund
Ohio's New Entrepreneurs Fund (ONEFund) is an innovative approach to retaining and attracting the best and the brightest talent to Ohio. This exciting mentorship-driven program focuses on the professional development of young entrepreneurs with the necessary ambition to commercialize new technologies and looks to link promising new ventures in Ohio with early-stage investment capital. ONE Fund will aggressively recruit young entrepreneurs from within
Ohio and outside the state and will foster the young entrepreneurs' professional development by educating them on what it takes to form a business in Ohio.
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