BARBERTON, Ohio, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) in collaboration with JumpStart Inc. and with a significant investment from the Barberton Community Foundation, officially launches a new loan fund for high growth entrepreneurs interested in starting and growing their companies in the City of Barberton.
A part of the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network, the $500,000 Barberton Growth Fund will award loans of up to $50,000 to companies with the potential to raise venture capital in the future. Barberton's Mayor, Bob Genet has been a strong proponent. "This commitment to accelerate young tech-based companies complements Barberton's already strong business attraction and retention programs," says Mayor Bob Genet. "We have a unique opportunity to assist entrepreneurs in developing their businesses that will benefit the city and the region."
Evaluation and selection will be performed by the Barberton Community Development Corporation Project Review Committee in collaboration with JumpStart. Approved companies receive a payment-deferred, low interest loan to complete a specific initiative or project that is expected to make the company significantly more attractive to pre-seed investors. "We're looking for early stage companies and helping those with the most viable business ideas get off the ground," explains Scott Wagner, BCDC Executive Director. "The distribution of the money is attached to milestones of growth, so we'll be monitoring the progress of these companies and, with the help of JumpStart and Network partners, helping them take the next critical steps if and when they need assistance."
JumpStart President John Dearborn knows those connections can increase a company's chances of success, saying, "Barberton is giving entrepreneurs some capital to get started while simultaneously connecting them to a 21-county Network of Northeast Ohio advisors and pre-seed and seed funds that can continue to help move their businesses forward."
Barberton is one of the earlier small communities in Ohio to proactively design a local support program around entrepreneurs. "In a city founded by industrialist O.C. Barber, maybe it's not that surprising that the Mayor, BCDC, and other civic leaders understand the importance of creating opportunity for entrepreneurs who can go on to create jobs and wealth for our community," says Larry Lallo, Executive Director of the Barberton Community Foundation, an organization charged with improving the lives of residents while lessening the burden for government.
Entrepreneurs located in or willing to grow their early stage, tech-based company in Barberton should apply at www.jumpstartnetwork.org.
About JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network
The JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network is a connected group of Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial support organizations giving high growth entrepreneurs a place to start their search for assistance and providing them with the right resources they need, at the right time to grow their businesses. Members of the Network include pre-seed and seed funds, incubators, business advisors, and an online community. The JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network is managed by JumpStart Inc., a non-profit organization transforming the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting their growth.
SOURCE JumpStart, Inc.