Connections Matter: Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo Encourages Relationship-Building

Mar 11, 2014, 08:00 ET from JumpStart

CLEVELAND, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Connections are everything for a growing business—whether it's being introduced to an investor, meeting a potential customer or finding a trusted advisor. The community is invited to make their own connections—while viewing the community resources available to entrepreneurs and business owners — at the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo  ( on Monday, April 7 from noon-5:30pm at the Cleveland Museum of Art (; 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, 44106).

The Expo, which is free and open to the community with advance registration, is hosted by JumpStart Inc. (, a nonprofit venture development organization committed to strengthening the economic vitality of Northeast Ohio and the U.S. by helping communities realize their entrepreneurial potential. "The right connection—at the right time—can help accelerate a company's progress," says JumpStart's COO, Cathy Belk. "The Expo is designed to offer entrepreneurs multiple opportunities to make meaningful connections in a high-energy, but focused, afternoon."

The April 7 event revolves around Speed Advising Sessions (1-3pm). During these fast-paced "office hours," exhibiting entrepreneurs have the chance to pitch their companies to and get feedback and guidance from investors, media representatives, service providers and entrepreneurial support organizations. These sessions will run concurrently with an open Startup Showcase (noon-3pm), which gives all attendees the chance to meet and learn about the cutting-edge companies and technologies being developed in Greater Cleveland.

The Expo continues with the presentation of awards to the winner of the Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition (3:15pm).  New this year is an investor panel discussion, "Attracting Capital Between the Coasts" (3:30-4:30PM), which explores the changes in VC and angel investing in the U.S. overall and what they mean for entrepreneurs in Ohio and in the Midwest. Moderated by Crain's Cleveland Business publisher John Campanelli, the panel features Drive Capital Co-Founder Mark Kvamme, Draper Triangle Ventures Managing Director Jay Katarincic, Allos Ventures Co-Founder and Managing Director John C. McIlwraith and JumpStart Inc. CEO Ray Leach. The afternoon culminates with a networking happy hour reception (4:30-5:30pm).

To register to attend (or participate in Speed Advising Sessions) at the Expo, or to see a complete agenda and profiles of some of the exhibitors, visit The 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo is supported by The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College, Charter One Foundation, Medical Mutual, Crain's Cleveland Business, FlashStarts and JumpStart Inc.

The Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo is part of "Get Connected!," a celebration of diverse entrepreneurs, emerging industries and the communities that support them. Events (The 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo, 2014 Female Entrepreneur Summit, Cleveland Startup Weekend and NEOSA Tech Week) run April 7-18. More details are available at

JUMPSTART INC.  JumpStart is committed to strengthening the economy through entrepreneurship. The nonprofit has been accelerating the successes of diverse entrepreneurs, their high growth companies and the ecosystems that support them since 2004. For more information, visit and follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter. 

SOURCE JumpStart