CLEVELAND, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish introduced legislation to launch county initiatives that will attract venture capital and accelerate fast-growing businesses in Cuyahoga County. After a broad and competitive process, Cuyahoga County selected Venture Development Organization JumpStart Inc. as its partner to leverage the county investments in innovation and entrepreneurship. The county will lend up to $4.5 million as part of the County's Innovation Match for Pre-Seed Capital ($2.5 million) and Early Stage Loan Fund ($2 million).
JumpStart will build upon their extensive track record and use the loaned funds to invest in high-tech Cuyahoga County startups, and attract capital from many other sources to add additional impact to the county. The local private-public partnership will be one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and represents one of the key pillars of Budish's revamped Cuyahoga County economic development strategy.
Cuyahoga County has set up its investment to virtually eliminate any risk to County taxpayers by requiring that Jumpstart secure these loans.
"Even as Cuyahoga County works to balance our budget we must not ignore the urgent need for our County to move forward. Among county governments, Cuyahoga County is unique in its commitment to economic development," said County Executive Armond Budish. "To my knowledge, this is a first in county government – but for us it won't be the last. It is my greatest hope that this is just the start of the type of ongoing, transformational investments that we will be able to make in the future as our current financial condition strengthens."
"JumpStart is recognized nationwide for their leadership and success nurturing high-growth companies and attracting funding for even more success," continued Budish. "Together, this partnership reflects our commitment to deliver solutions to well-known challenges in capital attraction and accelerating the growth of companies that may prove to be the next Explorys or Hyland."
By partnering together, JumpStart will aggregate $25 million of new investment capital from public, philanthropic and private sources to advance dozens of Cuyahoga-county seed and early-stage companies and enable them to mature to the point where they are able to attract significant follow-on capital from sources from across the country and the globe. In addition to repaying the loans over seven years, JumpStart will be able to do more of what it does best: identify, attract and grow Greater Cleveland's tech businesses.
"Access to capital is crucial to startups trying to grow and scale in our community," said JumpStart CEO, Ray Leach. "Cuyahoga County's visionary plan will help ensure our strong entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow, create new jobs and drive economic impact."
JUMPSTART INC. 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 www.jumpstartinc.org and follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.
SOURCE JumpStart Inc.