CLEVELAND, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Entrepreneurship is leaving its mark on Northeast Ohio. High growth entrepreneurs supported by the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network have raised $988 million in risk capital and created 4,500 direct jobs since 2004. The community is invited to meet the people behind these numbers at the 2011 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo & JumpStart Community Meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, 1-5:30pm at the John S. Knight Center (77 E. Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308). The Expo is hosted by JumpStart Inc., a Cleveland-based nonprofit that has invested significant mentoring time and more than $21 million directly into early stage companies across 21 counties of Northeast Ohio, and includes a 3pm "JumpStart Community Update" by CEO Ray Leach on the impact and future of entrepreneurship in the region. The entire event is free and open to the public with advance registration.
More than 70 startups and entrepreneur support organizations are slated to exhibit in the Expo's afternoon-long showcase, highlighting the region's young cleantech, healthcare, consumer products, and IT companies. "The showcase offers investors, members of the community, students, and media the opportunity to see firsthand a little of what's out there," says John Dearborn, JumpStart President, noting that nearly 600 people have already registered to attend the event. "The event affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with their peers, introduce their technologies to the community, and get in front of people who could put money behind their ideas."
New this year, the 2011 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo also includes an array of free educational information sessions covering topics ranging from raising capital to recruiting key talent. The sessions are open to exhibitors and attendees on a first come, first served basis:
- The Capital Continuum: Office Hours with Northeast Ohio Investors (1pm-3pm) Regional investors provide an overview of funding opportunities and take questions from entrepreneurs on accessing capital from venture capital investors to the federal government and everything in between. Panelists: Jonathan Murray, Managing Director at Early Stage Partners; Claiborne Rankin, Manager of North Coast Angel Fund; Wendy Jarchow, Director of Business Development-Upper Midwest for Chrysalis Ventures; John Dearborn, President of JumpStart; Lynn-Ann Gries, Chief Investment Officer of JumpStart. The session is being moderated by Jerry Frantz, Managing Venture Partner at JumpStart.
- Finding the Needle: How Successful Entrepreneurs Find and Attract Talent (1:30pm-3pm) A panel of regional entrepreneurs and recruiters discusses how to attract top talent. Panelists: Doug Pierce, CTO of SparkBase; Stephen Spoonamore, CEO of ABSMaterials; Philip Brennan, CEO of Echogen Power Systems; Laura Bennett, CEO and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance; Shawn Oglesbee, Managing Partner of ON Search Partners; and Robert Hatta, Vice President of Entrepreneurial Talent at JumpStart.
- Something Ventured (4pm-5:30pm) Watch a special Midwest screening of a new documentary detailing the origins of the VC industry and the start of our nation's technological revolution led by many of today's top companies, including Apple and Intel.
- Telling Your Story: Why PR is Important for Young Companies (4pm-5:30pm) A panel of PR and media professionals discusses how entrepreneurs can get the attention of journalists, what can go wrong, and why they need to manage their message to effectively highlight and advance their businesses. Panelists: Terence J. Uhl, Executive Vice President of Landau Public Relations; Jim Nichols, principal and partner at Coleridge Communications Ltd. and a former reporter and award-winning reporter for The Plain Dealer; and Bruce Hennes, Managing Partner of Hennes Paynter Communications, one of the few firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on crisis communications.
"Educating and mentoring are important components of the work entrepreneurial support organizations like JumpStart and our partners do, so we're excited to be able to incorporate free learning opportunities into the afternoon," says Dearborn.
The 2011 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo & JumpStart Community Meeting is sponsored by Dominion. Student sessions include representatives from LifeServe Innovations, Furst Communications, Concept Capital, Bridge Investment Fund, Arsenal Venture Partners, and the Innovation Fund. And CitizenGroove, a Cleveland-based entrepreneurial company with a system used by more than 25 of the top performing arts programs in the country to accept, review, and organize high volumes of applications for schools, competitions, and scholarships, is graciously donating the use of its online auditioning and screening management platform for the event.
To register to attend the Expo, visit www.jumpstartinc.org.
JumpStart Inc. is transforming the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting their growth. JumpStart invests time, and in some cases dollars, in diverse, Northeast Ohio-based, early stage companies that are positioned to excel in high opportunity markets. To-date, JumpStart has put $21 million directly into 56 Northeast Ohio companies and worked with 1,181 entrepreneurs to secure resources. The organization also supports the growth and strengthening of Northeast Ohio's innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem by securing a continuous stream of resources for entrepreneurs.
SOURCE JumpStart Inc.