CLEVELAND, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ray Leach, chief executive officer of JumpStart Inc., a Northeast Ohio-based nonprofit venture development organization, was named to the board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today at its annual meeting in Boston. The NVCA, which has over 400 members, serves as the voice of the United States venture capital community and advocates for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment.
The organization's board consists primarily of heads of national and international venture capital firms, most of which have locations on the West and East coasts. Leach will be the only current member of the board uniquely located and working in the Midwest.
"Ray's involvement in federal public policy through his role on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship puts him in a unique and influential position to advocate for the needs of entrepreneurs and investors on a national scale," said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. "Ray also brings insight into the transformation taking place in the Midwest. Ohio in particular is building an ecosystem of support for its entrepreneurs and in turn has seen an increase in venture capital activity. NVCA wants to make sure the needs and perspectives of those investors and entrepreneurs are influencing the national agenda."
Leach was elected to a four-year term and is one of six new members joining the board.
"I'm excited to play a role in advancing venture capital nationally and to offer my viewpoint from a region that's reinvented itself with the assistance of innovative initiatives like Ohio's state-led Third Frontier," says Leach. "For example, entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio have raised more than $1.1 billion in venture capital in the last five years. By serving on the NVCA's board, I hope to bring greater visibility to our region's activity to increase investments and ultimately job growth."
JumpStart Inc. is a nationally recognized nonprofit transforming the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting their growth. JumpStart's primary service is intensive entrepreneurial development assistance delivered to Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs leading high potential, early-stage companies. JumpStart also supports the growth and strengthening of Northeast Ohio's innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem by securing a continuous stream of resources for entrepreneurs. In doing this work, JumpStart focuses on economic inclusion and activities that increase the success of minority and women entrepreneurs in growing high impact companies. As Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial landscape continues to transform, JumpStart collaborates with community and regional leaders nationally to support the startup and development of high growth businesses that have a significant and sustainable impact on the economy.