JumpStart Receives $50,000 Prize at Inaugural White House Demo Day

Small Business Administration Award Will Help Launch New Core City Accelerator Program for Minority and Low-Income Small Business Owners in Cleveland

Aug 05, 2015, 10:30 ET from JumpStart Inc.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, President Barack Obama held the first-ever White House Demo Day, giving entrepreneurial innovators from around the country a chance to share their individual success stories on the national stage while highlighting the importance of creating a more diverse, more inclusive entrepreneurial landscape.

During the event, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the winners of their 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, including JumpStart, who received a $50,000 prize to launch a new core city accelerator program aimed at helping low-income and minority business owners.

"The entrepreneurial ecosystem in America is incredibly exciting and very powerful," said Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Investment and Innovation. "SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet and I welcome this year's Growth Accelerator Fund Competition winners and the important and inclusive work they do in support of innovative and high-growth small businesses."

JumpStart's core city program will leverage the organization's 10-plus years of experience assisting startups and small businesses with the goal of helping minority and low income individuals overcome obstacles to entrepreneurship and create positive change in their communities. The program will be headquartered in Cleveland's booming Midtown Health-Tech Corridor and will provide hands-on advising, as well as industry specific mentoring for up to ten small businesses per year.

"This will be the first accelerator program in Northeast Ohio dedicated specifically to servicing low-income and minority communities," said JumpStart Principal of Inclusion Gloria Ware. "From the clients to the location and the team of advisors, everything about the program is designed to drive impact in traditionally underserved parts of the core city."

Participating businesses will compete for a $20,000 capital investment, along with 12 months of free office space to help them grow a business that creates meaningful-wage jobs and helps stabilize the surrounding community. Program and application details will be announced in the coming weeks.

JumpStart CEO Ray Leach was at the White House for Demo Day and also participated in the day's events as a member of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Diversity Task Force. The task force partnered with Google for a pre-event breakfast focused on building a more inclusive innovation ecosystem and presented the White House with a pledge from more than 40 venture capital firms to advance opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities.

"Today was a great day for minority and low-income entrepreneurs," said Leach. "JumpStart was honored to be recognized at White House Demo Day and we are proud to be a part of both the SBA and the NVCA's continuing efforts to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem more inclusive." 

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.

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SOURCE JumpStart Inc.