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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69ef90000WKSU undertakes a year-long examination of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio with a 360-degree look at business creation in the region and examine the resources available to start-ups, the opportunities, and pitfalls in the local business climate. The project includes long-form features as part of WKSU's ongoing Exploradio series as well as entrepreneurship-themed news reports.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69efb0000The Entrepreneurship Beat is produced with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Burton D. Morgan Foundation champions the entrepreneurial spirit, contributes to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, and leads in the burgeoning field of entrepreneurship education. Read more about the project HERE.

StartUp ScaleUp Event Draws In Cleveland's Entrepreneurs

Ray Leach
Jeff St. Clair
/
WKSU
Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, says he's confident about Cleveland's industry growth.

Cleveland’s JumpStart hosted its fourth annual StartUp ScaleUp conference today to celebrate the region’s entrepreneurs.

The day-long event featured panels and interactive activities facilitating entrepreneurial growth, funding and finding talent. 

Crowd
Credit Emma Keating / WKSU
Attendees of a "Pitch Improv" session watch as their peers try to market hard-to-sell ideas.

Ray Leach is the CEO of JumpStart, the event’s organizer. He says the goal of the conference is to educate attendees, but also to promote an entrepreneurial culture – what he says Northeast Ohio is missing.

“One of the most important things we need is a continued evolution of culture change. Private sector leaders, public sector leaders, philanthropy – all recognize that if we’re going to grow, small businesses,  startup businesses, diverse businesses, businesses led by women and people of color, are one of, if not the most important priority.”

Shelley Gracon, Manny Hall
Credit Jeff St. Clair / WKSU
Shelley Gracon (left), owner of Glo Cleveland, poses with author Manny Hall (right).

Leach says Northeast Ohio is doing well in new business generation, but not as well as surrounding regions and that needs to be improved.

He says that despite the fact that Cleveland still needs more growth, it has come a long way in the past 15 years.