Believeland: How Collaboration and Inclusion Drive Innovation in Ohio


Blog excerpt provided by National Venture Capital Association.

Written by Jessica Straus.

“Welcome to Believeland!,” was the enthusiastic greeting from Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, Inc., to an audience of entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, nonprofits, foundations, government entities, universities, and corporations, who were among the hundreds gathered for JumpStart, Inc.’s Second Annual Startup ScaleUp event in Cleveland.

Believeland is a fitting moniker for a city that is celebrating its first professional sports championship in 52 years, will host one of the nation’s preeminent political events, and represents the forefront of the vibrant, diverse and active entrepreneurial ecosystem growing across Ohio. Chief among the priorities of Ohio leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship is a focus on leveraging its greatest asset – their people. In Cleveland, a majority minority city, people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, women, immigrants, students are all playing a central role in revitalization.  NVCA has made diversity and inclusion key priorities in our work to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem…

…This year, JumpStart, Inc. announced the Focus Fund, a $10 million venture capital fund that will exclusively fund women and minority-led startup companies based in Ohio or, willing to relocate to Ohio. The Ohio Third Frontier, a public sector technology-based economic development initiative, has made diversity foundational to its mission to accelerate the growth of startups and invested $5 million in the Focus Fund…

Click here to read the complete article.

Originally published June 29, 2016.

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