A newly-launched initiative to create a more robust entrepreneurial American economy has tapped the expertise -- and name -- of Cleveland-based
, a new nonprofit organization also based in Cleveland, is one of 21 national partners announced last week with the launch of Startup America
, a private sector answer to President Barak Obama's National Innovation Strategy.
JumpStart America is the only Ohio-based national partner and will draw on entrepreneurial approaches developed by JumpStart, a venture development organization that provides counsel and funding resources to promising new businesses in northeastern Ohio, says Cathy Belk, JumpStart's chief relationship officer. While the two organizations are separate entities, JumpStart America is expected to do nationally what JumpStart has done on a smaller scale, Belk says.
As northeast Ohio's coordinating body for the Ohio Third Frontier's Entrepreneurial Signature Program
, JumpStart has invested $20 million in 52 companies, which in turn have raised more than $140 million in follow-on capital and created more than 800 jobs, JumpStart says. As part of that, JumpStart has brought together at least a dozen philanthropic and private industry funding partners, says Belk.
More recently, JumpStart has been sharing some its expertise and experience with organizations throughout the Midwest as part of its JumpStart Community Advisors initiative.
"That is kind of the model of what the JumpStart America work will be," says Belk.
Belk says JumpStart CEO Ray Leach is leading the team that will develop a governance structure for JumpStart America. The process is expected to take three to four months.
Formation of the group will not only benefit the nation but Ohio, Belk says, noting that "it puts (Ohio and northeast Ohio) on the national stage. One of the other great benefits is that national philanthropy will be aggregated in Ohio, and by virtue of Ohio being recognized as offering best practices in this particular area, I think this can be great for the sustainability of the Ohio (entrepreneurial) ecosystem we've been building."
Cincinnati-based accelerator The Brandery
was named last week as a new partner in the TechStars Network
-- another national partner in the Startup America initiative that operates accelerator programs in New York City, Boston, Seattle and Boulder, Colo. Source: Cathy Belk, JumpStart
Writer: Gene Monteith