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JumpStart's mentoring program aims to create "serial entrepreneurs"

JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Foundation Mentoring Program offers young companies a little additional insight into running a successful business. Each participating startup is assigned between one and four mentors.

“It really depends on the stage the company is at and what their needs are,” says Anthony Hughes, director of the program. “No one mentor is going to have all the skill sets needed as these companies take their ideas to fruition.”
 
Companies do have to be involved with JumpStart to enroll. Currently, 38 mentors are involved in the program and they have assisted 33 companies since it was launched in March of 2012. The program currently has 21 active companies.
 
“The companies have generated or raised $2.9 million in capital," says Hughes. "Startups with access to mentors and advisers are seven times more likely to raise capita and three and a half times as likely to gain customers. We are responsible for creating serial entrepreneurs and polishing the diamonds in this ecosystem. They’re really flying blind without access to people who have been there, done that.”
 
The mentors come from virtually every industry and background -- from Fortune 500 companies to venture capitalists, to leaders of nationally-know startups. “We’ll entertain anyone, but through a stringent evaluation process. We use mentors who are experienced and knowledgeable,” says Hughes. “Mentors are invitation-only. We’re not trying to be elitists or exclusive.”

 
Source: Anthony Hughes
Writer: Karin Connelly

Innovation Summit will draw more than 1,000 to Cleveland

The Cleveland Clinic’s annual Medical Innovation Summit will be the first event held at Cleveland’s brand new Global Center for Health Innovation. The event will be held October 14 through 16, and organizers expect it to draw more than 1,200 people.
 
"We’ll have CEOs from major companies, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs,” says Gary Fingerhut, acting executive director and general manager of information technology commercialization at the Clinic. “Deals come out of this summit. Past innovation deals have been made on the buy-side and in research.”
 
More than 1,000 jobs and $700 million in investments have been created from the regional spinoff companies.
 
On the first day, 12 startup healthcare companies will have a chance to pitch their companies to a panel of executives. “The winner gets a year engagement with StartUp Health Academy."

The theme this year is "Finding Balance through Innovation: Obesity, Diabetes and the Metabolic Crisis." Fingerhut says the topic was chosen because of the growing international concern about diabetes. "Clearly, it's an economic problem in the world," he says. Demonstration and panel discussions will focus on the impacts of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Mike Roizen and a panel of experts will discuss the Clinic's top 10 medical innovations for 2014. hiVelocity readers can receive a discount to the summit. Go to the registration page and use promo code FRE2013 for a special $500 rate on registration.


Source: Gary Fingerhut
Writer: Karin Connelly

Speed dating event pairs entrepreneurs with designers

On October 3, an innovative twist on speed dating called Meet Your Match will pair Cincinnati-based entrepreneurs with local designers. Hosted at The Brandery—one of the top startup accelerators in the U.S.—the goal of the event is to introduce budding startups to design firms and help them obtain essential services for getting their businesses off the ground.

As part of Cincinnati Design Week, which runs September 30 through October 5, a secondary objective of the matchmaking event is to educate entrepreneurs about what types of services designers can provide; how those services can elevate their business image; and how those services are priced.

The event is sponsored by Artworks' SpringBoard, a business planning and development program that helps artists, artisans and creative entrepreneurs achieve their artistic and economic goals by creating a unique and collaborative learning environment.

During the 90-minute event, entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to interview three designers who are interested in meeting that entrepreneur’s design needs. Rather than paying cash, participating businesses can offer $500 of goods or services in exchange for well-designed collateral that will take their ventures to the next level. Business owners will identify their design needs by selecting from a set menu of services that includes everything from T-shirts and web ads to brochures and business cards. Entrepreneurs will also disclose the goods and services they are prepared to exchange if a match is made at the event.

"Meet Your Match is designed to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet multiple designers in 90 minutes," says Sarah Corlett, Director of Creative Enterprise at Artworks. "Finding the right person or firm who can visually represent your company is a bit like finding the right mate. Rather than spending weeks scheduling interviews, this event facilitates those first interactions, saving both the entrepreneur and the designer time and resources."

The event is scheduled from 12 to 2 p.m. on October 3. Spaces are still available for both entrepreneurs and designers who want to participate. You can find a simple application form for entrepreneurs and application form for designers at the Springboard website. Applications are due September 25 by 5 p.m.


By Sarah Whitman

Scott Belsky kicks off Cincinnati Mercantile Library's new lecture series in October

Cincinnati's Mercantile Library is reaching into the past with its new 2035 Lecture Series.

The annual series, which kicks off in October, taps forward-looking business leaders to talk about the "future of business, management, design, philosophy, science, and technologies and the ways those will shape the economy of Cincinnati and its region."

"It's a nod to those guys who started up the library," says Mercantile Marketing Manager Chris Messick. "The library was founded in 1835 by young clerks and merchants who were the startup pioneers of their time."

This year's inaugural lecture features creative entrepreneur and best-selling author Scott Belsky who will speak October 21 at 6:30 p.m. downtown at the library. Tickets are $20. You can purchase them here.

Belsky co-founded Behance, a platform that allows creatives to show and share their work online. Adobe acquired the company in 2012, and Belsky is Adobe's vice president of products-community, according to his bio.

His lecture will be based on his book, Making Ideas Happen, which walks readers through the process of making a creative idea a reality, Messick says.

"We have a lot of events where authors speak, but this is something new. A lot of people in the design world use his site to display portfolios online, and we have a lot of activity around marketing and design downtown. I think this will get a lot of interest," Messick says.

The Mercantile is city's oldest library, with a mission "to make a difference through literature and ideas, advancing interest in the written word, and celebrating the best in literary achievement." A diverse group of authors including Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Saul Bellow and Salman Rushdie have spoken at Mercantile events.

The year 2035 marks the Mercantile's 200-year-anniversary, and this lecture series reflects the historic library's mission to remain a relevant part of the city's creative and business community. The library is supported by membership fees, with memberships starting at $55. The library's blog, Stacked, is popular in local literary circles.

Kroger, dunnhumby, and Murray Sinclaire, Jr./Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC are the inaugural sponsors of the 2035 lecture.


By Feoshia H. Davis

Independent video game developer Loreful creating role-playing game "Ambrov X"

Creating today's complicated video games definitely isn't child's play.

Aharon Cagle, a marketer turned video game entrepreneur, is leading a 15-person team in creating a new role-playing game, "Ambrov X." He's CEO and founder of Loreful, an independent video game development company launched last fall.

Cagle, who's worked for Brand Populace and EmpowerMedia Marketing, is a passionate gamer who decided to turn that passion into his life's work.

"I hit 40, and I was like, 'I love games so much more than I love marketing.' I'd been a creative marketing director, so I knew I could lead a team of this size. So I wrote the business plan and started Loreful."

Cagle is working with a team of writers, designers, developers, visual arts, voice actor, animators and more to bring life to "Ambrov X."

Much of the team is already in Cincinnati, while others are moving here for the project, Cagle says.

"We're in the process of pulling people here to Cincinnati," he says.

The game garnered exposure during the recent Cincy ComicCon and Cincinnati Comic Expo.

"We have a playable pre-alpha version of the game we've been showing around. It's not necessarily how the game will ultimately look, but it shows the larger vision of what we want to do," Cagle says.

Set for release in early 2015, "Ambrov X" is being developed in partnership with the Science Fiction franchise Sime~Gen. The game is based on the Sime~Gen Universe novels that envision a future where humans have divided into two subspecies: Gens and Simes.

Gens produce a life energy that Simes need to survive. The novels center on the subspecies' struggle for co-existence.

"We're basically taking that story 1,000 years in the future. The humans have learned to live with this genetic catastrophe and are beginning to explore space," Cagle explains.

"Ambrov X" is planned for release on Windows, OS X and Linux through STEAM, a game-distribution platform. The game will be released in five episodes, ranging from three to five hours each.

Loreful is in the midst of a $500,000 Kickstarter campaign to help push development, set to end Oct. 5


By Feoshia H. Davis

Insivia broadens its services, expands its staff

When Andy Halko founded Insivia right out of college in 2002, he was more of a freelancer, picking up projects piece by piece. Today, the company is a full-service marketing firm working out of the Agora in Midtown.
 
“We’ve really evolved into a strategic marketing firm for our clients,” says Rick Scheeser, Insivia's director of operations. “Nowadays we’re their entire marketing department. We have a more strategic partnership with our clients, and we have a lot more control over what we do.”
 
Over the past year Insivia has developed its client base, grown into a 16-person company, and is looking to add a back-end developer and an account executive.
 
“Before we had lots of one-off projects,” says Scheeser. “Now our clients are more our partners; we’re working with them on a long-term basis.”
 
Scheeser says Insivia has developed a niche market in the manufacturing industry. “It really helps us understand how we can use technology in their businesses and communicate with their clients,” he says regarding developing an expertise in the market. “I don’t think you could be in Cleveland without helping manufacturing companies.”
 
Another niche evolves around small tech startups. But Scheeser says no matter what the industry, Insivia gets to know the inner workings of the client. "It’s all about learning about our clients,” he says. “We focus on long-term objectives from a marketing perspective. It allows us to really own the results, instead of just one small piece.”
 

Source: Rick Scheeser
Writer: Karin Connelly



Biz competition launches in southern Ohio

If you live in southern Ohio and have a bright business idea, The Ohio State University South Centers can serve as the launch pad to send your brainchild hurtling into the economic stratosphere.
 
The 2013 Biz Launch Business Plan Competition is designed to provide a space for hopeful entrepreneurs to grow and expand their ventures, says Meagan Barnes, program leader with the Ohio State extension in Piketon, Ohio.
 
The competition is open to existing businesses and individuals looking to start a company within a ten-county region of southern Ohio, including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton Counties. Fresh ideas are welcome, but those building a new product line or seeking to expand an early stage company are also eligible to apply.
 
The contest is a celebration of regional entrepreneurship, says Barnes.
 
"It's an opportunity to spur some folks who, without the competition, may not have thought about putting their ideas out there," she says. "This is an area of Ohio that doesn't have an urban setting in terms of developing entrepreneurs. Individuals can put their ideas in front of a panel and then access funds to get those ideas going."
 
Applicants must submit business plans and financial projections by Oct. 15, with judging and an awards luncheon taking place later in the month. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three plans.
 
Barnes expects upwards of 25 participants for the 2013 competition. A five-person panel comprised of economic development experts and established entrepreneurs will choose ideas based on projected customer base, economic feasibility and other factors. Development counselors will be available to meet with individuals or businesses for one-on-one planning assistance.
 
Since its inception in 2009, the business plan contest has launched a variety of ventures, including a coffee company and doctor's office. New technologies have also emerged, such as a motion sensor from the YEI Corporation (formerly Yost Engineering), which has applications in defense, medicine and entertainment, says Barnes.
 
"We accept ideas from a wide variety of different sectors," she says.
 
A winning plan taking root in a struggling southern Ohio county is the competition's most immediate benefit, Barnes notes. There's a wider impact from a production and commercialization standpoint as well.
 
"If it's an existing business launching a new product, they will get that product manufactured within the region," Barnes says. "We want to spur economic activity in our counties."
 

Source: Meagan Barnes
Writer: Douglas J. Guth

Ohio University’s Innovation Engine Accelerator graduates six startups

Six startups founded by students and recent graduates of Ohio University and West Virginia University have emerged from Ohio University’s Innovation Engine digital media accelerator, which is a summer entrepreneurship program aimed at keeping business and technology talent within the state.
 
The fledgling companies received up to $20,000 in seed funding and underwent a 12-week boot camp featuring mentorship opportunities with established executives and venture capitalists. Lynn Gellermann, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, taught in the program, offering his expertise in digital media IT.
 
“These six teams were selected out of 17 applications,” says Gellermann. “They were screened, interviewed and selected based on their team, their idea and application.”
 
Viable ideas with viable markets won out.
 
“We look at the prospect of [the company] being able to put together an idea or beta product in a short time that they can demo.”
 
The program is made possible through public-private partnerships that offer expert insight and financial backing. These include the Center for Entrepreneurship, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Scripps College of Communication, the Voinovich School and TechGROWTH Ohio. “We also have private support from WesBanco,” notes Gellermann.
 
Participants, says Gellermann, felt as if they received a “mini-MBA” in the 2013 program, noting a majority came from engineering or communications backgrounds. And whether they continue with their startup or not, Gellermann says the accelerator “impacted the way they think.”
 
“We hope that some of them will start up, make it to the marketplace, raise capital, employ some people, and become viable startup companies in the region,” says Gellermann, adding the program is also about building a culture of entrepreneurship in southeast Ohio.
 
The 2013 companies include MyCampus, which created a mobile app that allows college students to quickly sell and purchase items. Razor Dynamics offers a product that improves mobile phone location services. AccessAble developed a website to provide travel information and booking services for people with limited mobility. Atlas Language Innovations created an educational online video game that can teach users Arabic and other languages. Foleeo developed an online portfolio tool for job seekers in the business, engineering and technical fields. Lastly, Anyvent offers software for inexperienced event planners.
 
“Students will go back home and talk to their friends,” says Gellermann. “It’s really helping to promote a culture of innovation at OU.”
 

Source: Lynn Gellermann
Writer: Joe Baur

Cleveland developer lures entrepreneurs into historic 5th Street Arcades

The historic Colonial and Euclid Arcades in downtown Cleveland suffered from 40 percent vacancy last year, yet this year they added a slew of new shops and have gone from half-empty to nearly completely full.

Renamed the 5th Street Arcades, the once-moribund properties have been turned around by Dick Pace of Cumberland Development, who has breathed new life into the spaces by luring entrepreneurial tenants with fresh concepts and excitement about downtown.

"Step by step, we're getting there," says Pace, who has focused on locally themed retail that serves downtown residents and office workers. "Each month, there's something new going on. Our tenants cross-market and help each other."

Last year, a retail grant competition netted Soulcraft Furniture Gallery, which opened earlier this year, and Pour Cleveland, which will open by November 1st.

Several of the businesses in the 5th Street Arcades will soon add outdoor seating, including Pour, Sushi 86 and a yet unnamed food tenant that Pace is working with.

Additional businesses that will open this fall include Herron Starr Apparel (a shoe store), The Tea Lab (a tea shop run by Bob Holcepl of City Roast), The Olive and the Grape, and a take-out vendor called C'mon Let's Eat (CLE).

Finally, Sushi 86 is expanding to create space for banquets and cooking classes, and Alphonso's, a men's and women's accessories shop, will open later this year.

"Tenants are drawn here because this is becoming known as a retail area, an area for shopping," Pace says. "That says a lot about downtown and what's happening."


Source: Dick Pace
Writer: Lee Chilcote

Startup offers consumers chance to Kapture every moment, garners Mashable attention

If you’ve ever had a brilliant idea, serendipitous conversation or inspirational moment, only to be thwarted by the inability to write down what was said, your worries may be coming to an end.
 
Kapture, a new wearable audio recording wristband, allows you to save and share what was just said. Buffering 24/7, the wristband saves only the last 60 seconds of audio with a tap of your hand.
 
“With Kapture, those you-just-had-to-be-there moments are actually available to share with others,” says Mike Sarrow, co-founder of Kapture. “Rich conversation can now take a higher spot within our overall communication mix.”
 
Since the wristband’s recorder is constantly running, users don’t have to worry about disrupting a moment by getting out a smart phone. The device records over itself after each 60-second interval, allowing the user to save only the moments they wish to remember.
 
“If you never tap the product (there are no buttons or screens - only a tap interface), nothing is ever saved,” Sarrow explains. “We want nothing to do with big data or continuous recording. We are about the good stuff.”
 
Founded here in Cincinnati in 2011 by Mike Sarrow and Matthew Dooley, Kapture launched a Kickstarter campaign last week in an effort to gain support from consumers and create a groundswell around the new technology. The campaign runs through October 2, 2013, and seeks to raise $150,000 to help launch the product worldwide. Following the Kickstarter campaign, the device will go into production with a planned launch to the public in March 2014.
 
“Most startups will tell you fund-raising never ends. And because we bit off a tremendously complex project, we're in the same boat," Sarrow says.
 
Sarrow and Dooley attribute much of their ability to secure funding and grow their business thus far to being a part of the emerging entrepreneurial scene in Cincinnati and tapping into all of its resources.
 
“It might be the best part of starting a company in Cincinnati,” Sarrow says. “It is a very closeknit group willing to help at every turn. Cincytech was our first investor and is leading our seed stage funding round. The Brandery has continued to give us ad hoc guidance along the way, and we are now a project working out of Cintrifuse. We love the support Cincinnati has offered, and we love the partnerships we have in place.”
 
As Kapture has continued to grow, more and more people are taking notice. In less than a week, the Kickstarter campaign has reached more than one third of the target goal and the company has found itself on the front page of the highly touted tech website Mashable. To find out more about Kapture, visit the Kapture Facebook page.

Michael Sarason
 

Cincinnati-based MoveMX to innovate mobile gaming

Cincinnati is home to MoveMX, a video game development team that is creating motion-responsive games for mobile devices.

While current generation console gaming platforms already have the ability to recognize body movement in relation to their game’s generated characters and environments, MoveMX is determined to bring that same vitality and energy to tablets and cell phones. By utilizing the devices’ built-in cameras, the games can be controlled through body movement.

MoveMx was created to provide a more immersive mobile gameplay experience,” says Zak Nordyke, founder of MoveMX. “We wanted to give mobile gamers the opportunity to use their bodies as the gamepad. We didn't like the idea of young gamers craning their necks and tapping buttons as the only way to enjoy content.”

Nordyke’s team is currently developing its first title, “The Chronicles of Glover.” It will be an action platform game centered around a young man named Glover who discovers mysterious body armor that grants him heightened abilities. The game is currently in demo stages and is slated to be available to play late August.

Dedicated to stimulating gamers beyond the simple pressing of buttons, MoveMX is lending a hand to the mobile industry by innovating its current technology.

We wanted to bring the motion gaming experience to mobile,” says Nordyke. "It allows users to play movement tracking games everywhere.”

Healthier and more physically engaging than traditional gamepad-controlled video games of yesteryear, motion-tracking with video games is a step (or swing of the hip) in the right direction for the often sedentary video game industry. 


By Sean Peters

Ohio companies garner coveted listings on the 2013 Inc. 5,000

Among other Ohio companies, two Buckeye State startups have garnered coveted national recognition.

CoverMyMeds, a Twinsburg firm that makes it easier for patients to get their prescribed medications, and Plug Smart, a Columbus energy solution company, both placed in the top 300 of Inc. Magazine's 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States.
 
Inc. Magazine's rankings take into consideration factors such as annual growth, revenue increases and staff expansions over a three-year period. Coming in at 96, CoverMyMeds grew 3,567 percent over the designated time frame using the magazine's criteria, garnering $5.3 million in revenue as of 2012.
 
The company, which previously received funding from Cleveland entrepreneur accelerator JumpStart, is an online service for physicians and pharmacists that provides prior authorization services and other insurance coverage for a variety of drug plans.
 
Web- and phone-based tools developed by CoverMyMeds automate the submission of authorization requests, a process that when done manually can be both expensive and frustrating, says principal/CEO Alan Scantland. The company does not charge pharmacies or doctors for using the service, instead putting the onus on  drug manufacturers that need to expedite the sluggish authorization process if they want to increase sales.
 
Being ranked by Inc. in the top 100 - and eighth overall in the healthcare sector - "brings us immediate attention, and gives us a third-party voice of credibility while adding to our brand and positioning," says Scantland. "The distinction is also great for employees, who are getting some well-deserved recognition for their efforts."
 
Lightning-fast growth has also opened the door for additional business ventures, notes the company head. "It's wonderful," he says. "We’re very excited about making such an impact in healthcare."
 
Plug Smart made the list during its first year of eligibility thanks to over 1,500 percent in growth and $6.4 million in revenue from 2009 to 2012. The energy services company helps commercial, industrial, nonprofit and utility companies implement a broad range of energy solutions, from HVAC to lighting systems. Among its goals, the TechColumbus-incubated firm seeks to aid clients in building energy efficiency projects and leveraging renewable power resources.
 
Getting your company's name out there when competing with industry stalwarts like Siemens, Honeywell and Trane is no mean feat, says Plug Smart president David Zehala. In addition to its overall ranking, the company finished number 17 on the list of Top 100 energy companies, and number eight in the list's top 100 Ohio companies.
 
"This establishes Plug Smart as a major force within the energy services sector," Zehala says. "Our teams represent the best and brightest energy engineering minds in the industry, and our success is a testament to their ability to help our clients find creative ways to implement energy projects."

CincyTech portfolio company BioRx, which enjoyed 181 percent growth over the past three years, was also listed as one of Ohio's top 100.

More than 180 Ohio companies were included on the 2013 Inc. 5000 list, including Vertex Body Science and US Logistics, which clocked in at numbers 19 and 34, respectively.

By Douglas J. Guth

Cincinnati church engages entrepreneurs with Unpolished

Crossroads Church, one of Cincinnati’s biggest and most robust churches in terms of its services and programming, has rolled out a new, grassroots initiative for its members called Unpolished. Unpolished is a group that came together within the Crossroads community to “encourage, educate and engage aspiring entrepreneurs.”
 
“At Crossroads, we are very excited about this,” says head pastor Brian Tome. “A small handful of our community members suspected that there were others thinking like them, so they held an initial event on one day’s notice and 400 people showed up.”
 
“We held our initial event back in June,” adds Tim Brunk, co-founder of Cladwell.com, one of Cincinnati’s newest startups. “We were looking for a way to simultaneously encourage the entrepreneurs within Crossroads and begin building a community around them," says Brunk, who is one Unpolished's founding members.
 
The initial event, in addition to attracting 400 people, produced some noteworthy results. “We had five short presentations from community members, telling their entrepreneurial stories,” Brunk explains. “The distinction from a ‘pitch’ was that we wanted the real story--what was hard, who did they lean on, what did they learn, what role did faith and community play, etc.”
 
“We saw some excellent fruit,” Brunk continues, “including a handful of businesses and partnerships that formed from people networking at the event.”
 
As the group is still developing, so are its future plans. Survey data taken from the first event led the members of Unpolished to begin holding office hours at Crossroads, which allow for one-on-one sessions between a subject expert and an entrepreneur seeking guidance. Additionally, development has begun on an app that will allow all community members to post needs and find help or resources within the Unpolished community.
 
“We are also looking into doing some specific workshops around startup related topics,” Brunk notes. “We have several other ideas as well, but there's plenty of planning yet to do.”

The church also began a four-week series last weeked called "Go Forth," which focuses on how to be an entreprenuer in all aspects of life, including business, family, personal and spiritual endeavors.

“While Crossroads respects the old,” Tome says, “we also see that the new is how things go forward.


By Michael Sarason

Innovative TREWGrip simplifies mobile typing

TREWGrip Mobile QWERTY is an innovative device designed to simplify the labor of typing on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Invented by Mark Parker, president of TREWGrip LLC  (a subsidiary of Outlier Technologies), this unit works in conjunction with any devices that accommodate bluetooth syncing. The phone or tablet is physically attached (not permanently) to the Mobile QWERTY via the micro-suction dock, where a wireless bluetooth connection enables the device to interface.


“I’ve been doing software development for mobile workers for years,” Parker says. “We hope people realize that the “hunt and peck typing” technique doesn’t work. I think we’ve reached the point where people realize this technology is limiting. It isn’t a software problem … it’s a hardware problem.”

A rear-typing keyboard allows the user to easily hold the Mobile QWERTY with both hands while typing at similar rates to traditional keyboards. Some practice is necessary to truly get the hang of it, which is why TREWGrip offers training exercises and games. Having developed the device from scratch, Parker worked to ensure it could be easily held by hands of all sizes by equipping the device with multiple sizes of removable hand grips on the side.

TREWGrip, a Cincinnati-based company, recently launched a kickstarter campaign to help fund the product’s initial run. 

By Sean M. Peters

Bad Girl Ventures is named Outstanding Non-Profit, is Ohio's first Kiva Zip trustee

The SCORE Foundation recently honored Bad Girl Ventures as an Outstanding Non-Profit Organization for its work with entrepreneurs in starting their businesses. BGV works with SCORE mentors in its business education classes.
 
“BGV has been using SCORE mentors and services since 2010,” says Reka Barabas, director of BGV Cleveland. “We tap into their expertise and we match up our finalists with SCORE mentors.”
 
Additionally, BGV is now a Kiva Zip trustee, meaning it can recommend businesses for zero-interest loans for up to $10,000 through that organization. “Bad Girl Ventures is the first Kiva Zip trustee in Ohio,” says Barabas. “We have a two-pronged approach to helping female-owned businesses. We provide education, and if they have a strong business plan and are ready to go, they have access to capital. Having these partnerships really helps our mission.”
 
Two BGV Cleveland graduates already have been identified as candidates for the Kiva Zip loan. Anne Hartnett received a $5,000 BGV loan in 2012 for Harness Cycle, which is opening this fall in Ohio City. Paula Hershman, owner of Storehouse Tea Company, is one of the first Cleveland graduates of the BGV program and will use the Kiva Zip loan to expand her business. One more graduate will be endorsed this year.
 
BGV business education courses also offer the opportunity to receive a $25,000 low-interest loan. The application deadline for the fall session is September 1.
 

Source: Reka Barabas
Writer: Karin Connelly
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