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Todd Goldstein of LaunchHouse

Todd Goldstein is co-founder of LaunchHouse, a lean business accelerator. 

LaunchHouse is a lean business accelerator that fosters entrepreneurial success and job creation through seed capital, education and innovation. The LaunchHouse mission is to recruit, nurture and grow the Midwest’s most promising startup companies -- not only through funding, but also through mentorship and strategic business development resources.

How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
Following graduating from Johnson & Wales University, I started my own real estate investment company. During that time I also worked in business operations for various Cleveland-area companies. While working at Crestview Management, I managed a 40-person team and quadrupled the revenue of my division. In 2005, I joined Franklin & Seidelmann, a high-growth medical technology company, in which I worked alongside the CFO and president. I grew the company to over $20 million a year in revenue.
In 2008, I utilized my knowledge from my experiences to begin LaunchHouse.
How did you come up with the idea for LaunchHouse?
When LaunchHouse began in 2008 there was little to no support in Cleveland for businesses at the idea stage. Dar Caldwell, LaunchHouse co-founder, and I saw many of our classmates, colleagues and friends leave Cleveland to pursue better opportunities and resources.
Thus, LaunchHouse created a process that helps companies at the idea stage succeed through seed funding, mentoring, education, business development services and a dynamic, entrepreneur-focused culture.
LaunchHouse’s goal is to become the leading business development firm for entrepreneurs in the Midwest; to accelerate the startup business process; to improve the success rates of companies by utilizing the expertise and guidance of the business community; and to promote innovation, creativity, youthful energy, collaboration and integrity.
What makes Cleveland a good location for startup companies?
When thinking of Cleveland, Mecca for entrepreneurship and hub for innovation don’t necessarily come to mind. But in the late 1800s, Cleveland was on the forefront of industrial innovation. Cleveland now has the ability and the drive to be at the forefront of tech and medical innovation.
Cleveland has a low cost of living, large amounts of follow-on capital, and is an overall vibrant city for entrepreneurs. LaunchHouse continually works to forge a wide range of mutually beneficial relationships within the region. Such relationships help LaunchHouse separate itself from other business incubators/accelerators and entrepreneurial networks in the region.
Within LaunchHouse, entrepreneurs can engage with web developers, mobile app developers, attorneys, accountants, engineers, animators and graphic designers. Entrepreneurs can partake in over 200 yearly educational events, hackthons and ideation or prototyping sessions through the Cleveland entrepreneurial ecosystem. 
What motivates you to go into work each day?
Every day is a new challenge with helping companies grow from idea to validation and everything thereafter. It’s not only our ability to help these entrepreneurs build and grow their business, but we’re continually working to enhance the Cleveland entrepreneurial ecosystem and ultimately impact the region.
What does your office do to build loyalty or blow off steam?
With our innovative and collaborative workspace we’re able to do a lot of team building, including holiday get-togethers such as family-style Thanksgiving dinner and Secret Santa. We have a firm belief that it is important to always celebrate birthdays and other milestones. We also have monthly team lunches.
What is the one piece of advice you give to all of your young businesses?
First, it’s okay to fail. It’s best to fail quickly and move on to the next venture.  Second, is to change perception in Cleveland. This mentality is promoted in other parts of the country and we’re trying to instill that in Cleveland.
Who is your role model and why?
My grandfather has always been my role model. He has instilled hard work, a love for entrepreneurship and business in me. 

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