This year, we’re featuring dozens of all-new panel sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and discussions with industry experts. Whether you’re thinking of starting a new business, currently raising capital, looking for marketing help, seeking industry-specific business advice or just eager to connect with fellow attendees, there’s a session for you at Startup Scaleup.
Cash Is King
Understanding Your Financials
Aloft Ballroom 2
Whether you’ve been in business for months or years, business accounting can be a daunting task. Get back to the basics in this workshop, where we’ll break down the fundamentals in an approachable way and show you how to use your financials to make solid business decisions.
Digital Marketing in the Morning
Aloft Ballroom 3
Grab a cup of coffee and join this morning workshop dedicated to all things digital marketing. From web and social best practices to content marketing strategy and customer persona development, it’s all fair game.
What’s Next After Dead Last?
Aloft Hotel Veranda
A year ago, a conversation at the City Club of Cleveland titled “Dead Last” pointed out our city is ranked at or near the bottom in many economic categories. The conversation ruffled some feathers, but it also kicked off some real economic soul-searching. Join JumpStart CEO Ray Leach as he assembles some of the voices involved in this conversation to revisit the topic one year later, and convenes some new voices from inside and outside the region to discuss what could and should be next for Greater Cleveland’s economy.
Be Bold, Stay Humble
A Conversation with Bobby George
Bobby George is one of our region’s busiest and most successful entrepreneurs. His TownHall restaurant is among the most popular in Ohio; he owns and manages a dozen other restaurants; and lately has added cannabis businesses to his extensive portfolio of real estate and other companies. In this session, George slows things down for a conversation with Adam Kaufman, host of the Up2 podcast and a long-time JumpStart advisor.
President and CEO, Corporate Management Group
With Yelitsa Jean-Charles
Making the leap into entrepreneurship can be an exhilarating, terrifying, frustrating and deeply satisfying experience—usually all at the same time. Join Yelitsa Jean-Charles, one of Essence Magazines 50 Founders to Watch, as she shares her journey from college to crowdfunding to the launch of her own company. If you’re a student or first-time founder, you won’t want to miss this inspiring session.
Building Your Talent Brand
Alley Cat (2nd Level)
Whether you are a catering company or a software startup, all businesses need quality employees to survive. But high-quality candidates are evaluating you as much as you are evaluating them. Join the JumpStart talent team for a conversation about utilizing basic marketing and branding principles to create an atmosphere that attracts and retains great employees.
Crazy Ideas with “Loonshots” Author Safi Bahcall
Aloft Ballroom 1-3
From cholesterol medicine to radar technology, many ideas we take for granted today were once written off as “crazy.” Join physicist, entrepreneur and author, Safi Bahcall and learn about creating environments that nurture rather than stifle innovation.
The Double Bottom Line
Investing for impact & profit
All investors want to see a return on their investment, but those returns don’t always take the form of cash. In this session, you’ll hear from investors and philanthropists who have found interesting ways to balance their personal wealth-building goals with their desire to make a positive impact in the community.
Co-owner, Sidekicks Salsa LLC
Flashstarts Startup Bootcamp
Do you have an idea for a startup? During the Startup Bootcamp we will guide you through a rapid process to help turn that idea into a working business. You will leave with a business model and learn about validation tactics, key resources in our region, and much, much more.
How Women Entrepreneurs Are Getting Found And Funded
Join us for a discussion about closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs, celebrating the successes of female-founded companies and making the path easier for the next generation.
Married To The Job
Couples Share Their Tips For Entrepreneurial Success
Being married to an entrepreneur can be challenging—especially when you’re an entrepreneur too! Join a conversation with two couples who are mixing family life and business life, with spectacular results.
How to avoid common startup pitfalls
Starting and growing your business isn’t easy and there are many issues that can arise along the way. Join a panel of startup and small business advisors as they share their stories from working with hundreds of different companies across various sectors. You will learn the most common pitfalls they have encountered and strategies to avoid/solve these in your own company.
Women Talk Tech
A CONVERSATION WITH LAUREN WASHINGTON
Bold Food + Drink
Join Lauren Washington, co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech and JumpStart president, Cathy Belk for a conversation about how the entrepreneurial journey is different for women and how the next generation of women entrepreneurs are working to turn the challenges they face into advantages.
11:15 am-12:30 pm
A Mi Manera
Success with a Latinx twist
Join the Young Latino Network to hear stories of success (and struggle) from a cross-section of Latinx entrepreneurs in the community. Come share your own experiences and connect with a network of people who want to help you turn your big ideas into a successful business.
Owner, Café Social Latinoamericano
Selina Marie Pagán
Young Latino Network President
Northeast Ohio Education & Outreach Coordinator, International Partners in Mission (IPM)
Meet a Mentor
JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program features some of Northeast Ohio’s most successful entrepreneurs. Wherever you are in your journey, trust us, one of them has been there before. In this session, you’ll have a chance to meet one-on-one with a Burton D. Morgan mentor to discuss your business.
How to Develop a Strong Social Media Presence for Your Business
Pro-level social media is no longer a luxury. For most businesses, it’s a necessity. Join this interactive conversation focused on upping your social media game and using it to help your business grow.
11:30 am-12:30 pm
BLK hack Cleveland Presents: The Bigger Picture!
Bold Food + Drink
Raising and deploying capital to an underrepresented group that gets less than 2% of all venture capital investment is hard work. Join Harlem Capital Venture Partner John Henry and Radio One Cleveland Marketing Director Rohnesha Horne for a fireside chat focused on creating change by developing strong processes and staying focused on the bigger picture.
Being a Mother & an Entrepreneur
The Topic We Don’t Talk About
Aloft Ballroom 1&2
Think starting a company is hard? Try doing it while taking care of toddlers. Think pitch meetings with investors are brutal? Try fundraising while pregnant. Still, few women actually talk about these challenges and experiences. Join a panel of successful female founders for a real conversation about the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur while also being a mom.
Brand the Land
Cleveland is the city; but the images and emotions this city conveys have also made it a powerful marketing term. In this session, you’ll hear from the people who helped shape the modern image of the city, and local businesses who have weaved Cleveland into the branding of their products.
Exploring Non-Dilutive Funding Options
Join the SBA for a conversation about funding your growing business while preserving your ownership stake using debt-based, non-dilutive funding options.
District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration
Mike Radomsky, PhD
President, CMC Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
From Maker to Founder
Tips for turning a physical product into a scalable business
Building a business around a physical product comes with unique challenges. Join the experts at MAGNET for a session exploring the product development process through the experience of a local up-and-coming founder.
Funding + Rapid Value Creation = More Funding
Aloft Ballroom 3
This session focuses on the importance of using investment capital to create rapid value for your company. Hear from the experts how to use your current funding to put your startup in the ideal position for future fundraising rounds at a higher valuation.
Partnering to Build Better
with “Design Thinking”
Alley Cat (2nd Level)
Join 1848 Ventures, a subsidiary of Westfield, and IDEO, a global design firm, for a conversation about their partnership which uses the philosophy of “design thinking” to build better products, services and ventures. Explore tangible examples of this philosophy in action and learn how deep insights about human behavior—from customers to employees to partners—can be used by any business (from SaaS startups to manufacturing firms) to innovate and grow.
The Many Faces of a Modern Food Business
Join a panel of Northeast Ohio food entrepreneurs whose businesses range from franchisees and food trucks to catering operations and fine dining establishments. Learn what they all have in common and how they turned their love of food into viable businesses.
Owner, Cathy’s: Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches
Pick Your Panel
Join this eclectic session, made up entirely of panelists who were voted on stage by their fellow Startup Scaleup attendees.
The Red Tomatoes
How to Grow a Magnetic Brand and Easily Attract Dreamy Clients
Join Jennah Lear of Blue Loui Studio for a client attraction workshop for purpose-driven women entrepreneurs and business owners. If you’re ready to play bigger in your business and easily attract the exact person you want to work with and can make an impact for, this session is for you. Are you ready to grow your brand this year?
SESSIONS | WORKSHOP
Diversity AND Inclusion
Why Every Organization Needs Both
Diversity is a thing you do. Inclusion is about how you leverage diversity to improve your organization. Hear from a panel of leaders who are leveraging both to build stronger cultures and gain competitive advantages in their industries.
Taking a Startup from funding to finish line
Aloft Ballroom 1&2
Startups have to overcome many obstacles to get to their first significant funding round. Those that do are well on their way, but there’s still a lot to handle on the way to a successful endgame. In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of legal experts, business advisors and entrepreneurs as they share their tips, stories and resources to help you get to the finish line.
Exploring Venture Debt
Join a panel of funders and entrepreneurs for a discussion on funding a startup with non-dilutive venture debt. Explore the pros and cons of this fundraising tool and learn how it can work in tandem with venture capital.
The Family Hustle
TIPS FOR REINVENTING A LEGACY BUSINESS
Did you know family businesses account for more than 60% of U.S. employment, and nearly 65% of our total GDP? So, what happens when the next generation takes over? Join us for a conversation with some prominent Northeast Ohio business leaders who have helped modernize and grow their family businesses, without losing sight of what makes them unique and special.
The Future of Energy
From the lowering cost of energy storage technology to the continued rise of renewable power, the energy landscape is on the verge of massive change. That’s why many of the major players are actively looking for new innovations to help them stay competitive. Join three industry heavyweights, First Energy, Dominion Energy and American Electric Power, to learn how startups are partnering with energy companies to prepare for the future.
Building a High-End Brand in Cleveland
Old Cleveland was built on oil and steel, but a modern wave of local entrepreneurs are carving out a new niche with their creative style and high-end sensibilities. Learn how they are building globally relevant fashion, jewelry and body care brands from right here in Northeast Ohio.
Founder, Maeve’s All Natural
Raising Angel Capital from the trenches
Join this conversation with experienced founders who have raised capital from angel investors. Hear their stories and get insights on the ups, downs and in-betweens of the angel-fundraising process.
Making Time for Your Health as an Entrepreneur
Bold Food + Drink
Despite the glamorous image of the fearless founder, startup life is full of stress. That’s probably why founders are much more likely than the general population to suffer from depression, substance abuse and a host of other health issues. Join us for an honest conversation about balancing your entrepreneurial drive with your own health and wellness.
Turning Service Jobs into Scalable Businesses
Software and high-tech ventures get the headlines, but there are thousands of entrepreneurs building successful businesses in traditional service-oriented industries. From catering to cleaning services, meet some of the people who are turning hard labor into big business with just a small dose of innovation.
Bold Food + Drink
Owner, Mustard Seed Development
The Core City: Cleveland Small Business Tune-up
Take a look at the health of your business with the Core City: Cleveland team. Choose from several focus areas and get free advice from experts and fellow entrepreneurs to help you solve problems and take your business to the next level. All are welcome!
El Ecosistema Latinx
A Conversation About Access and Equitability
Alley Cat (2nd Level)
Join us for a conversation on cross-sectoral approaches to social change. Local Latinx leaders will share observations and engage the audience on what is happening at the intersection of the civic, community, political, and business sectors. Additionally, we‘ll look ahead to the coming 2020 Census and discuss the unique set of challenges this presents for the Latinx community.
Family Engagement Specialist, Esperanza
Managing Director, Metro West Community Organization
Finding the Front Door
There are many organizations working to help startups grow in Northeast Ohio. But which should you be working with, and how do you get started? In this session, you’ll meet several representatives of the Northeast Ohio Startup Network, a collaborative group of people and organizations who work together to help entrepreneurs. Hear more about each organization’s specialty and learn how they all work together to get entrepreneurs the help they need.
Community Orgs Ready to Help You Explore Your Great Idea
Northeast Ohio is full of organizations supporting entrepreneurs. But some of their amazing resources still fly under the radar. In this session you’ll meet several of these organizations and learn how they help entrepreneurs start and grow great businesses.
Managing Director, Fusion Program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law
How to Get Bank-ready
Preparing to fund your small business
Learn what you need to know to be ‘bank ready’ and set your business on the road to success. Join the team from PNC as they examine the importance of cash flow management and protecting your identity when working in a virtual world, while also sharing ideas and helpful resources (including easy online tools) to help guide and protect your business.
Branch & Business Center Manager, PNC
How to Nail Sales at a Startup
Tips for Hiring Your First Sales Employees
Bold Food + Drink
Startups need strong sales to survive, but “selling” at a startup requires a different perspective from selling at a growth stage company. In this session, you’ll learn more about the ideal skillset and get tips for building a lean, flexible startup sales team.
Making the Leap
How to Launch a Business While Holding A Day Job
Many entrepreneurs are holding down a steady job when inspiration strikes. So how do you get your big idea off the ground while still meeting your 9-to-5 responsibilities? And how do you know when it’s time to make the full-time leap to your new business? In this session, a panel of experienced entrepreneurs explore their transition from employee to founder and share their tips for making the process as painless as possible.
Meet the Investors
Tips for tech companies
Aloft Ballroom 3
Join a panel of investors as they discuss their investment criteria and approaches to investing in companies. Hear how stage, industry sector and other important factors inform not only how a company should raise capital, but who they should raise it from.
Managing Director, Private Equity and Direct Investments, Halcyon Investments, Ltd.
The Paradox Prize
Investing in Big Ideas to Improve Worker Mobility
Bold Food + Drink
This session will provide background on The Paradox Prize. This $1 million, multi-year challenge from the Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Greater Cleveland Partnership, and The Lozick Family Foundation is designed to discover big ideas in transportation that will result in a seamless array of mobility options for our region.
Sharing Perspectives on Innovation with Healthcare Institutions
Aloft Ballroom 1&2
Join a panel of prominent healthcare leaders for a conversation about finding and fostering innovation. Hear how organizations like Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and others are actively seeking pilot projects and co-development opportunities with a surprising array of startups. Learn what it takes to get new projects off the ground with these institutions and connect with resources who can help you get started.
A Poolside Chat with Tiara Thurston
Join Tiara Thurston, Tesla’s General Manager for the Central US, and Rick Stockburger from the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC) for a wide-ranging conversation about energy innovation. From electronic vehicles to home-based storage batteries and solar panels, get an insider view on the energy innovations that will shape the future.
Using Technology to Build a Lean HR Machine
Human Resources can be an abstract concept when you’re building a company by yourself. But growing companies eventually need a system to manage their workforce. Join HR expert Jeff Severson and the team from Vantage as they examine how technology can help growing companies create good processes and procedures, without sacrificing efficiency or ballooning their budgets.
Vision to Venture
Taking your creative idea to market
This workshop is ideal for individuals with a passion for creative expression who want to match this vision with a profit-oriented business model. Using stories from successful creative entrepreneurs, you will explore identifying the most creative aspects of your idea, finding new ways to be innovative with your company and connecting your creative passion with your customer’s needs.
Entrepreneur Resource Fair
Grab a drink and get connected with the many people and organizations focused on helping startups and small businesses succeed.
A Look into the Future of Northeast Ohio’s Economy
Join JumpStart CEO, Ray Leach for a conversation about what Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial economy could look like 10+ years from now depending on the decisions, actions and progress made in the next decade. Hear Ray’s perspective on how we can tackle important challenges and share your ideas for building a 21st-century economy in Greater Cleveland.
The Official SuSu Afterparty
It’s party time! Help us toast another great Startup Scaleup event at our official afterparty, with music, food, drinks and of course, more networking.
BLK hack Cleveland Startup Scaleup Afterparty
Join BLK hack Cleveland as they welcome investors, entrepreneurs, startups, professionals and others for an evening of conversation, networking, cocktails, food and music from DJ Red-I. All are welcome!