Featured Speaker – Ray Leach, CEO, JumpStart
Ray Leach is the founding CEO of JumpStart Inc. a Cleveland, Ohio-based non-profit venture development organization that has gained a national best-in-class reputation for its innovative economic development models and its ability to leverage its experience and expertise across the U.S.
JumpStart’s work focuses on assisting community leaders to maximize the job and wealth-creating economic impact of local startup and high-growth small companies with a focus on ways to assist and invest in these firms to dramatically improve local economic competitiveness. Ray is considered a national thought and practice leader at the intersections of public, private and philanthropic partnerships that accelerate job creation and increase economic outcomes in neighborhoods, cities, regions and countries.
Ray was a Sloan Fellow and a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Akron. He began his career at IBM and went on to co-found four startup technology companies. Ray was a founding member of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). He is also the current Chair of the National Venture Capital Association’s (NVCA) Alumni Council and a founding member of the NVCA’s Diversity Task Force.
Ray currently serves as a board member for several area firms, including Banyan Technology, Smithers Group and Signet Enterprises. He also serves on the board of VentureOhio, Invent Now, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the Global Center for Health Innovation.