2018 Session Agenda

Plan Your Day

Startup Scaleup offers attendees a wide variety of collaborative workshops, interactive panel discussions and valuable networking events.

Whether you’re thinking of starting your own venture, currently building a startup or working to reinvent an existing business, there is something for you on the agenda.

We’re adding sessions everyday, so be sure to check back often for agenda updates!

Look for these three icons next to the name of each session. They will help you quickly determine the session theme.

Growth Sessions are aimed at helping your existing business reach the next level of growth.

Funding Sessions deal with finding and working with the capital resources you need to launch and grow a business.

Talent Sessions focus on finding and retaining the right people with the right skills to help you succeed.

8am-9am – Onsite Registration

Stop by Near West Theatre to check-in and get your materials for the day. There will be lots going on here, including exhibitors, photo opps, and food & drink located in the downstairs cafe.

Looking for a break? Need to plug-in or take a meeting? Stop in at Gypsy for “A Cup of Coworking” with StartMart, open from 8am-11am.


Making Brick & Mortar Work In The Age Of Amazon

In the session, you’ll hear from a mix of local business owners as they share stories and strategies on how to run a successful brick & mortar shop in the modern economy.


The Obsession Of Innovation: A Bar-Side Chat

In 2003, Yuval Brisker co-founded TOA Technologies. In 2014, the company was acquired by Oracle Corporation in one of Ohio’s largest startup exits. In this session, Brisker will share his unfiltered insights on what it really takes to build a successful startup, from idea to exit.


Grow Or Die: How To Scale Your Business

Learn how to think creatively about the new customers, new products and new markets that will keep your business relevant (and profitable) long into the future.


How Diverse Founders & Investors Are Changing Startup Culture

Join JumpStart’s head of Inclusion, Erin Horne McKinney, for a conversation with Monique Woodard, an experienced entrepreneur and venture capital investor (formerly at 500 Startups).


Pay-To-Play — The New Social Media Playbook

Roll up your sleeves (or your phones) and get ready for a hands-on paid social demo. We’ll get you past vanity metrics like comments, shares and reactions and get you real results that will impact your business.


The SuSu Social Suite, Featuring Citrus Social (9am-3pm)

Need some time/space to check-in on social? Stop by Brewnuts, where the Wi-Fi is free and Citrus Social will be hosting contests, games and giveaways throughout the day. Plus … DONUTS!


10:15am-10:45am – Break

Have a question? Visit Toast for an appointment for a 1:1 business advising session with one of our experts! We are taking appointments all day until 3pm.


An Entrepreneur’s Guide To The MVP

An informational session, focused around the entrepreneurial mindset, on how to approach your minimum viable product, or MVP. Design, development, and business advice on the MVP.


Pitch Improv: Selling Your Business Idea

Hone both your entrepreneurial and improvisational skills by taking a random “game-changing” idea, developing a pitch around that idea and delivering that pitch to a panel of judges.


Don’t Wreck Your Business With The Wrong Team

Explore the dynamics that great teams share and learn how to avoid common pitfalls from entrepreneurs who have been there.


Finding Money For Your Business

Join a panel of experts for a discussion about finding the money you need.


What You Really Need To Know About HR

Learn how to develop a proactive HR plan that works for your business. From interviewing and onboarding to benefits and retention plans, we’ll cover it all.


Building A Brand That Sells

Hear from local entrepreneurs who have not only built strong companies, but created instantly recognizable brands to help those companies grow.


Selling Disruption

Hear from Pete Martin, Founder and CEO of Votem, a company leveraging blockchain technology to create a secure mobile voting platform for elections around the globe. Learn how Votem is building the market for their disruptive technology by helping investors and customers understand its full potential.


Finding The Right Franchise (10:45am – 12pm)

Learn the benefits and challenges of working in a franchise structure, and meet some of the franchising experts who can help you get the resources and financing you need to get started.


The Fine Art Of Financial Forecasting (10:45am – 12pm)

Learn how to build a financial framework that is both compelling and credible, so you can attract investors/lenders without losing touch with reality.


11:45am-12:15pm – Break

It’s lunchtime, but there is still plenty to do! 1:1 Business Advising at Toast, Coworking hosted by The Tech Hive at Gypsy or head to one of our over-lunch sessions.

12:15pm-1:30pm (Over Lunch Sessions)

Turning Your Physical Product Idea Into Reality

A panel of local experts will discuss the questions startup makers and manufacturers should ask, and the resources available to support that journey.


Ask The Founders

Entrepreneurs behind some of Northeast Ohio’s biggest startup successes answer your questions live on stage.


Using Great Company Culture To Grow Your Business

In this talk, we’ll walk through strategies for discovering and defining your cultural values, understanding your candidate personas and using inbound marketing tactics to attract new talent to your business.


More Women In Startups? Yes Please!

This panel, made up of women entrepreneurs, employees and investors, will explore how startups can be the right next step in your career, enabling you to not only be fulfilled, but to flourish and grow.


How Startups Can Partner With Corporations

In this session, you’ll hear directly from some of Northeast Ohio’s corporate innovation leaders as they explain their corporate goals, discuss what they are focused on for the future and share how they think about leveraging partnerships with local startups to help them stay on the cutting edge of their industries.


From The Kitchen: Stories From NEO’s Food Startups

Successful entrepreneurs share how they got their culinary businesses off the ground, examine the unique challenges of food-entrepreneurship and offer tips to help others learn from their experiences.


1:30pm-2pm – Break

Looking for some dessert with a side of networking? Stop by Sweet Moses for a round of People Bingo hosted by LaunchHouse!


Growing The Family Business: How Vitamix And Dealer Tire Built Two World-Class Companies

Vitamix President and CEO Jodi L. Berg and Dealer Tire CEO Scott Mueller sit down with JumpStart CEO Ray Leach to discuss leading and growing the Northeast Ohio businesses their families founded.


Angels 101 For Entrepreneurs

Several fast-paced panels of angel investors and entrepreneurs will discuss the nuances of raising an angel (typically $250k-$1.5M) in Ohio. Topics include identifying/approaching investors, getting through diligence, the term sheet process and working with angels after the investment.


The Startup Talent Tell All

Hear from startup employees and founders as they reveal what keeps them motivated and how they keep their best employees happy and productive.


Startup Stories

Three inspiring local entrepreneurs take the stage to share their personal stories of what it really takes to start and grow a business in Northeast Ohio and the key lessons they’ve learned along the way.


What Really Persuades Investors

Get inside the mind of investors as they take a deep dive on their investing theses, what can make or break an investment, and what gets them excited to make a deal.


Startup Bootcamp: Build Your Business In An Hour (2pm-3:30pm)

During the Startup Bootcamp we will guide you through a rapid process to help turn that idea into a working business.


The Mentor, The Advisor And The Board Member (2pm-3:30pm)

Part workshop and part panel, this interactive session will teach you how each of these roles fills a different entrepreneurial need.


The New Reality: How AR/ VR Technologies Are Impacting Healthcare (2pm-3:30pm)

Hear from some of Northeast Ohio’s medtech innovators and experience demos of their immersive AR/ VR technologies—from clinical simulations that mimic real-world conditions to 360° VR simulators that allow surgeons to step inside the human body.


BLK hack Cleveland Presents: Squad Goals! (2pm-3:30pm)

Join SoLo Funds co-founder/CEO Travis Holoway and JumpStart’s Partner of Inclusion Initiatives Nicole Sims for a session focused on building a team that scales by harnessing the power of a supportive ecosystem with great access to talent.


3pm-3:30pm – Break

Building a business takes up a lot of time and energy. Sometimes it’s difficult to make time to de-stress. Come join LaunchHouse at Sweet Moses to create a quick and easy DIY stress ball to wind down without the hassle.


Behind The Scenes With JumpStart CEO Ray Leach

Join JumpStart’s CEO for an open conversation about the inner workings of the organization he helped found in 2004. Bring your own questions for Ray and get his perspective on where we’ve been, where we are and where we hope to go—as an organization and as a region.



In this session, you’ll have a chance to meet one-on-one with a Burton D. Morgan mentor to discuss your business.


The Startup Scaleup App Extravaganza, Hosted By Mezu

Whether you are an aspiring app developer, an early adopter or just interested in local startups, don’t miss this chance to try out some great new apps from right here in Ohio, while networking with the teams that built them.


BLK hack Exclusive Afterparty (3:30pm-7pm)

Join BLK hack Cleveland and local investors, entrepreneurs, startups, professionals, and others for an evening of conversation, networking and cocktails.



TechPint Happy Hour w/ Crypto Cleveland

After a long day of talking business, join the TechPint team at Happy Dog for a well-deserved drink. Plus, Crypto Cleveland will be there — a popular meetup group focused on the world of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.