Friday, December 11, 2009
Posted by Chris Mather
I introduced 'Getting It Done' in my last post featuring BioEnterprise and JumpStart Ventures. Here's Part 2 -- highlighting two additional organizations that are playing pivotal roles in our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
JumpStart TechLift Advisors
JumpStart TechLift Advisors started in 2007 as TechLift, the most visible new program in Northeast Ohio's implementation of the state's Entreprepreneruial Signature Program. In 2009, TechLift became part of JumpStart and evolved into what is known today as JumpStart TechLift Advisors.
How it works: JumpStart TechLift Advisors provides business consulting, support and funding access to Northeast Ohio's technology entrepreneurs. Five Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs), all former founders/CEOs who have raised capital and have significant domain experience, deliver these services and connections. The advice given is direct and hard-hitting. JumpStart TechLift Advisor EIRs are often an entrepreneur's first and prime connection point to Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial support network, as they are tightly linked into funding vehicles and processes, and other support structures.
Results: JumpStart TechLift Advisor's results have been significant, both numerically and in terms of effects on Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial landscape. JumpStart TechLift Advisors has connected with over 700 technology entrepreneurs, and has given at least 3 hours of support to over 400 clients. These clients have raised more than $25 million in follow-on funding, grant funding and incremental revenue (state defined Level A metrics), a number which increases to more than $35 million when those clients who subsequently attracted JumpStart Ventures funding are included. Just as importantly, JumpStart TechLift Advisors has become a critical organization for making Northeast Ohio one of the best places in the U.S. to start and grow a technology business.
Why it works: JumpStart TechLift Advisors filled an important gap that was inadvertently created with the success of, and necessary selectivity of JumpStart Ventures and BioEnterprise. JumpStart TechLift Advisors has been able to offer support to a broader group of entrepreneurs, especially those who are not yet ready for those other structures, but who, nonetheless, have potential to be developed. Coincident with the formation of the original TechLift came a number of earlier stage funding vehicles in the region designed to augment our already growing early-stage capital structures. JumpStart TechLift Advisors is the natural connection point for these funding vehicles and the entire Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.
JumpStart Inclusion Advisors
Although formalized as a JumpStart Inc. line of business in 2009, JumpStart Inclusion Advisors got its start in JumpStart's inclusion efforts as early as 2005, and is gaining momentum as a template for minority technology entrepreneurship development.
How it works: Although rates of general entrepreneurship are higher amongst females and minorities, as compared to the general population, the rate of high growth, venture investable entrepreneurship in these segments is significantly lower. JumpStart Inclusion Advisors takes a multifaceted approach to addressing this, starting with a strong outreach program designed to raise awareness and identify potential opportunities. Next, is a strong support program, driven by highly experienced Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, coordinated with JumpStart TechLift Advisors and other organizations, ensuring that minority and female entrepreneurs get the coaching and direction to help maximize their potential. Lastly, JumpStart Inclusion Advisors connects clients with funding sources, both directly within JumpStart and indirectly through a national network, to appropriately capitalize the venture.
Results: Woman- and minority-led companies supported by JumpStart's inclusion efforts have raised over $20 million in capital since inception, including $5 million from JumpStart Ventures. Additionally, JS Inclusion Advisors has helped start the Emerging Market Venture Partners Fund, one of the nation's largest early-stage minority focused venture funds. JumpStart Inclusion Advisors has quickly emerged as one of the best organizations in the country promoting and developing high growth minority entrepreneurship,
Why it works: JumpStart Inclusion Advisors works because it takes a very focused, disciplined, and connected approach to addressing an underserved segment of our population. It works with system and vehicles currently in place, augments and goes beyond those vehicles when appropriate and productive, and sets high expectations for participating entrepreneurs.
Next in the series: North Coast Opportunities Technology Fund and The Innovation Fund of the LCCC Foundation
Chris Mather is President, JumpStart Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Previously, he managed a number of technology initiatives in Northeast Ohio for NorTech. Before entering the economic development world, Chris ran a number of technology companies in Northeast Ohio and New England, including Ion Optics Inc., where he raised $6.7 million in venture capital, and Apsco Inc. and Gould Instrument Systems. Prior to that, he spent 13 years in sales, marketing and management roles with Hewlett Packard after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Electrical Engineering.