The JumpStart Connect email newsletter from last December took a look at the accomplishments of JumpStart and its portfolio companies (now the companies which make up the JumpStart Ventures portfolio). On June 30th, JumpStart finished its fiscal year, and is now quickly approaching its 5 year anniversary. With these major milestones in mind, I took another look at these company accomplishments.
While it's never surprising to see the list of the amazing milestones the 39 JumpStart Ventures portfolio companies have achieved, I think a lot of them are secrets to those outside the walls of JumpStart! So, here is my list of secrets revealed...
The top 5 things that everyone should know about the Northeast Ohio companies that have received a JumpStart Ventures investment :
5) Over 100 patents are in place -- IP protection of some kind -- most often, patents -- is one of the criteria the JumpStart Ventures team looks for when making an investment, so it's not a secret that many of JumpStart's companies have a patent. But, the number of patents, the IP strategies, and work around IP has really progressed in the last three months (as highlighted, for example, in the JumpStart Connect story Beyond Bright - Building an IP Strategy about Wireless Environment). And, to be in the triple digits on patents -- especially given the average 22 months it takes to get a patent -- is worth shouting about!
4) Almost 300 people are employed -- These companies usually come to JumpStart with a 1 or 2 person team, so to see the ranks of jobs swelling to this number is very encouraging. As the companies continue to grow, and move from validating their products to making and selling their products, these numbers will increase exponentially. It's not a tidal wave yet...but the swell is building.
3) Developing technology from globally-recognized sources -- Entrepreneurs are not only developing their own ideas, but they are licensing or utilizing internationally ground-breaking technologies from places such as NASA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, Cleveland Clinic, UH, University of Akron, CWRU, and the DOE's Lawrence Livermore Lab.
2) The Top 10 in their fields -- Yes, we have companies whose technologies and solutions are recognized as one of the top 10 in their field. Some examples:
-- Top 10 most visited sports website
-- Top 10 pet insurance company
-- Top 10 technology as reported by Popular Science magazine
-- Top 10 most promising medical innovations for 2009 at last year's national Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit
And...the number #1 biggest secret about the JumpStart Ventures portfolio companies...
1) National thought leaders and experienced serial entrepreneurs are at the helm -- Case in point on this one: Brian Deagan, a thought leader in direct digital marketing and CEO of Knotice, published the article "Snapping Up Endangered Sales With On-Site Targeting" in leading trade pub E-Commerce Times this week. We have CEOs at these companies whose prior accomplishments include raising over $250 million and taking companies public. This experience is in addition to the passion, commitment, and energy required to move startup companies forward day in and day out.
There you go...it's all out there now!
Cathy Belk is the Chief Marketing Officer of JumpStart. She specializes in branding, marketing communications, and business management. She brings 16+ years of experience in a variety of marketing and business roles, but gets her energy from working daily with entrepreneurs and their growing companies.