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JumpStart Inc. Completes Strategic Planning Process

Friday, July 02, 2004

Integration of Founding Partners Concluded

JumpStart Inc., Northeast Ohio's new entrepreneurial funding and support organization, has completed its strategic operating plan and has concluded the integration of its predecessor organizations,announced JumpStart President & CEO Ray Leach. The JumpStart Board of Directors recently approved the final plans for there organization, and the changes became effective on July 1, 2004.

JumpStart Inc. was formally launched in January 2004 when four separate entities NEOpreneur, the NEOpreneur Exchange, JumpStart LLC,and Enterprise Development, Inc. -- partnered to create a single,focused organization.   

Since that time, the JumpStart management team and board have carefully analyzed the various service lines and programs offered by the four entities. Their objective in the process was to determine which offerings would be expanded, spun off, or discontinued in accordance with JumpStart's new mission. 

Among the key decisions recently agreed to by the JumpStart Board of Directors are the following:

  • Programs to be retained and grown by JumpStart Inc. include all forms of direct entrepreneurial support, investment activities,minority assistance and networking events. 
  • Legacy and recognition programs, as well as academic-oriented educational activities such as the Enterprise Forum, Enterprise Scholars, Innovation Conference and the Weatherhead 100, will be re-integrated by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. 
  • Programs to be discontinued include real estate-oriented aspects of business incubation and the publication of Enterprise magazine.

All of the programs offered by JumpStart's predecess ororganizations have significant value and have produced results, noted Leach. However, the specific mission of JumpStart calls for us to accelerate the growth of the best and brightest early-stage businesses and ideas into venture ready companies through providing vital, focused resources to entrepreneurs and the community. It is important that we retain a very tight focus on those objectives. 

JumpStart recently announced its first investment, and its first formal application period was completed July 1. More than 80 applications for funding were received and are currently under review, with funding decisions expected in twelve to sixteen weeks, said Leach. JumpStart plans to invest about $3 million per year into startup companies over the next three years.