JumpStart Inc., Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial development and funding organization, met with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury John W.Snow. Secretary Snow had heard about JumpStart Inc. on a previous visit to Northeast Ohio and had promised to return to find out more about the nonprofit entrepreneurial assistance organization.
JumpStart held a luncheon at the City Club in downtown Cleveland where JumpStart's CEO Ray Leach introduced the organization's program to Secretary Snow and explained how the organization is focused on identifying startup companies, which may have no more than a single employee and an idea, but show promise of growing into companies with $30 million to $50 million in revenue in five to seven years.
"I was intrigued the first time I heard about (JumpStart)," Mr. Snow said. "I had to hear more about it. It's a model that we are going to take to other areas of the country."
JumpStart will select 40 companies over the next three years and provide them with startup capital and management assistance, as well as helping them to become attractive to venture capitalists for further investment.
Secretary Snow commented that no region can succeed without a constant flow of entrepreneurs creating jobs and wealth.
"We need to be generating new businesses," Secretary Snow said. "The sections of the country that are growing and succeeding are ones with businesses that are growing and succeeding."
Key to the success of entrepreneurs is a combination of three things: good business ideas, strong management, and capital to fund the fledgling enterprise. He complimented JumpStart on bringing the three together.
"There's a feeling that entrepreneurship is a very individual thing," Secretary Snow said. "It's very much in the DNA of a person. There's a feeling that you can open a small business and you can succeed at it."