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JumpStart Invests in STACK Media

Thursday, May 15, 2008

JumpStart Inc., the Northeast Ohio venture development organization that accelerates the growth of innovative early-stage businesses and ideas, has announced its participation in STACK Media’s latest round of funding. The Cleveland-based media company develops unique content geared toward high school athletes and delivers it via both the Internet and hard copy magazines.

The company’s founders, Nick Palazzo and Chad Zimmerman, are former high school and college athletes who were frustrated with the lack of credible sports performance and training information available to them. By approaching top sports trainers who have worked with athletes like LeBron James, Peyton Manning, and Tim Duncan, STACK Media has created unique sports performance, training and lifestyle content for high school athletes.

The company, which has received national media attention, has already obtained major advertisers, including Gatorade, Nike and Under Armour. STACK Media is also capitalizing on the online “vertical advertising and content network” trend, in which they sell ad space on behalf of other sites that target a similar demographic and have an interest in incorporating STACK Media’s proprietary content into their site.

“This is JumpStart’s first investment in the entertainment/media market and we’re very excited to welcome STACK into our portfolio,” said Ted Frank, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence who will be working with the company. “STACK is delivering the high value, sustainable content that serious athletes demand through print and an online community, creating substantial viral athlete and advertiser interest. They’ve clearly become one of the sports market’s preeminent destinations.” Frank concluded.

This is JumpStart’s 39th investment in its 28th company. Other consumer-oriented companies in JumpStart’s portfolio include CoupAd, Embrace Pet Insurance, HF Food Technologies, and VeriShot (formerly known as Charitee).