Home > Results > JumpStart News > Reasons for Optimism About Cleveland

Reasons for Optimism About Cleveland

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Provided by The Plain Dealer
Written by Joe Frolik

Better support for entrepreneurs:
BioEnterprise, JumpStart and others are trying to reverse our region's chronically low rate of business formation.

More venture capital:
Once a rumor among start-ups here, VC's have discovered Northeast Ohio: $318 million in 2007, three-quarters of it for bioscience firms.

Higher education gets some love:
After years of neglect, Ohio's state universities now have vision at the top (Chancellor Eric Fingerhut) and bipartisan support in Columbus.

Practical talk about regionalism:

Leaders like Mayors William Currin of Hudson and Frank Jackson of Cleveland finally understand that we're all in this together.

The Fund for Our Economic Future:

Foundations, aware that they're living off the riches of a bygone era, have led a multimillion-dollar effort to change the region's thinking - and trajectory.

The Third Frontier:

For all his flaws, Bob Taft began seeding an economic future based on innovation (e.g., fuel cells, regenerative medicine), and no part of the state has benefited more.

The Medical Mart:
At last, a convention center plan with a realistic market niche. Even better, outsiders took a hard look at Cleveland's assets and said, this makes sense.

Atlanta, for one, is learning there's a limit to growth without abundant fresh water. We've got water, and the Great Lakes Compact will help keep it as a magnet for smart development.

Downtown investment:
Creative people like cities, and Cleveland belatedly is getting the public and private investments to attract them. Think East Bank, East Fourth Street, The Avenue, Euclid Corridor, CSU's Collegetown, the Design District.

Health Care:
Big investments by the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, even the VA, and big employment numbers make this sector the ground floor for Cleveland's future.

University Circle:
In a Knowledge Economy, what could be better than a cluster of institutions built on brainpower?

Cuyahoga County Arts Tax:
The arts define this community and can spur economic development (just visit Detroit-Shoreway). Public support sustains a vital asset.