Edward Griffith And Courtney Ivy Are Changing The Sneaker Game

Most entrepreneurial ideas stem from a problem that an individual has faced in their own life. For Sneak Peek CEO Edward Griffith and CFO Courtney Ivy, that story is no different. The two college friends spent many of their days at the University of Toledo brainstorming potential business ideas and thinking through countless “problem and

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Meet Our Newest NEXT Fund Portfolio Company: ReadySet Surgical

The JumpStart NEXT Fund has already invested more than $8.5 million in growing tech startups across the state of Ohio. Now, the NEXT Fund has a new portfolio company—Cincinnati-based ReadySet Surgical. Founder & CEO Keerthi Kanubaddi launched the company in 2014 to solve a critical, but little-known problem in medicine—miscommunication among hospitals, surgeons and the

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Chioma Onukwuire Is Making Authentic African Fashion More Accessible

Case Western Reserve University graduate student Chioma Onukwuire grew up in Houston, Texas—a long way from her family’s native country of Nigeria and the traditional African clothing designed and produced there. “When I was growing up, getting African fashion was just a nightmare,” she said. “We would have to call our cousin in Nigeria to

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Charisma Curry Is Making Life Easier For Busy Families

As a child, Charisma Curry saw the struggles her own mother faced while trying to balance her work schedule with her parental responsibilities as a single mother. So, when Charisma became a mom herself, she was already aware of the challenges that lie ahead. Still, this understanding didn’t make the actual experience of balancing work,

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6 Questions To Ask Yourself When Preparing For Fundraising

Let’s face it, starting your own business is difficult, and no matter how unique your idea is, it’s unlikely to get off the ground without proper funding. Securing the necessary funding to start and sustain a business is one of the biggest hurdles that every aspiring entrepreneur will face. Fortunately, in Northeast Ohio, there is

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Meet Plug And Play Founder And CEO Saeed Amidi

In October, Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart announced a partnership with Silicon Valley’s renowned Plug and Play Inc. to bring a new biotech and digital health innovation accelerator to downtown Cleveland. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Plug and Play is one of the world’s best and largest accelerator programs. As they prepare to expand to Northeast Ohio,

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When Failure Is Not An Option

In the course of my work, I’ve met all sorts of incredible entrepreneurs with amazing stories. Fashion entrepreneur Eva Mann is one of those people. By the time I met Eva, her company had already built a strong reputation for bringing a high-fashion sensibility to the world of uniform design. What many people don’t know

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Entrepreneur Insight: Chris Nickless, Vlipsy

For the last eight years of his career, Chris Nickless has been working in the growing “expressive content” space, planning, building and deploying solutions that allow people to represent themselves and communicate more effectively on digital platforms. Through this work, Nickless realized something important was missing from online communication. When speaking face to face, he

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Five Questions With Our Favorite Things Boutique Founder Lisa McGuthry

Decades ago, Lisa McGuthry’s grandmother sold peanuts at baseball and football games in Cleveland Municipal Stadium. She grew her operation by employing many neighborhood children and provided many with their very first job. In 2002, Lisa decided to take a page from her grandmother’s book when she founded her own business, Our Favorite Things Boutique,

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Five Questions With Backattack Snacks Founder Lauren Back

Poor snacking habits aren’t easy to shake, and most of us are no stranger to the struggle of finding alternative, guilt-free options that are just as delicious as they are nourishing. To help change that, husband and wife team Brian and Lauren Back founded BackAttack Snacks. Their company offers tasty, healthy snacking alternatives, including certified

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Later-Stage Startups Still Face Challenges On The Way To Success

For every startup, raising a Series A funding round is a major milestone. A seven-figure infusion of cash may not put the entrepreneurial valley of death permanently in the rearview mirror, but it definitely fuels the opportunity to turn a big idea into a company with customers, revenue and growth momentum. Most startups never make

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Entrepreneur Insight: Daniel Catullo, FoodECrave

Food-related small businesses face many of the same growth challenges as every other business. However, food entrepreneurs face a few unique hurdles that can stand in their way—including how to develop an online presence to market and sell perishable goods outside their immediate geography. Often, this kind of effort simply isn’t in the budget for

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