And Then There Were Seven: Chain Reaction Winners Announced In Old Brooklyn

From 107 applicants to the lucky final seven, the second installment of Cleveland Chain Reaction has reached its exciting conclusion. This morning at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Fox 8’s Kenny Crumpton announced the seven winning businesses chosen to receive over $700,000 in investment (more than $200,000 over the initial commitment). The announcement also foreshadows the next wave of economic development in Old Brooklyn, this year’s Chain Reaction neighborhood.

“Old Brooklyn was an ideal location for Chain Reaction, as it offers a growing commercial corridor that is flanked by vibrant residential areas,” Jeff Kipp of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress shared via a statement. “This project has successfully introduced new companies and investors to a city neighborhood full of amenities. We’re looking forward to watching these businesses succeed in Old Brooklyn.”

The selected businesses range from those who already operate in Old Brooklyn and seek to expand (Vino Veritas Winery and Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.) to new entries for the neighborhood, including Cleveland House Hotels, Her Blue Wear, Immaculate Cleaning, Randy’s Pickles, and Sidekicks Salsa. What the businesses all have in common is an established customer base and a desire to take their business to the next level with outside investment.

“Our primary goal was take a ‘Shark Tank’ model and apply it to a specific urban neighborhood in Cleveland. The way you add that up is [in] dollars and jobs,” explains Alan Glazen of GlazenUrban. “For the two companies already [in Old Brooklyn], the investment will vastly increase dollars and jobs, while attracting new businesses to Old Brooklyn will be highly stimulating for others to consider that neighborhood and others near it.”

Today’s celebration at the Zoo marks the culmination of a four-month process that began with the application deadline in June, followed by the selection of 18 semi-finalists in July and their pitches at the COSE Business Showcase, and the finalist announcement in late August. The project was the result of a collaborative partnership between the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), GlazenUrban, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, and JumpStart—which Glazen says was the secret sauce behind its success.

Read the full story at Freshwater.