Ray Leach is CEO of JumpStart, a Cleveland-based organization that wants to see a boom in entrepreneurship in the Midwest. He works with startups on finding them cash, human capital and resources.
Leach has big goals for the once industrial and neglected city: he wants 10,000 new jobs in Cleveland in the next 10 years and more than a couple billion investment dollars in the next few years.
Here he speaks on the current gaps in funding facing Midwest entrepreneurs and yet, despite their struggles, their ability to build successful enterprises far from New York and Silicon Valley.
Esha Chhabra: Currently what are the challenges facing underserved cities like Cleveland?
Ray Leach: Likely, the two largest challenges have to do with accessing superior talent that can accelerate the growth of a firm more quickly and accessing the right amount of capital at each stage of a business’s development without too much effort.
Companies in places like Cleveland often have to work even harder than they might if there were in some other markets to access these resources.
This is particularly true when firms are 1-3 years old and are needing to access $1-4 million in Series A capital and could really benefit from more experienced leadership who has raised this type of capital numerous times over their career.
Read the full story at Forbes.