JumpStart Gets Out The Roadmap

JumpStart Inc., the nonprofit that supports startup and young businesses, is publishing a guide it’s calling the Entrepreneur Roadmap to help fledgling businesses launch and grow. The package includes access to one-on-one business advice from JumpStart and its partners, live educational programs and workshops, and “always-on” resources and templates to support the entrepreneur as the business develops.

“We have seen incredible success come from entrepreneurs who follow a deliberate, intentional path forward focused on creating value at each phase of growth,” said Pat Grospiron, JumpStart’s senior partner for network management, in a news release. “The Roadmap is a concerted effort to provide a centralized and structured path forward, to complement one-on-one advising from JumpStart and our network partners.”

Under the state of Ohio’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider (ESP) program, JumpStart and other nonprofit economic development organizations work to increase the commercialization of new technologies and focus on sectors, such as biotechnology and software, that offer the best economic development prospects.

In addition to live coaching, the Roadmap breaks down business formation and growth into four stages: ideation, development, launch and acceleration.

The ideation phase includes articulating the value the new business seeks to create, demonstrating a need and identifying a market and price point. Development builds off ideation and includes building a viable first product. The launch phase includes pursuing customers for piloting or as paying customers so entrepreneurs can test their products’ value and end-user demand. Acceleration occurs when entrepreneurs examine how to build a staff and move to production.

“Entrepreneurs can’t be shy about asking for help,” said Gerald Hetrick, CEO of Able, a JumpStart-nurtured company formerly known as EmployStream and which has developed software for the staffing industry. “The risk and hard work required to launch a successful startup can be daunting. The Roadmap concept will save startups a lot of time and frustration because the advising, support and resources are centralized.”

This article originally appeared in Crain’s Cleveland Business on September 16, 2020.

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