JumpStart to Present Two Marquee Events at FutureLAND 2023

On Thursday, October 5, JumpStart will host two special editions of Pitch Cypher and Founders Unfiltered as part of the highly anticipated FutureLAND conference. The back-to-back events will be held at Cibreo Privato in the city’s Playhouse Square district.

Founders Unfiltered Featuring Luke Cooper

The evening kicks off with Founders Unfiltered, an enlightening and candid conversation featuring serial entrepreneur, author and General Partner at Latimer Ventures, Luke Cooper.

Throughout his career, Luke has championed a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial landscape, using his platform to shed light on the unique challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs. His unwavering advocacy and dedication have earned him accolades such as being recognized as one of Baltimore’s “40 Under 40” Business Leaders and the prestigious title of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year.

JumpStart’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Camille Heard, will sit down with Luke to discuss his mission to empower underrepresented tech founders, the future of equitable innovation and more.

The 2023 Pitch Cypher Finale

Immediately following Founders Unfiltered, guests are invited to stay for the 2023 Pitch Cypher Finale, showcasing top-placing Northeast Ohio tech founders from previous competitions throughout this year. These finalists will take to the stage in front of a live audience and panel of judges for a chance to win up to $25,000 to grow their business. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will also receive invaluable support services to help them take their venture to the next level.

The 2023 Pitch Cypher Finale participants include:

  • Onome Scott-Emuakpor of Hyphen Innovations, a pioneering digital manufacturing company that shapes tomorrow’s industries;
  • Dr. Wendy Sloane, founder of bTECH, a technology that is revolutionizing light therapy for wound care management;
  • Aparna Agrawal of Auxilium Health, a company that produces a cost-effective biomaterial wound dressing that prevents, manages and monitors wound infections, reducing dressing changes and speeding up healing;
  • Aleksandra Brankov of Cafilia, a platform that connects local coffee shops and coffee drinkers through monthly subscriptions and pay-with-your-cup convenience;
  • JayR of Lokul App, a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs and customers interested in supporting minority-owned businesses.

“October is an exciting time for Cleveland and our region’s tech ecosystem as a whole,” says JumpStart’s Chief Operating and Relationship Officer Teleangé Thomas. “The most effective way to enact real change in our collective tech community is through strategic collaboration and passionate partnerships. As a founding partner of FutureLAND, JumpStart is thrilled to present two of our signature events as part of the 2023 conference.”

FutureLAND is a two-day event built to revolutionize Cleveland’s innovation and tech ecosystem, making it more equitable and supportive of diverse founders and creatives of color.

Event Details

Date: October 5, 2023 | Location: Cibreo Privato, Playhouse Square


For media inquiries, please contact:

Vicki McDonald
Director of Communications & Media Relations, JumpStart
[email protected]

About Pitch Cypher
Pitch Cypher is a multi-organization, tech-centered community conceived to support historically underrepresented startup founders in Northeast Ohio. Pitch Cypher strives for racial, gender and economic equity by bridging access gaps to capital, services and connections, especially for founders of color.

About Founders Unfiltered
Founders Unfiltered is a webcast that features entrepreneurs from across Ohio and the country. Through candid conversations, Founders Unfiltered uncovers inspiring personal journeys of tech founders on the forefront of innovation.

About JumpStart
JumpStart is a nationally recognized venture development organization providing capital, services and connections to help entrepreneurs grow and corporations innovate.