Cleveland and Detroit are rust belt cities experiencing serious financial difficulties. That’s why it’s tremendously exciting to see highly effective start-up incubators such as Bizdom and LaunchHouse which provide essential support for regional entrepreneurial development.
Bizdom: A Start-up Accelerator in Ohio
Dan Gilbert founded Bizdom in 2007 as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs get their businesses started. Dan is the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans and Majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bizdom directs its efforts towards supporting start-ups in Detroit and Cleveland. Its primary targets are local innovative and tech based companies.
Participants in Bizdom’s programs receive well designed, real world training and mentorship. Their three month program is taught by experienced business professionals. Entrepreneurs create business plans for Detroit businesses under expert guidance. Those who complete the program and create an approved business plan will receive funding and continued guidance as they grow their business.
The program headquarters is in the Detroit’s Cultural Center at 1555 Broadway Street 3rd floor, #375, Detroit, Michigan 48226 and offices also at 250 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland, OH.
In April 2012 the first class of six businesses started in Cleveland. Bizdom initially invests $25 K in each one. At the end of training, businesses can make a pitch for additional funding.
Three successful examples of Bizdom’s Cleveland start-ups are:
- BigRiver (www.gobigriver.com) founded by Ron Cass is an online non-profit fundraising organization facilitating relationship based online giving.
- BOOM (www.boomimpact.com) was founded by Lindsay Sims and is a social media utility facilitating communication between property managers and tenants.
- InStoreFinance (www.InStoreFinance.com) founded by Jason Nemeth enables retailers with in-store financing to provide credit to customers who would ordinarily be ineligible.
LaunchHouse: A Start-up Accelerator in Ohio
Todd Goldstein and Dar Caldwell are co-founders of LaunchHouse. The company’s objective is to support the development of promising start-ups in the idea-stage. The program accepts applicants which are located in NE Ohio. The company uses a formula for helping promising entrepreneurs and this is $25K + Mentoring + Business Essentials + Networking.
The type of participants LaunchHouse is looking for are:
- Technology based such as SaaS, data, security, healthcare software, storage
- Internet based such as e-commerce, social network, media, advertising and gaming
- Mobile based gaming, monetization, applications and communications
- Selected participants are expected to have 2 or 3 founders who will dedicate 100% of their time to the business and will be ready to relocate to Cleveland during the program.
Three LaunchHouse mentored businesses are:
Bizdom and LaunchHouse Are Great Business Accelerators! Which One Will You Choose To Pitch?
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