My goal is to share a little of what I experienced and learned at the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo (NEOexpo.org), and to invite you to learn more by following the links I have provided. In this post, I would like to share some comments I heard during the day, as well as photos, tweets, and links to what others wrote about the event.
When I first arrived, I was amazed by the size of the event and how the Cleveland Museum of Art (@ClevelandArt) made a great venue. (I subsequently heard that it was the largest entrepreneur expo in its history.) The large and varied group of people added to the excitement. My only regret is that I did not get around to all the many booths.
Here are a few points taken from notes I wrote on my iPad during the day:
Cleveland has great tech people at a better price point than other cities.
For the potential growth of our community to happen, there needs to be more capital made available.
There is a shortage of senior-level sales and marketing people -- there are career opportunities for those individuals talented in sales.
Cleveland area entrepreneurs need to sell their product/service at a higher level (as they do in other cities) -- say "no" to selling a project for only one million dollars and go for larger amounts.
A good company sells to people who can afford to buy. Successful entrepreneurs use the product they created -- they must develop a product that meets a real need.
Interesting that I did not hear concern about Brain Drain (we do have people coming here), but northeast Ohio needs to do even more to increase the Brain Gain. As the ecomomy gets better, the Greater Cleveland community needs to do more to help young entrepreneurial companies, or risk losing talent.
Sometimes it takes ten years to be an "overnight success." Our community needs to continue to invest in future growth.
I recommend reading what others wrote, and listening to the "Attracting Capital Between The Coasts" podcast that Jumpstart has provided on their website. I included links below to those articles I am aware of, and invite you to add a comment below if you know of other resources.
You can also take a look at what was tweeted with the #NEOExpo14 tag.
Tweets & Retweets
Here are my tweets and retweets about the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo. Please be sure to read through these. I feel they are important in how they reflect some of the activity of the day.
We need companies to stay here and grow here #NEOExpo14— Andrew Sylvester (@AndrewSly1) April 7, 2014
Feeling that innovated vibe at the #NEOExpo14— JCU Entrepreneurship (@JCU_Eminor) April 7, 2014
Will good companies find capital. Mark Kvamme: "Yes," but it depends on what "good" means. And if they need it. #NEOExpo14— Chuck Soder (@ChuckSoder) April 7, 2014
#NEOExpo14 Look for entrepreneur that makes product that they use. A product that meets a real need. A good company sells to ppl w/ $ to buy— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. (@sos_jr) April 7, 2014
The best kind of funding isn't venture capital, it's customers #NEOExpo14— Andrew Sylvester (@AndrewSly1) April 7, 2014
At #NEOExpo14 talking about Brain Drain. Now as economy is getting better, we need to do more to help young companies or risk losing talent— Stuart O. Smith, Jr. (@sos_jr) April 7, 2014
Had an awesome time at #NEOExpo14 today! Met some awesome people and love seeing this much innovation in the region— Nick (@osctechlab) April 8, 2014
JumpStart is the organizer of the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo. Be sure to view the official expo website at NEOexpo.org, view the #NEOExpo14 Twitter hashtag, and follow JumpStart, Inc. (JumpStartInc.org) on Twitter at: @JumpStartInc. Here are some materials that JumpStart provided -- thank you JumpStart!!
Looking at the photos in the article The Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition posted by the JumpStart Team on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, I was very interested to see the photo of Dr. Brian Grimberg from Case Western Reserve University (@CWRU). I had met Dr. Grimberg at the January 23, 2014, TechPint Cleveland III event (read my blog post with more information on Dr. Grimberg's work on treating malaria around the world). The CWRU Disease Diagnostic Group was one of the winners of the competition. I saw Dr. Grimberg at the expo, but unfortunately did not get a change to talk to him. Be sure to read the article to learn about all the winners of the Charter One Foundation Student Business Idea Competition.
Here is an abridged version of the e-newsletter entitled "In Case You Missed It | Connect for the Community" that JumpStart sent out after the event. It gives some nice details about the success of the day:
The most important item here to view is the 2014 NE Ohio Entrepreneur Expo Connections Matter program book "brought to you by JumpStart." More than just the agenda, it contains the list of sponsors, "Attracting Capital Between The Coasts" panel members' biographies, the list of speed advisors, and information on the entrepreneur showcase exhibitors.
A big thank-you to JumpStart for allowing me to share their official 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo photos from the event:
What Others Say
Here is some of what others have shared about the 2014 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo:
Entrepreneurs, Funders, Mentors, Connect At Northeast Exposition
Brian Bull @bcbull, 90.3 WCPN ideastream @WCPN Monday, April 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM
Innovation & Job News: northeast ohio entrepreneur expo focuses on making connections
Fresh Water @FreshWaterCLE. Source: Samantha Fryberger Writer: Karin Connelly. Thursday, March 20, 2014
Partner, Odell Coleman, Advises Entrepreneurs At 2014 Expo
Posted: April 7, 2014
If you know of others, please add to the comments below.