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StartUp ScaleUp Event Draws In Cleveland's Entrepreneurs

Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, says he's confident about Cleveland's industry growth.
Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart, says he's confident about Cleveland's industry growth.

Cleveland’s JumpStart hosted its fourth annual StartUp ScaleUp conference today to celebrate the region’s entrepreneurs.

The day-long event featured panels and interactive activities facilitating entrepreneurial growth, funding and finding talent. 

Attendees of a "Pitch Improv" session watch as their peers try to market hard-to-sell ideas.
Credit Emma Keating / WKSU
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Attendees of a "Pitch Improv" session watch as their peers try to market hard-to-sell ideas.

Ray Leach is the CEO of JumpStart, the event’s organizer. He says the goal of the conference is to educate attendees, but also to promote an entrepreneurial culture – what he says Northeast Ohio is missing.

The region needs a culture change

“One of the most important things we need is a continued evolution of culture change. Private sector leaders, public sector leaders, philanthropy – all recognize that if we’re going to grow, small businesses,  startup businesses, diverse businesses, businesses led by women and people of color, are one of, if not the most important priority.”

Shelley Gracon (left), owner of Glo Cleveland, poses with author Manny Hall (right).
Credit Jeff St. Clair / WKSU
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Shelley Gracon (left), owner of Glo Cleveland, poses with author Manny Hall (right).

Leach says Northeast Ohio is doing well in new business generation, but not as well as surrounding regions and that needs to be improved.

He says that despite the fact that Cleveland still needs more growth, it has come a long way in the past 15 years.

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