Through this program, JumpStart plans to provide mentoring and related services to more than 100 companies, served by 120-150 volunteer mentors over the next three years.
This grant will enable JumpStart to expand a program it piloted last year to provide strategic guidance to early-stage tech startups by matching them with teams of experienced mentors. According to recent research, web startups that were able to learn from mentors were seven times more likely to attract financing, and generated more than three times higher user growth. This program is expected to both increase entrepreneurial success in the region and to increase the region’s residents’ direct involvement with Northeast Ohio startups.
This grant also offered the Foundation an opportunity to honor the Foundation’s founder, Burt Morgan, through a major initiative that formalizes the advisor role he played instinctively throughout his life. Foundation Chief Executive Officer and President Deb Hoover noted, “The Foundation’s support of JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program aligns in a meaningful way with Mr. Morgan’s practice of mentoring fledgling entrepreneurs. We believe that volunteer mentoring has the potential to transform the way Northeast Ohio supports its aspiring entrepreneurs as they navigate the challenges of the startup process.”
JumpStart was formed a decade ago as a result of a collaboration between civic, community, and philanthropic leaders to address the region's declining economy, loss of jobs and lack of significant new entrepreneurial company growth. To date, JumpStart has committed more than $26 million through 101 investments in 67 companies.
Photograph by Lauren Parsells