Positioning Northeast Ohio Businesses for Growth

Building a thriving regional economy means more than supporting a healthy startup ecosystem - it also requires a strong network that helps existing companies grow. That’s why we are deeply engaged in a partnership with Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation on the implementation of Scalerator NEO, a six-month, cohort-based educational program for entrepreneurs and leaders who want to deliver immediate growth to their businesses and are open to learning new ways to achieve this goal. 

Developed by Dan Isenberg, the founding executive director of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Platform, and taught in cooperation with colleagues at the Harvard and Columbia business schools, the program mixes peer-to-peer learning with classroom workshops that provide growth-oriented companies tools and strategies to quickly ignite that growth. Over 100 companies have participated in Scalerator to date, with previous cohorts taking place in Milwaukee, Manizales (Colombia) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).  The Scalerator curriculum, focused on the 3 Cs of growth – Customers, Capacity and Cash – has helped companies from diverse industries and sectors grow; many increasing by 25% or more following the program. 

Scalerator NEO launched in 2017 with a cohort of fourteen companies, which included a mix of manufacturers, software companies, and service providers who say the experience transformed their businesses.  Collectively the participating companies experienced a growth in earnings (EBIT) of 40% from 2016 to 2017.  Sixteen Northeast Ohio companies are participating in the second cohort of Scalerator NEO, which launched in April 2018.  The participants include manufacturers, service businesses, and tech companies from Cuyahoga, Medina, Lake, and Summit counties.  The businesses average roughly $5.4 million in sales and 27 employees. The Entrepreneurs EDGE, a nonprofit economic development organization focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio, serves as administrator of the program.

* Note: "Scalerator" is a trademark of Dan Isenberg.