Flashstarts and Global Cleveland Announce Strategic Partnership- Press Release

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Cleveland, Feb. 13, 2017– Flashstarts, a startup accelerator and venture fund focused on unique and disruptive uses of software and technology, today announced a new strategic partnership with Global Cleveland. The partnership will combine Flashstarts’ expertise in startup and innovation with Global Cleveland’s interest in having more talented global entrepreneurs succeed in Cleveland, and to deliver solutions for international entrepreneurs who are struggling with their immigration status.

The partnership between Flashstarts and Global Cleveland will mark the beginning of partnerships of regional organizations and universities with Flashstarts who come together for the same mission: bring and support world-changing startups through enabling immigrant founders to locate in the Northeast Ohio. The new partnership will be a stepping stone for setting up a Flashstarts Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence (GEIR) program with local universities in Northeast Ohio.

 

International entrepreneurs who are interested in Flashstarts Global EIR program in NEO will first apply to the program through Flashstarts. Through a competitive selection process, successful applicants will be selected and form a collaborative partnership with a partner university in exchange for a cap-exempt H-1B visa pathway. International Entrepreneurs will work on campus for 20 hours per week to serve school’s mission, while the remaining 20 hours per week they will work on their startups.

Jessica Whale, Global Cleveland’s Director of Global Talent and Economic Development, says “partnering with Flashstarts to bring more global talent to Cleveland and help more immigrant entrepreneurs grow their businesses will be very beneficial to our community. While Global Cleveland seeks to help talented immigrants thrive in the region, given current immigration policy, getting proper visa status can be challenging. This program aligns perfectly with Global Cleveland’s vision of transforming Cleveland into an international hub of innovation.”

“As we expand our startup accelerator program, we want to attract more innovative ideas from all around the globe. This program will allow us to draw talent from anywhere in the world” said the CEO of Flashstarts, Charles Stack. Flashstarts has expanded its global presence each year and had two startups from outside of U.S. last summer in its new Lab Program.

 

About Flashstarts

Flashstarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator, consultancy and venture fund focused on unique and innovative uses of software and technology. Startups will benefit from Flashstarts’ executive team’s deep expertise in HealthIT, SaaS and Enterprise software. Flashstarts’ rigorous 12-week summer accelerator program is powered by rapid cycles of feedback and iteration, customized guidance from dedicated coaches, and an extensive network of top-tier, experienced mentors. For more information, visit www.flashstarts.com or follow @Flashstarts on Twitter.

 

About Global Cleveland

Global Cleveland is a nonprofit organization that welcomes and connects international newcomers to social and economic opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Global Cleveland views engaging immigrants as an ingredient of regional economic development and is positioned to catalyze and launch efforts that will help attract newcomers to the region and support those that are already here. You can learn more about Global Cleveland at globalcleveland.org or follow @GlobalCleveland on Twitter

Demo Day 2016 an Unprecedented Success

imag0584On November 30th, 150 people made their way to the City Club of Cleveland for the 2016 Flashstarts Demo Day. The audience included entrepreneurs, investors, and community members, each with a different purpose. Some came to learn about the 2016 Accelerator class, others to support the startup community in Northeast Ohio, and still others in search of promising investments. Guests were met with compelling presentations from the five Accelerator companies in the class of 2016 and promising updates from four legacy companies who have graduated from the Flashstarts Accelerator and have since been thriving.

Demo Day 2016 was kicked off by the Flashstarts executive team including Charles Stack, Shannon Lyons, and Jennifer Neundorfer. Immediately after, Dan Molthrop welcomed guests on behalf of the City Club of Cleveland. Stack encouraged all Clevelanders to support the continued momentum of the city by supporting startups saying that, “Startups are fundamental to economic success on two levels: they generate wealth and create jobs in Northeast Ohio.” Co-founder and COO Neundorfer added that investment is not the only way to support startups and encouraged guests to reach out to both current and alumni teams with introductions and resources. Continue reading

From Rust Belt to Tech Town: Calling all Clevelanders

cleveland-cavaliers-quicken-loans-arena-c-thisiscleveland-com_-1200x843Cleveland is in the midst of a rust belt revolution. Transforming a manufacturing city to an innovative tech powerhouse is no easy task, but Cleveland, along with other former manufacturing hubs like Buffalo and Pittsburgh, is doing just that. Flashstarts aims to be on the cutting edge of that revitalization, and we know it’s only possible with community support.

Flashstarts invested in their first round of portfolio companies in 2013 and has spent the past several years carefully building our portfolio (see this year’s companies), launching a top tier accelerator, and expanding our programs to become a more comprehensive startup resource into the Cleveland community. From hosting the RNC and the World Series to a basketball championship, Cleveland has developed incredible momentum this year, and it’s time to put that momentum to work in the startup industry.

Click here to view the complete annual report.

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Drive My Way Launches Partnership with NASDAQ

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From Akron, OH to New York City and beyond, Drive My Way is making a name for themselves in the trucking industry. Their name spreads along the highways and byways that keep our nation running, carried by professionals in the trucking industry. What is Drive My Way? According to founder and CEO Beth Potratz, you can think of it like the “eHarmony for the trucking industry.”

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We Can Code IT Announces Expansion to Columbus

The road to success is not always straight or simple as many of We Can Code IT’s students might tell you, but hard work really does pay off.

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Our first introduction to We Can Code IT was just over one year ago when they were accepted into the Flashstarts Accelerator class of 2015. We Can Code IT is a computer programming bootcamp that specifically focuses on serving minority population groups because as CEO Mel McGee notes, “Diversity matters.” For every 1% increase in team diversity, there is a 6% increase in profits (wecancodeit.org/employers).

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Flashstarts Angel Soiree #4 An Incredible Success

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150+ EXCITED ACCREDITED INVESTORS AND ENTREPRENEURS
30 CUTTING EDGE LOCAL STARTUPS.
12 COMPELLING COMPANY PITCHES.
2 FEATURED SPEAKERS.
1 COLLABORATIVE COWORKING SPACE.

That’s how we bring together the top ingenuity and resources in Cleveland to help launch the next generation of great companies.

Tuesday evening Flashstarts hosted the Flashstarts Angel Soiree #4 at our StartMart home in downtown Cleveland in collaboration with the Ohio Venture Association and North Coast Angel Fund. Investors, community leaders, and startup entrepreneurs gathered to celebrate Cleveland’s economic acceleration and to find the next thought and venture leaders to continue this region’s growth.

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10 Reasons Startups are the Best Investment for your Portfolio

With the 2016 Flashstarts Accelerator well underway, our focus for our Accelerator teams has become increasingly multi-faceted. Mentorship and guidance are key components to the success of our companies, but we also continue to seek investments from supporters eager to advocate for the importance of a robust startup community in Cleveland.


If you’re unsure about investing in startups, give yourself the next 5 minutes to learn why we invest in startups, and why startups are actually a great investment for your portfolio.
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Markers is awarded GLIDE Innovation Funding

markersInnovation Fund America is a nonprofit that works to accelerate early stage technology startups through funding and education in Northeast Ohio. In late September, Innovation Fund America awarded pre-seed funding to 5 technology startups for between $25,000 and $50,000 to continue their growth by testing products, hiring employees, or improving their products.

Markers, a 2016 Flashstarts Portfolio company founded by finance expert Reginald Cash, was a recipient of GLIDE Innovation funding ($50,000). Markers is an enterprise software application that allows publicly listed companies have more fluid conversations with their internal and external stakeholders.

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A brief tour of Co-working and StartMart

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StartMart

Co-working may seem like just another phase that has taken off in the past decade, but there’s a reason so many people are excited about it. The number one reason people choose co-working spaces to traditional office spaces in the United States is for a work community according to a survey done by deskmag.com. Interaction with others comes in as a close second place. Click here to see the full survey results.

If you haven’t been to our Flashstarts home, you may not have had the opportunity to see StartMart, one of Cleveland’s top co-working spaces. We have plenty of reasons why co-working spaces like StartMart are the place to be (not mention our Virtual Reality room & 3D Printer…), but if you need more convincing here are a few advantages of StartMart, and don’t miss our photo tour below.

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Wheedle Gains Financial Momentum from Cuyahoga County

wheedleFlashstarts portfolio company Wheedle took part in our 2016 summer Labs program, and have since been accepted into the Flashstarts accelerator. Their success has now reached beyond Flashstarts to Cuyahoga County. Last week, Wheedle was awarded a 125,000 low interest loan from the North Coast Opportunities Technology Fund.

Wheedle allows establishments to compete for business and offer direct marketing to its customers. Co-Founders Brian Stein and John Weston describe their app as an integration of all the transactions involving the hospitality industry. In other words, Wheedle combines the functionality of restaurant reservations (think Open Table), discount promotions (Groupon), and event ticketing (eventbrite) in one easy to use platform.

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