| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Innovation + Job News

648 Articles | Page: | Show All

who's hiring in cle: park place technologies, cuyahoga arts and culture and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series. Twice a month we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.
 
Park Place Technologies
Park Place Technologies has been keeping their clients’ data centers running smoothly since 1991. The IT services organization specializes in post-warranty hardware maintenance. Park Place has a fleet of technicians around the country that can be on-site to service a machine within four to 20 hours.
 
“We can service any type of organization’s needs,” boasts Dan Gleeson, a senior recruiter with Park Place. “We began as a computer hardware reseller, then the founders saw a hole in the market and we jumped to the service side of things.”
 
Park Place has seen explosive growth in the last six years with 25 percent yearly growth for over five years now.  The company hired more than 90 people last year, for a total of 330 nationwide and in Canada and the United Kingdom. About 140 Park Place employees are based in the Mayfield Heights headquarters.
 
The company is now planning to top its 2014 hiring record by adding more than 100 more people in 2015. At least 60 of the positions  will be in Cleveland, including a training class of 20 new business development associates staring in February. 
 
For a full listing of the current open jobs and to find out more information, go to Park Place’s careers page.
 
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture is filling the newly-created position of associate for communications and grant programs. The organization needs a creative, energetic and detail-oriented person to work across functions to efficiently and proactively provide support to all members of the CAC team and serve CAC’s cultural partners. The associate reports to the deputy director and will work closely with the grant managers and communications manager to improve systems, streamline workflow and implement key projects in these areas.
 
For more information, click here. Or send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to the hiring manager by January 30.
 
Great Lakes Neurotechnologies
Great Lakes Neurotechnologies, manufacturer of a line of bioinstrumentation products for research and clinical needs, is hiring a junior software engineer and a biomedical engineer. Send resume and cover letter to the recruiter.
 
Breakthrough Schools, Bike Cleveland and more
Breakthrough Schools, Cleveland’s highest rated free public charter network schools, is currently recruiting teachers, leaders, and operations staff.  The organization currently has 28 openings in its network of seven campuses. To see the positions, click here, then start the application process.
 
Bike Cleveland is looking for a communications and membership manager to develop and lead a comprehensive communication plan for our growing organization and manage a membership program to maximize member recruitment opportunities and engage current members to maximize their retention. Send resume, cover letter and writing sample to the hiring manager.
.
The Regional Information Technology Engagement (RITE) Board needs a part-time program coordinator for its Get I.T. Here! programs and the RITE central office. See the full job description for more information. To apply, send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager.
 
Esperanza, Inc., the region’s only organization dedicated to the educational needs of Cleveland’s Hispanic community, needs a development director and a part-time mentoring program specialist. Send resume and cover letter to executive director Victor A. Ruiz for the development director positon; and to programs director Jesus Sanchez for the mentoring position.
 
BlueBridge Networks, a regional leader in data storage, with data center services, cloud computing and infrastructure solutions across its networks, has several technical positions open: a network administrator ; a systems engineer; and a data center sales engineer. To apply send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager.
 
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has a variety of open positions, including a library collections coordinator to manage the acquisition of all library and some archival resources; handle the paperwork for all donations to the library and archives; and manage the inventory and physical space for all library collections. For more information about any of the open positions, contact human resources.
 
The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization is looking for a Gordon Square Farmers Market  manager for the 2015 season to oversee all aspects of market operations during the season as well as pre and post-season administrative duties. See the full details here. To apply, send cover letter and resume to John Hausman, director of community involvement.

cosmic bobbins focuses on social impact while selling local

When Sharie Renee opened Cosmic Bobbins in Shaker Square two years ago, she intended it to be a simple pop-up shop to sell her works and some gifts made by local artisans. Today, the shop is not only a source to find some of Cleveland’s finest local hand-crafted works, it sells fair-trade items from around the world and has become a leader in social and community empowerment through art.

“We started as a pop-up shop with 15 to 20 vendors at first,” recalls Renee. “In our two years [at the Square], we now represent over 50 local artists as well as fair-trade artists. We’ve definitely expanded in capacity.”
 
Renee is now focused on local collaborations to create new products in her store. In a partnership with Jakprints, the two companies have created an upcycling initiative and are working on a couple of new Cleveland apparel ideas. “This year we began deconstructing and repurposing misprinted apparel for Jakprints,” explains Renee. “Our collaborative teams developed a line of clothing for Cosmic Bobbins which will be available this week.”

In November, Cosmic Bobbins began a partnership with Classy Little Fashions Foundation, which helps disabled people with non-standard body types find fashionable clothing. Renee will be manufacturing clothing for the organization’s clients, as well as teaching private sewing lessons.

Tremont artist Paul Duda’s Cleveland photography will soon be featured on silk scarves. The collaboratives can only help the artisan community thrive, says Renee. “We want to see what else is possible. We have to be a little more innovative to dream up new ideas.”
 
Renee spent her first year converting the basement of her shop into a workroom and classroom. She and fellow artists teach classes. Last summer she taught groups of area high school students how to sew and sell what they made through a partnership with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.).
 
“These are youth who want to go into the fashion industry or be entrepreneurs,” explains Renee. “They learned how to sew, made products and sold them. We also donated a lot of the products to school supply drives.”
 
With a company credo of giving back to the community, creating jobs in underserved populations through arts-based entrepreneurship, sewing education and outreach, Renee employed seven of her students last summer through the Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation and a grant from Neighborhood Connections. She plans to run the same program next summer, with returning students acting as teachers.
 
Renee’s community outreach work earned her a spot in the latest SEA Change (Social Enterprise Accelerator) class, a collaborative social enterprise accelerator that provides coaching, connections and capital to companies trying to make positive changes in their communities.

hema imaging's thermal imager for homeowners will be produced locally

Professional contractors and tradespeople use thermal imaging devices to detect potential problems behind walls and in equipment on a regular basis. The temperature mapping allows them to find issues such as water damage, electrical malfunctions and energy leaks.
 
It’s a gadget the weekend home improvement warrior would love to have. The problem is that thermal imagers are too pricey for the typical homeowner.
 
Now, Hema Imaging has developed an affordable thermal imager for the homeowner’s tool box. “It’s a device we think solves a lot of problems,” says founder Erik Beall. “It’s a pretty general purpose, value-added diagnostic tool.’
 
Beall developed the HemaImager when his first daughter was born more than two years ago. He became paranoid she was going to develop SIDS and became obsessed with taking her temperature. Temperature mapping turned into a hobby of sorts, and the MRI physicist created the HemaImager.
 
Hema Imaging’s first version of its HemaImager used a smart phone to map different problems. After an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last summer, Beall re-thought the device and made it a self-sustaining computer model. “You can track temperature changes by its face,” he explains. “We have 20 different scripts that are easy to modify. Everything is incorporated into one device.” And updates are as easy as finding a USB port.
 
Many of the imager’s components will be manufactured in Cleveland. After looking into manufacturing costs in China, Beall found it was actually cheaper to go local. “Going overseas, you have to go through a middle man and there are time delays,” says Beall. “Locally, there are a number of people here who make sense. There are several injection molders and several manufacturers of electronic circuit boards and they are all very, very competent.”
 
In addition to the cost savings, Beall says it made sense to keep manufacturing local. “Northeast Ohio is a good environment for finding people and finding sources for people who make these components,” he says. “We’re committed to staying in the Cleveland area for as much as we can do.”
 
Beall will be showcasing his imager at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January at CWRU’s Blackstone Launchpad and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation booth. At the same time he will be re-launching a Kickstarter campaign with his new model. Last time he raised $156,000, short of his $205,000 goal. This time his goal is to raise $100,000.

the etsy hotlist: five cle makers to shop for handmade gifts

While some folks enjoy the hustle and bustle of hitting the craft marts, trunk shows and boutiques this time of year, others prefer to shop online.
 
Turns out there's a way to have your artisan cake and eat it, too. Etsy lists hundreds of Cleveland artisans’ wares for sale. It’s an easy way to surf for that local special gift and avoid holiday schlepping.

Here’s a list of our top five favorite artists on Etsy.
 
KoolPlatez 
Three years ago Brooke Theriot bought a handbag made of recycled license plates. It was the inspiration to start KoolPlatez, which makes signs, key rings, jewelry and other unique art from old license plates.
 
“We had a bunch of license plates in our garage from all of the places we used to live,” says Todd Theriot. “We love the fact that we’re recycling and repurposing and not putting these in a landfill.”
 
The Theriots find their plates from every state in the country online, from antique stores and, more often now, their customers.

KoolPlatez has a selection of their work on Etsy, and also offers custom-made signs through the site. The Theriots can do two-letter signs, up to 50 letters and up to three tiers.
 
BreckWorks
Carol Breckenridge has been an artist for her entire life. After a 20-year career as an art therapist, she decided to devote her time to creating original ink drawings, acrylic seascapes inspired from her many trips to the outer banks of North Carolina, and line/ink animal drawings for children.
 
Breckenridge’s ink drawings of Cleveland’s many bridges have been popular among former Clevelanders. “I’ve sold them to people who have moved away from Cleveland and they have a nostalgic remembrance of the bridges here,” she says.
 
Her custom house drawings are also a popular nostalgic gift. “The house drawings are popular when people move in or move out of a much-loved house,” Breckenridge muses. Her depiction of a mama giraffe nuzzling her baby can make any parent’s heart melt. She personally gives the animal drawings out as new baby gifts, with the child’s name and birthday.
 
And, Breckenridge points out, all of her works for sale on Etsy are reprints so they’re affordable.
 
Jewelry by Jenny (JenScoobySnacks)
In Cleveland, Jenny Bendis Goe’s customers love her glass charm necklaces, key rings and Scrabble tile accessories that depict their hometown. “We’re so heavy into our identity here, even in the suburbs,” she says. “Even in Lorain or Westlake, people want art with 216 on it.”
 
Elsewhere in the world Goe’s customers go for her darker side – necklaces fashioned after famous horror movies. “They’re a little more quirky. Horror is big. Three of the last five orders I had were horror necklaces.” Goe recently had a customer in France order one charm necklace based on “The Blob” and one based on “Candyman.”
 
Currently, Goe is seeing a lot of interest in her necklaces that offer a tribute to “A Christmas Story,” featuring the famous leg lamp and phrases like “You’ll shoot your eye out.” She also takes custom orders – recently creating a necklace for a customer who wanted a Robin Williams tribute.
 
Erika Originals
Erika Laine Hansen started making jewelry five years ago when her two science degrees weren’t helping her find a job. Her creations feature handmade glass beads, old maps and dictionary print and resin. “I preserve vintage settings under resin,” Hansen explains. “The maps represent someplace special they’ve lived or vacationed. The word means something special.”
 
Hansen finds the materials for her works at antique shows, library book sales and estate sales. “If it doesn’t get purchased, it is going to get recycled,” says Hansen of her finds. “I save them from the recycling bin and repurpose them for something else.”
 
Hansen also makes a menswear line of tie clips, belt buckles and cufflinks. She also just opened a shop in Lakewood, The Modern Bohemian, featuring artists from Ohio.
 
DonnaMarchettiDesign
Six years ago, Donna Marchetti started taking art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art for fun. Then one day she stumbled into a one-day workshop on silk painting and fell in love with the art. “It was instant passion,” she says.

So Marchetti quit her job as a journalist and co-owner of a small magazine and devoted herself full-time to creating hand-painted silk scarves. The colorful scarves are each unique, some are embellished with paint and markers.
 
Marchetti’s Etsy shop did so well, she recently moved her studio out of her house and into space at the 5th Street Arcades.

prestofresh grocery doubles sales in first year, brings on wellness expert

Just after marking its one-year anniversary in business, PrestoFresh Grocery, which delivers groceries out of Zagara’s Marketplace in Cleveland Heights to all of Cuyahoga County and parts of Lorain, Lake, Summit and Portage Counties, has doubled its business and is expanding again.

Founder Steve DeMoulpied says that sales have grown by 115 percent during the first year. He has 15 employees – eight on staff and seven contractors – and is currently hiring order preppers, pickers, packers and drivers.

Now PrestoFresh is expanding its services to include wellness and nutrition expert Amy Jamieson-Petonic, AKA Amy J.

Amy J. will write a free monthly blog for all PrestoFresh newsletter registrants. Amy J. looks for foods that keep her clients energized and healthy throughout the year and she even adds humor and science to her blogs. This month’s topic is “Top 5 Foods for Health & Happiness This Holiday Season.”
 
DeMoulpied has a background in health and wellness and he knew when he started PrestoFresh that he wanted to incorporate that component into his services. “We thought we could do more than just deliver groceries,” he says. “We thought we could be a foundation for other things. We make it easier for people to access high quality foods. The first little step in that direction is to think about what else we can do from a health and wellness standpoint.” The link will be in PrestoFresh’s bi-weekly newsletter.
 
Amy J. will offer her wellness consulting from her website, making it easier for PrestoFresh customers to find and select the products that make the most sense for their personal nutrition goals.
 
PrestoFresh and Amy J. are also cross-promoting each other. PrestoFresh customers can use their rewards points for a free 30-minute consultation with Amy J., while customers who sign up for two months of coaching with Amy J. will receive free delivery during that period.

jumpstart launches program to help scale-up companies take it to the next level

When JumpStart was created in 2003, it was formed to launch startups and give them the resources they need to get off the ground and generate new jobs. Twelve years later, as Northeast Ohio civic, business and philanthropic leaders look at the region’s economic development needs, JumpStart is seeking to help another type of small business: the "scale-up," or small businesses that have stalled yet have opportunities for growth.

“Scale-ups are companies that have been in business for at least three years but can be 100 years old,” explains JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “It’s a company where they are in business, they have 10 to 100 employees and typically have more than $1 million in revenue, but it’s stuck. They see the potential for growth, but they are not able to solve the problems without assistance.”

After researching scale-up programs nationwide through its partnership with President Obama’s Start Up America initiative and as an outcome of the Regional Economic Competitiveness Strategy, JumpStart is now launching a Scaleup Pilot program to look into ways to help struggling small businesses – in any industry.
 
Why is this a key industry sector? These are the companies that have the most potential for job creation, Leach stresses, but fall in the gap of being too big for startup funding and too small to scale the company up on their own.
 
While JumpStart has traditionally assisted tech-based start-ups, scale-ups play a critical role in the region’s economic future. Most reports indicate that small businesses are responsible for most of the nation’s jobs created over the past 10 years.
 
JumpStart is the lead organization in the pilot and will partner with MAGNET’s PRISM program in working with manufacturers. The two are also working closely with TeamNEO, BioEnterprise and all of the regional chambers of commerce located across Northeast Ohio.
 
The six-month pilot program will involve a half-dozen companies representing a variety of industries. “There are three fundamental areas for any company to grow,” says Leach. “A disproportionate opportunity to grow; increased high quality jobs; and revenue. We want to look at how we add talent to help and give them a better understanding of how to sell -- either a current product to new markets or a new product, and give them capitalization strategies.”
 
Leach says JumpStart is attempting to do the same thing with scale-ups as it has with startups. The three main areas where JumpStart offers assistance are with recruiting, raising capital and improving sales. “The vision of what we’re trying to do is very ambitious. We’re going to come at this in a very unique way. At the end of the day you want the economy to grow and unlock the potential.”

massive open online course has the world looking at cle's innovation economy

When Michael Goldberg was in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2012 on a Fulbright Scholarship, he was asked by the Vietnamese government to conduct a seminar on how the already entrepreneur-focused country could become more like Cleveland. Goldberg, now a visiting assistant professor in the design and innovation department at CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management, was surprised. They weren’t asking about Silicon Valley. They wanted to know about what Cleveland has done to encourage its entrepreneurs.
 
“They could learn from organizations like JumpStart and Third Frontier,” he recalls thinking. “Show what Cleveland has done over the last 10 years to support entrepreneurs. It takes years, if not decades to put the mechanisms in place to support entrepreneurs.”
 
Goldberg taught a weeklong seminar for the Vietnamese National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, emphasizing in his blog post that “in transitioning markets where there is not a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem financed by the private sector, government officials, donors and business leaders need to experiment with creative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs.”
 
With Cleveland’s thriving and supportive entrepreneurial environment on his brain, Goldberg returned to CWRU with an idea for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – an online interactive course that is open to the world.
 
In April, Goldberg launched “Beyond Silicon Valley:  Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies.” The MOOC looks at how Cleveland has supported the growth of entrepreneurship by pooling funding from government, donors and the private sector over the last 10 years. 
 
Apparently, at a time when both Cleveland and Ohio lag behind the rest of the U.S. in terms of overall job growth, the world is interested in what Cleveland is doing. That's because Cleveland has a growing tech sector and programs like Third Frontier and organizations such as Jumpstart are being lauded for helping spur entrepreneurship. The course has 36,000 registered students from 183 countries and has been translated into 10 languages, making it the top translated course on Coursera. The second six-week session wrapped up in November.
 
“We really didn’t know what to expect,” says Goldberg about the MOOC. “Some participants are more active and some are more observers. The good news is the students themselves carry it.” The participants include entrepreneurs, representatives from local, national and regional governments around the world, and even U.N. representatives and people from NGOs. In fact, 10 foreign U.S. Embassies have hosted Meetups around the class.
 
Lively discussions have occurred through Skype, Facebook and video around the world about opportunities for new businesses and how entrepreneurship efforts can be supported. “I think it actually worked well as something to have discussions around,” says Goldberg. “Our own experience in Cleveland has relevance for other people of the world.”
 
And what does Goldberg see as the lessons Cleveland has to offer? “It’s not just 'here are 10 things you have to do,' it’s more a 'here’s what we did,'” he says. “It’s a strong story of where do you go when you have nowhere to go but up.”  
 
Even though the class is over, users can still access it. Goldberg also plans on offering the MOOC again in the spring.

new book illustrates history of lake view cemetery, 'a record of our time as it passes'

University Circle and Euclid Avenue continue to evolve into a world where modern amenities meet historic architecture. Barney Taxel's new book of photographs, “The Lake View Cemetery: Photographs from Cleveland’s Historic Landmark,” is a showcase of where the neighborhood has been and where it's going in Lake View Cemetery, the 285-acre park, museum and burial ground.

“Euclid Avenue is in a comeback – there are a lot of new things on that whole stretch,” explains Taxel, whose wife, Laura Taxel, who wrote the book's essays. “University Circle and Downtown was a place known as Millionaires Row, where the movers and shakers settled. This comeback with Uptown represents just that – a new chapter in the area that was once sought-after in terms of real estate.”
 
Taxel took 14 years to document some of the characteristics that make Lake View unique. “It was very challenging to create a photographic portfolio that did not follow conventional forms,” he says. “I wanted to do something as it is relative to a person’s experience walking or driving through.”
 
He points out that Lake View offers an important chronicle of Cleveland history. Its architecture offers a documentation of the city’s impressive business beginnings.
 
“There are many, many threads to Cleveland businesses,” Taxel says. “Sherwin-Williams, Western Union, the great shipping companies, and of course Standard Oil. You walk through the place and you see names like Halle and Higbee.”
 
The mausoleums showcase architecture details of the past, and great names such as John D. Rockefeller, Eliot Ness, Carl B. Stokes, President James A. Garfield and Cleveland Clinic co-founder George Washington Crile grace the grounds. Yet the sprawling 145-year-old cemetery, modeled after garden cemeteries of Victorian England and France, also has room left for today’s history makers.
 
“It is, and always has been, a record of our time as it passes,” says Taxel. “It is timeless.”
 
Laura Taxel's introduction and six essays weave the photographs with the history and culture of Lakeview. The book is for sale at Lakeview Cemetery’s business office at 12316 Euclid Avenue, Loganberry Books and Macs Backs-Books.
 
Laura and Barney have upcoming book signings at Loganberry on Saturday at 3pm; at Mac’s Backs on Saturday, December 13 at 1pm; and at The Wine Spot on Sunday, December 14 from 3pm to 5pm.

inca tea keeps it local with new café at hopkins airport

It’s only been 10 months since Ryan Florio decided to follow his dream and start Inca Tea – a selection of bagged teas blended from an ancient Inca recipe he developed from what his Sherpa blended for him and his friends while hiking in the frigid mountains of Peru.
 
That dream has proven to be a harbinger of good things for Florio. Since opening for business in February, Inca Teas is in more than 200 grocery stores and cafes, as well as the top 10 Bed Bath and Beyond stores in the country. He’s beginning to expand east and south of Ohio.
 
“My dream was to be in 50 grocery stores in my first year,” says Florio. “We’re in 200 already and I just picked up two more major distributors. We’ll be in 300 to 400 locations by 13 months.” Inca Teas are all-natural, non-GMO and grown without toxic pesticides. The packaging is made from 100 percent post-consumer product, completely bio-degradable and printed with soy ink by a Cleveland manufacturer.
 
And last Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, Florio opened his first café in Cleveland Hopkins Airport. “I had no desire to open up a freestanding storefront,” he explains. But when airport officials contacted him a month ago about opening, Florio saw it as a way to showcase his teas and Cleveland’s growing food production industry.
 
In addition to his fresh-brewed, all-natural tea made from anti-oxidant and nutrient-rich purple corn, Inca Tea Café Cle sells local food products from companies like Good GreensBearded BuchLilly’s Handmade Chocolates and Garden of FlavorErie Island Coffee will be joining the mix soon. Florio met all of the other food producers through demonstrations at Heinen’s, and personally convinced them to carry their products in the café.
 
Florio admits he was flying blind during the opening holiday weekend, but business was good and well-received. “I was learning on the go because I’ve never run a retail space before,” he says. The café, which is made entirely from recycled wood and metal, got a lot of attention too. “I got amazing reactions from people as they’d walk by, from airport employees to flight crews to passengers.”
 
Florio hired three full time employees to help with the café, and plans to hire two more next week. He also uses seven interns to help run the retail end of Inca Tea, to teach the ins and outs of starting a business and to conduct store demonstrations. “I want to help them learn about the growth of a new business in Cleveland and the hard work that goes into starting a new business,” Florio says.
 
Florio credits his parents for tremendous support – turning their North Royalton house into a makeshift warehouse and production facility and packaging tea for him. Now they are getting their home back. Florio, who has a space in Midtown for materials and blending, recently secured office space in Westlake.
 
Florio’s most memorable customer of the weekend was when a married couple came into the café and the husband was a coffee drinker. Florio convinced him to try his Twantin black tea. “He was so intrigued, he bought a box,” Florio recalls. “Then he came back from the gate and bought two more boxes. Later that night he placed an online order for nine more boxes. That was my biggest sale by one person.”

grant to put cle on the tech map with 100 gigabit internet

OneCommunity and the City of Cleveland have announced their plans to install a 100 gigabit-per-second glass fiber internet pipe along the Health-Tech Corridor (HTC) in Midtown. Currently, the fastest internet in the area is 40 gigabits. 

While major research universities like CWRU and Ohio State are networked through 100 gigabit systems, the city's new high-speed internet will be the first and fastest of its kind in any major metropolitan area available for commercial use. Any office building along the network, such as the Global Center for Health Innovation and BioEnterprise, would have access to the high speed service.
 
The large, above-ground “nodes” will be located at Ideastream at Playhouse Square and CWRU at University Circle. The network would run between the two nodes and tributaries would run off of Euclid to serve other pockets in the HTC.
 
The growth of big data in today's economy means that there is demand for the movement of more information at a significantly faster pace. This is especially true for companies involved with healthcare, technology and research. The hope is that the 100 gigabit network will be a big boost to Cleveland’s economic development and will help to attract high-tech businesses to the city.
 
The $1.02 million project comes from a $714,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), $200,000 from the city and the remaining funds from OneCommunity. The HTC and CWRU are also partners in the project. Work is to begin on the project in early 2015, with completion scheduled for September.
 
“We can’t even begin to imagine the possibilities that 100 gigabit can initiate,” says Lev Gonick, CEO of OneCommunity, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing accessible high speed broadband to the region. “Harnessing the potential of this connectivity means our research and development possibilities are endless.”
 
The city and OneCommunity decided to apply for the EDA grant to boost Cleveland’s draw to technology companies considering moving here.
 
“One of the things we were noticing was places across the country were looking at bandwidth to attract companies,” explains Tracey Nichols, Cleveland economic development director. “We thought, what could we do to help us be more competitive? So we reached out to OneCommunity. We know big data is huge in the tele-tech, medical, and IT industries and we wondered how we can make Cleveland the leading edge for these trends.”
 
Nichols points out that even the growing film industry in Cleveland will find a 100 gigabit network to be an asset in transmitting edits, film and other large files. “No other place in the country is making a municipal network available to commercial businesses,” she says. “If they have a need for it, we can tie them in. We think it’s really going to bring a lot of attention to Cleveland, especially in medicine and IT.”
 
Nichols says the decision to invest in big data also shows Mayor Frank Jackson’s support for business in Cleveland. “To me it says a lot about Mayor Jackson,” she says. “As director of economic development, to walk in and say the future of medicine is big data and customized medicine and have Mayor Jackson say, ‘you’re right, let’s do it’ is really exciting to me.”

Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and former mayor of Youngstown, will be in town today to talk about the impact of the project. “We’re excited about the investment that was made in the city of Cleveland,” he says. “A 100 gigabit broadband is a significant step in Cleveland emerging as a global leader and shedding that rust belt moniker that has plagued Cleveland and other cities for so long.”

Furthermore, Williams says this project is a good example of the city’s willingness to collaborate and work together for the greater good of the businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators. The move will also help the blighted and impoverished areas that exist in the area. “This is about the ability to attract global investment,” he says. “By solidifying its position as a globally competitive city, it brings together more communities to bring down costs, lower the barriers to entry.”

Today's press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Explorys, a spinoff company out of the Cleveland Clinic that specializes in healthcare big data. Speakers include Mayor Jackson, Williams,  Gonick, John Foley, CIO of University Hospitals, and Stephen McHale, founder and CEO of Explorys.

lunch owl delivers healthy choices to area businesses

Almost anyone who orders lunch in at the office knows the daily discussions that go on about what to eat. The result is rarely satisfying, let alone healthy.
 
Scott Himmel was chatting with a friend who owns a Midtown tech company a few months ago about how unproductive the lunch ordering process can be. “By 10 a.m. the employees weren’t writing code, they were talking about what to order for lunch,” recalls Himmel. “By the time they decided on a restaurant, ordered and collected the money, they still ended up with greasy pizza or Chinese that put people in food comas by 3 p.m.”

The image gave Himmel an idea: “If your people are eating more nutritious food, they’re going to feel a whole lot better and be more productive,” he explains. With that, Himmel began Lunch Owl three months ago, a lunch delivery service that provides tasty, nutritious lunches.
 
Lunch Owl offers a menu that changes weekly and is designed to satisfy all tastes. The lunches are subsidized in part by the employer, while the employee pays about what he or she would pay for take-out. Employees can go on Lunch Owl’s website to choose their meals, which are then delivered fresh each day to a provided fridge. When the employees are ready for lunch, they simply go to the fridge and get their tray. When they’re finished, they put the tray, with its reusable dishware, back in the fridge for pickup.
 
Himmel explains Lunch Owl costs employers about $18 per employee per month, if they order the service twice a week. “What excites people about our model is there are two main barriers to getting a healthy lunch at work,” he explains. “One is not having access, and the other is an affordable price point. Lunch Owl breaks down both those barriers.”
 
“No one is going to join a company because of Lunch Owl,” Himmel concedes. “But it shows the company cares about its employees. And employees tend to stay in the office, eat together and talk. And it helps create a culture that promotes health and wellness.”
 
One of the more popular choices on Lunch Owl’s menu is the basil pesto turkey sandwich or the adobo grilled steak salad. Meals also come with soup or side dish. Other options include snacks like housemade hummus or black bean salsa, and two-bite deserts like the flourless dark chocolate cake bite.
 
Calling it “Pandora for lunch,” Himmel explains that once employees pick their initial likes and dislikes, their personal menus are sent to them each week. If they don’t like the choices, they can simply go on the Lunch Owl menu and change them.
 
Himmel and his staff of five create the lunches at Park Lane Villa in University Circle, during the week when the facility’s kitchen isn’t being used. Himmel is constantly tweaking his model as Lunch Owl grows. He began the company with four customers, now has 11 and is growing. Himmel cites  Embrace Pet InsuranceSS&GOnShift and Marcus Thomas as examples of the progressive companies who use Lunch Owl. He serves downtown midtown, Beachwood and Solon and is about to phase in Independence and Mayfield Heights.
 
“Our mission is to bring delight and good health to office workers across the country,” Himmel says of his long term goals. “We plan to spend a few years systematizing our model here in Cleveland and envision operating in 25 markets in the next 10 years.”

who's hiring in cle: hyland, cmsd, syncshow and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series. Twice a month we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.
 
Hyland
Hyland, which creates enterprise content management systems such as OnBase, experienced rapid growth in 2014 and it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down in 2015. “Our model is to help create efficiencies in our customers’ environments,” says Gail Joyce, Hyland’s manager of recruiting. “There have been new regulations in the industries we support, and our product helps automate a lot of the processes behind the scenes. It really creates effective business solutions.”
 
Healthcare is currently the largest industry that Hyland serves, while financial services is the first market the company entered and remains one of the largest today. Growth in these industries has in turn led to growth at Hyland. “We’ve scaled to the point where we have become nationally recognized as a leader, but we continue to expand our global footprint,” says Joyce.
 
The company is going into 2015 in hiring mode, recruiting about 100 positions in a variety of fields, including professional services, sales, development, support and quality assurance. “We’re seeing an expanded are of need on the professional services side because sales are driving significant revenue,” explains Joyce. “A lot of large partnerships came through this year, which is continuing to drive business.”
 
Professional services job openings include project managers, who are full-service implementation pros with technical knowledge and familiarity with the industries Hyland serves; technical consultants, who implement the service in the customer’s environment; and business consultants, who identify solutions where Hyland can enhance its offerings. Internally, the company is also looking for developers.
 
For a full list of the positions open at Hyland, visit the company's career page.
 
Cleveland Metropolitan School District
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is gearing up for another recruiting campaign to hire 350 teach positions for the 2015-16 school year, as well as 31 existing openings that need to be filled immediately.
 
The Teach Cleveland recruiting campaign will tout Cleveland as a city on the rise and recruit teachers who want to make a difference. The campaign will focus particularly on black and Latino teachers, who are underrepresented in the Cleveland schools. An emphasis will also be placed on filling high-need areas like special education, math, science and bilingual education. The deadline to apply for existing openings is December 1 and work begins on January 6. To apply, click here.
 
SyncShow
SyncShow, a Rocky River online marketing and sales agency focused on improving client sales and lead generation, currently has multiple job openings, including an Account ManagerAccount Specialist, an Analytics/Technical SEO positionInbound Marketing InternWeb Project Manager, and Junior Sales Representative. Apply through the individual job pages or check out SyncShow’s careers page for more information.
 
QED
QED, a developer and advanced manufacturer of medical devices in Mayfield Village, has several engineering openings due to recent company growth. The company is looking for a manufacturing engineer with an EE background; a manufacturing engineer with a ME background; a product quality engineer; and a test technician. To apply, send resumes to human resources.
 
Expedient, Beech Brook, Consolidated Solutions and more
Expedient, a national leader in data centers, managed hosting and cloud computer services, needs an account executive and a business development specialist/assistant to outside sales. For full descriptions and application form go to Expedient’s careers page. To apply, please submit a resume, letter of interest and salary expectations.
 
Beech Brook, one of Northeast Ohio’s top behavioral health agencies, is currently hiring an assistant director for its Learning Performance Improvement department. Click here to apply online. For a full list of openings, go to Beech Brook’s careers page.
 
Consolidated Solutions, a fast paced printing, direct marketing, and apparel/promotions Company, is hiring a print production manager/CSR. For more information about open positions or to submit a resume, go to the company’s careers page.
 
Parkwood, a fast-growing private financial services company, has a number of positions open, including accounting associate, internal auditor, investment analyst, legal assistant, security guard, systems administrator/analyst and tax analyst. Visit Parkwood’s careers page for more information on these positions. Submit resumes to the recruiter.
 
OnShift, a provider of staff scheduling and labor management software to the long-term care and senior living industries, needs a database administrator and has a number of other open positions. Visit the careers page to see details and apply.
 
JumpStart is looking for a media relations intern and a digital marketing intern. Visit the careers page to register and apply.
 
Folio Photonics is developing an optical data storage disc with two Terabyte capacity manufactured using a highly scalable, low-cost method. The company is looking for a CEO to drive fundraising, strategic partner development, product development, and commercial market entry efforts. The successful candidate will also build and lead a team of talented entrepreneurs, engineers and advisors. The position pays equity plus a minimal initial salary to cover basic expenses. Salary and bonus increases will be made available based on milestone achievement, most notably the attainment of outside financing. To apply and find out more information, register with JumpStart’s careers page.
 
Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us the information or career links!

rust belt riders' waste-to-compost business on a roll with new customers, funding

When Daniel Brown and his partners, Michael Robinson, John Stone and Mikey Ericsson, formed Rust Belt Riders last year, the purpose was to nourish their community garden. The soil needed to be enriched, and compost was the way to create a rich, growing soil.
 
“We were running a garden on E. 40th Street and St. Clair Avenue and we realized before we could grow anything with success we had to cultivate the soil,” Brown says. “A lot of gardeners in town are in the same situation. We realized that cheap, nutrient-rich soil was the common thread and that started with composting at home.”
 
With that, Rust Belt Riders was born in June. The group collects compost – fruit and vegetable peels and scraps, coffee grinds, tea bags, garden and lawn waste – from clients, who are given five-gallon buckets. The team rides bicycles around a 10 square mile area in the Detroit Shoreway, Tremont and Ohio City, picking up the buckets on a set schedule. Rust Belt Riders then delivers the compost to eight area community gardens.

The company currently has 35 subscribers, with five more coming on at the end of the month. So far, Rust Belt Riders has collected more than 18,000 pounds of compost.
 
The concept is so innovative, it earned Rust Belt Riders one of 13 spots in the SEA Change Accelerator, a collaboration that supports social enterprise businesses, access to support services and mentoring and a chance to crowd fund through Kiva Zip, a micro-lending website. “We quickly realized we had no idea what we were doing running a business,” recalls Brown. “We thought it would be worthwhile to apply and get some business acumen going.”
 
Brown and his partners went through the six-week SEA Change program, learning about business law, accounting, branding and marketing and creating a business plan.
 
“We selected Rust Belt Riders as one of the twelve participants because they are addressing a clear social issue (waste reduction/sustainability) and have high commercial potential through two prominent revenue streams: waste removal and sale of compost,” says Mike Shafarenko, manager of community engagement, web and social media at ideastream. “In our mind, that is a recipe for a strong and sustainable social enterprise down the road.” 
 
Now Rust Belt Riders are meeting with mentors Shafarenko, Bill Leamon with the Business of Good Foundation and assistant professor of marketing at Notre Dame College and Bryan Mauk of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries

The company is preparing for a "Shark Tank" type pitch competition with the other 12 SEA Change companies in January, in which the winning company can win $50,000.
 
Rust Belt Riders will launch their Kiva Zip campaign in the next couple of months. If they raise at least $1,000 in their fundraising, the Business of Good Foundation will match $1,000. The company is also eligible to receive some of the $50,000 SEA Change will award to some of the 12 finalists in the program.

university circle inks deal with zipcar, the world's leading carsharing network

At the University Circle Incorporated (UCI) annual meeting last week, President Chris Ronayne touted the district's roots in innovation as well as impressive present-day growth. In short, University Circle is now returning full circle and has become an area that's not only rife with arts institutions and top schools, but is also spinning out some of the region's fastest-growing companies and ideas.

Ronayne also stated that innovation begins and ends, in many ways, with connectivity, something that University Circle has in spades. "The key to innovation is density, connectivity, diversity and experience," he said. "Creating an environment that is inspiring and pulls people together."

Now University Circle is about to get even better connected thanks to a new partnership with Zipcar, the world's leading carshare company. Initially, four vehicles will be available for lease in designated parking spots in the garage at 1980 Ford Road and the University Circle Inc. Lot at 10831 Magnolia Drive. The cars, which will be available 24/7 on demand, can be leased for as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day with gas, insurance and up to 180 miles of driving per day included in the rate. College students age 18 and older as well as community members age 21 and older will be able to take advantage of the program.

“As University Circle continues to grow, so does its need for innovative transportation,” said Ronayne in a release. “Partnering with Zipcar allows us to address this need by giving students, employees, and community members access to vehicles on a short term basis. It’s a great, sustainable solution.”

Community members, students and businesses can join Zipcar here. The Occasional Driving Plan is available for $60 a year or $6 a month, allowing users access to the four Zipcar’s in University Circle as well as more than 10,000 vehicles worldwide. UCI has also helped to establish a special university rate -- college students, faculty and staff at participating universities in the area can join for just $25 to use a set of wheels for as little as an hour or for several days.
 
There's also a Zipcar for Business program for local businesses that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. The goal of this program is to help businesses save cash, meet sustainability goals, and reduce parking needs by providing employees with access to the cars as a way to get around town.

Users can employ their smartphones to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicle, and even honk the horn to locate their vehicle. Reservations are available over the phone or through Zipcar's website.

women's business center, food buggy program to launch in midtown cleveland

After operating a successful Women’s Business Center in Columbus for the past two years, ECDI is about to open its own center in Cleveland. The women’s business center is designed to give women entrepreneurs the resources they need to get a business idea off the ground.
 
“Women start businesses for different reasons than men do,” explains Eric Diamond, executive vice president of lending at ECDI Cleveland. “The issue really is understanding the way women open businesses and the resources they need.  Men typically start businesses for wealth and power. We see women opening businesses for passion, creativity and to create a work life balance.  Also, we have found that men take the attitude of ‘go it alone’ when starting businesses, where women enjoy being part of a group of other women also creating their own businesses.”
 
With these factors in mind, the WBC created a center around women and the way they operate. Members of the business center have access to shared workspace, laptops and printers, while also accessing training and workshops, mentors and coaches and referrals to loans and grants. “We’re teaching women the big plans and strategies of an idea,” says Diamond.
 
The Columbus office recently received the SBA Award of Excellence and a five-year contract. Due in part to the organization’s outcomes and programs we initiated and the new programs planned. “Our Professional Advisory Network (PAN) connects experts in the community who volunteer time to assist members with their specialty areas, such as legal, marketing, and accounting,” says Diamond. “Programs such as those for women veterans, PEARL for formerly incarcerated women, and specialized training programs with proven curriculum are just getting underway.”
 
Diamond adds that testimony from members who regularly use the center for their office space meeting rooms, printing and computing needs also lead to the SBA recognition.
 
With the Columbus center’s successes, ECDI decided to open a similar office in Cleveland. “We figured out that it’s easily replicable,” says Diamond. The Cleveland Foundation recently awarded a $70,000 grant to ECDI, some of which will be used in the business center.
 
The Cleveland center, which will be located in Suite 620 of ECDI's current building at 2800 Euclid, will start with five entrepreneurs in a soft launch. If all goes well, ECDI will launch a full program in January with a four-week training program.

Meanwhile, ECDI continues its involvement in the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK). To help food entrepreneurs get their products on the market, the CCLK is considering starting a private label brand that would be distributed to area grocery stores.
 
ECDI purchased two food buggies – smaller, more affordable and portable versions of their much larger food truck counterparts -- last week to further help the food entrepreneurs. Participants would go through the CCLK’s food accelerator program and then have the opportunity to lease one of the buggies. “It’s a great way to test the market,” says Diamond. “It’s a great year-round business because you can bring the buggies into lobbies.”
 
The program would start in early spring 2015. Right now, potential participants are being identified. “If it’s going well, we will sell the buggy to the entrepreneur at a discounted price,” says Diamond. “Then we’ll go out and buy another one.”
648 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts