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First CLE MedHack brings innovative ideas to reality

Brains were on overdrive and sleep was a luxury at the first Cleveland Medical Hackathon on September 26 and 27 at the Global Center for Health Innovation. The 24-hour event, which was designed to leverage the region’s strength in healthcare against technology and diverse skills in medical innovation, drew 190 participants on 22 teams.

"It was so fantastic to see the diversity of solutions the teams were working on,” says Sunnie Southern, founder and CEO of Cincinnati’s Viable Synergy and one of the judges.
Three teams won prizes of $3,000, $1,500, and $500 for their solutions to healthcare issues.
The IQ Sensor Solutions team, comprised of industrial, medical and software experts from Rockwell Automation, the Cleveland ClinicLeanDog, and the University of Akron, took first place for their creations of a wearable blood pressure cuff using flexible sensor technology. The device would eliminate the need for an air bag, take real time blood pressure measurements and report results back to the doctor for better accuracy in medications and monitoring.
“This was my first hackathon, and it was quite a rewarding experience for sure,” says Kyle Reissner with Rockwell. “It was fun.”
Reissner and his wife, who is a transplant nurse, had been talking about developing a device for patients on the transplant waiting list that would monitor their vitals and reduce the number of hospital visits they would need while on the waiting list.
While the team did not fully develop a working prototype in the 24 hours the MedHack allowed, Reissner is excited at the potential. “We didn’t prove it can actually measure blood pressure, but if we solve this problem it will have a pretty big impact,” he says. “We still have to go further.
Team member Morteza Vatani of the University of Akron’s mechanical engineering department plans to move the technology forward, along with other flexible sensor applications in wearable electronics, with his recently formed Smart 3D Solutions.
Team NEO+Natal, with team members from DragonIDArrow ElectronicsCleveland State, the University of Michigan and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland,  won second place with its development of an app to prevent infant mortality in inner city expectant mothers.
The team developed a short questionnaire and a tablet app that allows community health workers to address risks and potentially save an unborn child’s life. The app also assigns each mother and community worker a unique pin number to coordinate follow up appointments and provide accountability. 
DragonID lead engineer Ilya Malinsky says the team members are all friends with a common interest in biomedical technology. “We decided this was the perfect opportunity for us,” he says. “We thought we’d go there, build some cool science and possibly win a prize.”
Malinnsky says they may pursue developing the app further in the near future.
The Watershed Health Project team, led by Carl Preusser, an expert with Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH), other experts with the CCBH, VitamixKSU and the Cleveland Fed, developed a prototype for a mobile app that would monitor water quality, eliminating the need for paper and duplicate or erroneous data. 

“This management tool will lead to more efficient reporting of potential communicable disease risks allowing citizens to enjoy the watershed and protect our vital drinking water resource,” says Preusser. “This will reduce duplicate data entry and reduce the response time from 30 days down to one day.  Both street view and earth view of locations are given to the users, including the ability for routing, giving CCBH inspectors the ability to more accurately find location in remote areas.”
Southern appreciated all of the teams, but the three winners stood out. “I was very impressed with the diversity of the winners,” she says. “It was a great representative example of the 22 teams that participated. My hope for Cleveland is that this is the start of something awesome.”

Four other teams were recognized for their innovative ideas.
The event was sponsored by Nesco Resource and partners Cleveland Clinic, University HospitalsCWRUIngenuityClevelandFlashstartsMetroHealth System and BioEnterprise.

Teen Tech Tank invites high school entrepreneurs to pitch ideas for chance at CSU scholarship

The Young Entrepreneur Institute, a group that encourages Northeast Ohio students to get involved in entrepreneurial experiences and organizations, is hosting Teen Tech Tank – a technology business idea pitch competition for high school students.
The entrepreneurs will compete for a chance to win $30,000 in prizes, which includes a college scholarship to Cleveland State’s Monte Ahuja School of Business. Students with an idea for a tech business must submit a 60-second video by midnight today, Monday, October 5.
The hopes are that they will formulate a great idea that has real world feasibility with a technology component,” says Wendy Wercion, director of underwriting and sponsorship with the Young Entrepreneur Institute, who adds that organizers are hoping to receive 200 videos.
“Hopefully they’ll practice, practice, practice and then make the 60-second video. The pool of contestants will have such a wonderful opportunity to win if they deliver a great pitch.”
 From the submissions 20 semifinalists will be chosen. The semifinalist videos will be posted online through October 28, where the public is invited to view and vote on their favorites. All 20 semifinalists receive $100 and a Teen Tech Tank T-shirt.
Five finalists will then be chosen by a combination of public voting and a panel of six community judges. The videos will be judged based on originality, real world application and presentation.
The five finalists will then pitch their ideas to “Shark Tank” star and entrepreneur Daymond John and an audience of approximately 450 educators at Enspire 2015, an event for entrepreneur educators, on Saturday, November 7.
“It will be such a confidence builder to get up in front of that many people and present an idea,” Wercion says.
All five finalists will receive an additional $150, a year’s supply of Coca-Cola products, a Best Buy Chromebook laptop, and a CSU Ahuja College of Business scholarship. The students must apply and be accepted to CSU to receive the scholarship.
Wercion stresses that the applicants don’t have to write a business plan, they only have to formulate an idea. But the idea much be technology-centered. “It could be specifically tech – hardware, software, music or games – or it could be an efficiency component for a medical company,” she explains.
Videos must be submitted by midnight tonight. Videos explaining how to applyeight tips for making a great pitch video and sample videos are available on the Teen Tech Tank Site.

Banyan Tree opens its third location in Uptown

For 14 years Christie Murdoch has called Tremont home to her eclectic boutique Banyan Tree – selling unique clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts to loyal customers. Last October, The Banyan Box became one of  the first tenants of Small Box Cleveland – a market of shops in renovated shipping containers.

Now, Murdoch is moving east and about to open her third Banyan Tree store at 11440 Uptown Alley in University Circle’s Uptown. “I feel like it’s a fresh and new area that people are just hearing about, just learning about,” says Murdoch of the location. “There’s a mixture of people coming here, and it’s different than Tremont.”
Murdoch wasn’t actively looking for a third location, but Uptown felt right. “I looked at spaces over the years, but it wasn’t right,” she says. “Then this came along and we were open to it. It turned out really nice. It has the same feel as Tremont, but more modern.”
The Tremont Banyan Tree has a solid East Side customer base, Murdoch says, but having an east side location will add to it. “Our east side customers are very loyal, but I think they’d come here more. And we love that we’re staying in the City of Cleveland.”
The Uptown store will carry similar items as the Tremont location, but Murdoch will adapt as needed. “In the beginning we will have very similar things,” she says. “Then, when we figure out who our client base is, we will bring in more items. We want to get to know our clients first, get feedback, then go from there.” The store will also showcase work from local artists and designers.
Murdoch grew up in retail – her mother owned a seasonal store – but didn’t initially intend to go into retail herself until she came across an empty storefront in 2001. “I had graduated from college and was looking for a job when I saw this space in Tremont,” she recalls. “And I decided I could do it.”
Fourteen years later, the Banyan Tree is one of Cleveland’s prized stores for shoppers looking for something a little different.
The Uptown location opens Thursday, October 8 with an opening night party at 6p.m with food, drinks and shopping exclusives. Regular store hours are Monday through Wednesday from 11am to 7pm, Thursday through Sunday from 11am to 9pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

Cleveland Jam's sweet new creations made from local wine and beer

Jim Conti found a hobby in making wine five years ago. While his friends loved his wine, he wanted to do something with sediment left at the bottom of his bottles.

“I didn’t want to throw it away,” he recalls. “I thought about what I could do with it. I tried it, and it was pretty good.”

Then one day it came to Conti: Why not make jams out of the sweet sediment left over from the wine her created? After many recipe trials and taste tests, Cleveland Jam was born. Since 2013 Conti and his two partners, Dennis Kramer and Dennis Schultz, have been producing jams and jellies made from local wines and beers.
Conti begins the jam making process by boiling down the wine to remove the alcohol, then processing it into jams and jellies. After perfecting the wine jellies, he thought “why not beer?” So Conti went to work on making beer jams as well.
Cleveland Jam now has five beer jams and three different wine jellies – all made with local brewers, vineyards and locally-grown produce. The company’s signature wine jelly flavors are Dynamite White Zinfandel, Rock and Roll Merlot and Press Play Cabernet.
The company has its own half-acre vineyard in the Clark-Fulton district off W. 25th Street on Sackett Avenue. The eight varieties should start producing fruit in the next two years. The site is actually an old brewery from the prohibition age and Conti hopes to open a storefront there. His ultimate dream is to open urban vineyards all over the city.
In addition to his original Beer Jam, Conti began working with Great Lakes Brewing Company last year to create Burning River Pepper jam. In July the two companies released Eliot Ness Fig-Apple jam. “They put it on prosciutto sandwiches,” Conti says. Cleveland Jam also makes two beer jellies with a brewing company in Catawba – blueberry IPA and mango habanero.
The jams are used on menu items at Great Lakes and are available in Great Lakes gift shops.  Their popularity is keeping Conti busy these days. This summer Cleveland Jam was chosen as one of three companies in the Old Brooklyn Community Development’s business pitch competition to receive a grant to open a storefront in the Old Brooklyn. Conti says he hopes to open in the city in the next few months.

Ingenuity transitions into new era with annual festival at Voinovich Park

For the past 10 years, IngenuityFest has been known as a three-day celebration where art and technology come together to define the region – in somewhat unknown places, like the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge or Docks 30 and 32.

This year, Ingenuity Cleveland decided to highlight its evolution from just the festival to a full-blown organization by moving IngenuityFest 2015 outdoors to Voinovich Park in North Coast Harbor Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4. “Everyone remembers the bridge,” says Emily Appelbaum, director of programming. “This year we’re building it from the ground up.”
This year’s theme, “transitions,” celebrates not only Ingenuity’s transition into an organization with year-round programming, but Cleveland’s transitions into a modern, thriving city. “We’ve always be in underutilized spaces,” says Appelbaum. “Instead, this year we’re looking at all the great development that’s taken place over the last couple of years – looking at what’s happened.”
In keeping with its campaign “what’s your transition,” Ingenuity has partnered with organizations like SE Blueprint and Agnes Studio to help with a wayfinding campaign. “Ingenuity has always been a good place to come out and see objects, but we’re really excited this year about the feeling of moving through place,” says Appelbaum. “There will be some iconic large-scale wayfinding elements.”
There is no typical schedule, but instead a scavenger hunt for visitors to make their way to events. Challenges include making something with your hands or staying in touch with an artist after the event to find your way to the next attraction.
Four artists, including Stephen Manka and Brad Civic, have designed fire pits that will be located throughout the venue. Other artists featured include Leila Khoury’s sculpture, “Dirges.”  Tesla Orchestra will produce its piece, “Big Tippy,” which mimics the classic arcade claw game.
Organizers are also having some fun with words this year, with areas dubbed IngenuiTEAtime, IndusTREE Alley, and Archi-TECH-tonica featuring installations, discussions, performances, workshops and other interactive activities. There will be four stages at the event for bands that are yet to be announced.
“We want it to feel like you are walking into the living room of your best friend,” explains Appelbaum. “It should feel like a place where you feel at home and are able to let your guard down, strike up a conversation and dream a little bit.”
A a Very Ingenious Person Salon (VIP) experience is open to the general public for $20 and includes access to IngenuiTEAtimes, Friday and Saturday, 6-9p.m. and Sunday, 12-2p.m., with civic thought leaders and Ingenuity partners. VIP tickets also include music by Ernie Krivda and social dance lessons from Viva Dance Studio, drink tickets and discounts free parking.
General admission is free. VIP tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, Sept. 30. IngenuityFest runs from 5p.m. to 1a.m. Friday, 12p.m. to 1a.m. Saturday and 12p.m. to 5p.m Sunday.

SpiroSano helps patients, doctors manage conditions like asthma and COPD

When Radu Iancu left his native Romania for Cleveland to pursue his PhD in biomedical engineering at CWRU, he was worried about leaving his mother, who suffered from asthma and had a history of high blood pressure.

Iancu’s concern for his mother sparked an idea for monitoring such conditions. He then met Jacob Glenn, who has technology business consulting background “He wanted to figure out how he could keep track of her health,” says Glenn.

Iancu and Glenn met in 2008 at Rosetta, where the two built the company’s mobile practice. They went on to form SpiroSano, a software-as-a-service company, in 2013 and incorporated in April 2014.

SpiroSano has developed a system to track and manage data related to respiratory conditions such as asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. The data can be tracked using any medical device, such as an inhaler, with any mobile device. “The goal is to improve quality care that reduces costs and engages the patient in the process,” explains Glenn. “We make it as easy as possible to see the information.”

Basically, a doctor assigns a personalized treatment management kit to a patient. The patient chooses the devices and apps associated with the management kit assigned. SpiroSano compiles the data and provides aggregate data streams that are easy to understand and help both the patient and doctor make better treatment decisions.

Glenn says as much as 90 percent of emergency room visits for asthma attacks are unnecessary and Spiro San could significantly reduce ER visits and hospital admissions. “I think we will see more and more demand for this,” he says.

Glenn notes that patients often do not take their medications until they start to experience symptoms and doctors tend to disregard data if there’s too much information. “If a patient tells the doctor, ‘I used my rescue inhaler six times,’ and the doctor can see that the patient didn’t take regular meds for three days and began taking them when they started to feel bad, patients tend to leave that out. And if there’s too much data in front of the doctor, they won’t use it.”

With SpiroSano, doctors can see all of a patient’s data on the application’s dashboard in about 30 seconds. Glenn likens his device to other health devices like Fitbit or Jawbone.

Patients collect their data through their smart phones, while doctors use a web-based portal. The service costs between $20 and $40 a month, while the entire asthma kit costs between $300 and $500. Right now, insurance does not cover SpiroSano because the company is still young and there’s no return on investment information yet.

Glenn reports that the SpiroSano is just now beginning to generate revenue. The company received a 100,000 Innovation Fund grant in 2014 and was named Most Innovative Startup at the TechPint Summit in May.


CWRU research team takes a step forward in treating breast cancer

A collaborative team of researchers led by Case Western Reserve University have made an important breast cancer research discovery. They've found that a targeted therapy for treating some forms of breast cancer is effective in predicting early-on whether the drug bevacizumab, known commercially as Avastin, will be or will not be effective in individual patients.

The FDA rescinded its approval of Avastin for breast cancer in 2011 after it determined the drug did not improve survival rates. While the drug is still being used in Europe with some success, researchers and scientists at CWRU, Brown University, Yale University, and Philips Research North America worked to determine whether they could tell early whether Avastin might work or whether the medication’s significant toxicity would cause harm without much effect on treating the cancer.
Vinay VaradanThey found that just one dose of Avastin, given upon initial diagnosis, could show whether the drug would be effective. “We thought if that one dose would change that tumor in the first 15 days, if it could predict at the very early stage how they would respond, that give us a chance to target treatment,” explains Vinay Varadan, assistant professor of general medicine at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and lead author on the team’s findings presented in the International Journal of Cancer.
“I think it’s pretty exciting. With just one dose we might be able to figure out who it might help. It will help us personalize therapies for the patient.”
While additional clinical trials are needed to determine if this approach is effective, Varadan says the more important point in these findings is that it is a step forward for finding targeted therapies for breast cancers that have not responded well to other targeted treatments – specifically, what is known as Triple Negative cases. Triple Negative cancer cells do not have receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 -- 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancers.
"Now we have a framework we can use,” says Varadan. “It’s exciting. The framework seems to be effective across cancers and can speed up the process in finding biomarkers.” Identifying biomarkers can help find more targeted treatments.
Now Varadan and his team are working with Case's biomedical engineering department to determine if an MRI could be used to identify whether the Avastin will be effective, as opposed to the second biopsy now needed.
“This becomes even more exciting because MRI imaging would be non-invasive than running a second biopsy after treatment,” Varadan says.
The CWRU team on this research included principal investigator and senior author Lindsay Harris with University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Hannah Gilmore in the department of pathology, and Ajay Basavanhalli in the biomedical engineering department.

Micah's brings a taste of Ghana to Cleveland stores

While a student at Hiram College, Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah caught the entrepreneurial bug. At the same time he was craving the spicy flavors of his mother’s cooking in his native Ghana. So Takyi-Micah put the two loves together and created Micah’s Specialty Foods.
Micah’s signature product – Supreme Sauce – is a taste of Ghana in a spicy tomato-based sauce and marinade with habanero and green peppers and onion. “My mom gave me the recipe,” Takyi-Micah says. “She taught me how to cook. What makes it unique is its flavor and versatility”
After getting his mom’s recipe, Takyi-Micah began making the sauce and passing it out to friends on the Hiram campus. People loved it, and in 2011 he was pitching his product against 11 other Northeast Ohio colleges at the Entrepreneur Immersion Week at Ashland University. He didn't fare very well.
“We didn’t even make it to the top three,” Takyi-Micah recalls. “So I started putting together a business plan.”
Four years later, Takyi-Micah today works out of his East Cleveland home and bottles Micah’s Supreme Sauce out of the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen. His sauce is in 20 stores around the region, including Zagara’s Marketplace in Cleveland Heights and Narrin Asian Spice and Sauce at the West Side Market.
Takyi-Micah spends his weekends passing out samples in local stores to promote his product. “We demo it as a salsa because the cost of chips is cheaper than doing marinated meat,” he explains. “Because of its versatility we’re able to reach different demographics. Most of our customers are white, but Hispanics like it, lots of Africans, and Asians like it as a salsa. It’s like everyone’s product.”
Sales have been good -- Takyi-Micah sells an average of 20 to 25 cases a month – and he plans to soon expand to Columbus, Indiana and New York City. “We want to be in 10 other African markets in the next 10 months,” he predicts, adding that there are more than 100 African Markets in New York alone. “We want to establish a presence and promote the product efficiently.” Takyi-Micah has one employee to assist with social media and marketing and has a photographer on contract.
Now Takyi-Micah is working on additional products, including a powdered ghost pepper rub for kabobs and his own version of a hot and spicy barbeque sauce.

Who's Hiring in CLE: IBM UrbanCode, NewBridge and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.
IBM UrbanCode
Companies around the world in the gaming, retail, banking and technology fields have turned to IBM UrbanCode for help in supporting their DevOps needs. A leader in its field with headquarters in Cleveland, IBM UrbanCode continues to save its customers money with automation tools that enable organizations to deliver software to production faster while reducing errors.

“Organizations are finding that they can save money and increase customer satisfaction by simplifying and speeding up their entire software development and delivery process by using IBM UrbanCode software,” says Tracy Gavlak, IBM UrbanCode’s business operations specialist.
UrbanCode was acquired by IBM in 2013 but they still have a start-up vibe. “The Cleveland office is great because we have retained a startup feel,” explains Gavlak. “It's a professional yet relaxed atmosphere in a bright and fresh office space just a block from Playhouse Square.”

To keep up with demand for its software, IBM UrbanCode is looking to fill 23 positions on its software development team. The developers will code new features, do bug fixes and perform integrations with software development lifecycle tools. Qualified candidates may even help develop new products as they design, test, research and review existing code.
Open positions include senior Java software developersoftware development managersoftware tester and a business development representative. Qualified candidates should have a computer science degree or equivalent, Java coding experience, be a self-motivated strategic thinker with an analytic and problem solving skills and a passion for writing code. Register and apply online on IBM UrbanCode’s careers page.
C.TRAC, marketing solutions provider specializing in interactive marketing, database management and related support services, is looking for a development lead to develop and deliver solutions that answer client needs using salesforce marketing cloud and related interactive capabilities. Experience managing projects from whiteboard to delivery is critical. This person will lead the development team and collaborate with account service and technical solutions teams. To apply, please send resumes to the hiring manager.
NewBridge, an arts and technology vocational training center for youth and adults, has four open positions, including a chief program officer/director of student experience, a student employment specialist, a student recruitment specialist and an administrative assistantEmail resume, cover letter and NewBridge application form to the hiring manager.
The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP), which is dedicated to enhancing the leadership abilities of engaged Clevelanders who are committed to creating a city and region which works for everyone, is looking for a graduate support manager to provide support and resources to NLDP graduates to enhance the development of their leadership skills and expand networking opportunities to create positive change in Cleveland. The manager will develop and maintain a broad based multi-faceted graduate support program using a variety of strategies. For questions or to apply, send resume and cover letter to Yuolanda Murray by Friday, September 25.
Terves, Inc., a materials science company producing engineered composites used in the oil and natural gas well completions and defense industries, has a variety of open positions, including an executive assistant to provide support to the COO and a project manager to manage all aspects of product development projects from feasibility to pilot scale production. To apply, email resume to the hiring manager.
OnShift, a provider of staffing solutions software for long-term care and senior living facilities, currently has 15 open positions, including front end and back end software developers and a marketing communications manager.   Click here to create a profile and submit an application.
Complion, an early stage software company whose cloud-based software stores critical clinical trial documentation for hospitals and medical centers, needs a director of marketing, a software product manager, an inside sales executive and a software developer. Email resumes to Rick Arlow  
SplashLink, an online resource for the water industry focused on connecting water challenges all over the world with expertise, solutions and the tools to manage projects from conception to deployment, needs collaborative and internet-savvy associates to provide research, data-entry and related support to assess water industry information and input applicable content; and identify and capture pertinent contact information to aid SplashLink’s sales team. Send cover letter and resume to Michele Kilroy by Thursday, October 8.  
Software Answers
Software Answers, which helps improve the learning of K-12 students through its software suite, ProgressBook, needs a technical support analyst to provide technical support to customers. Candidate must have knowledge of SQL and Microsoft Office applications and have one year of customer service experience. Email resume to the hiring manager.
Jakprints, a custom printer, needs a designer and two production operators. Email resumes to the hiring manager.

F*Sho celebrates Cle furniture makers for seventh straight year

Jason Radcliffe – steel furniture designer, owner of 44 Steel in Avon, reality show finalist on SpikeTV’s Framework, and a cheerleader for the Cleveland maker movement – will once again bring the F*Sho to Cleveland on Friday, Sept. 18th from 5-8 p.m.

The F*Sho is a contemporary furniture show featuring work by local designers, furniture makers and Cleveland Institute of Art students. Radcliffe has been staging the show for seven years now, primarily to highlight the style and talents of local builders. “Time flies,” he says. “I feel like we just started this a couple of years ago.”
Radcliffe says there’s no doubt these makers are Clevelanders. “The best thing about this show is we are hands-down Cleveland builders and you can see that in everything we do,” he explains. “We all use local materials, reclaimed wood or fallen trees from here, all local steel. If you look at how we do steel in this city – it’s undeniably us.”
This year’s show features 27 furniture makers – six of whom are new to the show. One home builder, David Krebs of Modern Smart Homes, will also showcase his work. “I’m excited at the idea of a home building company that designs, builds and has furniture,” says Radcliffe.
Other designers and makers include 2nd Shift Design, Sawhorse Woodworks, blacksmith and metal fabricator Stephen Yusko, and Framework co-finalist Freddy Hill.
The F*Show is never in the same space twice. “We move it every year to an obscure location,” he says. “We try to show some buildings and spaces that are not normally on the radar.” This year’s show is in 20,000-square feet of space on the fifth floor of the 44 Building, 3615 Superior Ave. E., in Tyler Village – a new hotspot for furniture builders. “One of the cool things about Tyler Village is there are soon to be five makers in space there,” says Radcliffe.
Radcliffe and Hill hosted the first F*Sho in Los Angeles last March, after Framework was over. “L.A. went unbelievably well, he says. “We had almost double the response we had from the first Cleveland F*Sho. We’re working on doing another one out there in the spring.”
The F*Sho is free and open to the public. Everything the artists show is also for sale. Food and drinks will be served and a D.J. will spin tunes. “The fifth floor is all windows, all the way around,” says Radcliffe. “You can see the lake, downtown, and south. When the sun goes down the space lights up. We’re really happy about this space, these designers.”

RTA Red Line public art to celebrate diversity with a literary twist

The Cleveland Foundation announced last week that it is giving a $150,000 grant to LAND studio to implement a plan to place public art along five to seven stops on the RTA Red Line from downtown to the airport. The art will celebrate Cleveland’s diversity. The grant follows support from the city’s economic development department and $357,000 in funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

The money will go toward the first phase of a project that will eventually span the Red, Green, Blue and Waterfront RTA rapid lines to become one of the largest outdoor public art galleries in the country. The goal is to get the first phase done in time for the Republican National Convention next year.
The plan for public art along the RTA route came about after Valerie McCall, Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of government and international affairs, and other interested officials rode the route that ushers passengers from the airport to downtown.
“They asked, what type of welcome mat are we putting out,” says Tiffany Graham, project director for LAND studio. “The RNC was the impetus for getting this done quickly, but it will endure over time.”
The art, which will include photography and paintings, will be based on winners of the Anisfield-Wolf book awards, the only juried prize in the nation for books that confront racism and celebrate diversity. Named for Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf and presented by the Cleveland Foundation, past winners include Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. The 80th awards ceremony was held last week and honored five authors.
"Social equity is what public transportation is all about,” says Maribeth Feke, RTA director of programming and planning, adding that the Red Line is a perfect route for art installments. “Transportation is all about movement and motion and a lot of stations have very long, linear corridors. It will be about ‘what are you going to see next.’ A lot if pieces work as you are in motion.”
Lillian Kuri, Cleveland Foundation program director for architecture, urban design and sustainable development, says the project evolved at the right time. “From our end this was a really critical moment of time to help get something done,” she says. “Over many years it can create a cultural aspect of Cleveland through a collection of murals and photos. For us it connected the dots for many things.”
Local, national and international artists will be chosen by a curatorial team led by LAND Studio. The artists will then work with the authors whose work will be represented. Graham says a meeting is planned this week to review and choose the artists.
“This will look at issues Cleveland has struggled with for so long,” says Graham. “It will be a platform for these types of issues to be addressed -- conversations can be started and healing can happen.”

County announces continued support for ECDI small business lending

Cuyahoga County executive Armond Budish renewed the county’s commitment to making sure Cleveland small businesses get the funding they need for success. Today at Toast wine bar, he announced a $2 million commitment by the county to the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) for the continuation of the partnerships in the Cuyahoga County Microenterprise Loan Program.

“When I began my term I made it clear jobs are my top priority,” Budish said at a press conference. “Most jobs are created by small businesses, which struggle to grow because they can’t get funding.”
Budish cited Toast as one such business that has thrived by getting initial funding to open, and again to expand through ECDI. The restaurant and wine bar has created 13 jobs since opening.  “We need more businesses like Toast, so we are continuing our commitment” he said.
With its initial funding from the city, ECDI has able to provide 52 loans to 38 businesses in Northeast Ohio since it came to Cleveland in 2013. “In 2013 the city provided a $550,000 investment to create a revolving loan fund,” explains ECDI vice president of lending and lending operations Greg Zucca. “With that money we were able to leverage an additional $1 million in lending capacity. Since then we’ve exhausted those funds.”
ECDI founder and CEO Inna Kinney introduced Budish, thanking him and Cuyahoga County for the continued support.
The Cleveland Foundation also renewed its financial commitment to ECDI at the conference. “The Cleveland Foundation played a significant role in bringing ECDI to Cleveland in 2013,” says Cleveland Foundation president and CEO Ronn Richard. “Today, I am pleased to announce a $175,000 grant for lending.” The foundation has invested $1.6 million in ECDI since 2011.  
In 2011 the Cleveland Foundation and the Business of Good Foundation studied the demand for microloans in Cuyahoga County, which found a $38 million gap in financing that was not being addressed by traditional banks. With that, ECDI Cleveland  was established and the city of Cleveland helped the non-profit organization establish a loan fund.
The money will fuel ECDI’s microloan program. “Really, it’s going to allow us to grow and expand our lending capacity in Cuyahoga County,” says Zucca. “This will give us the ability to bring on additional relationship managers and issue more loans.”
The County’s $2 million commitment will help boost the region’s economy by giving ECDI leverage to secure further funding, Zucca says. “It’ helps the city tremendously to have a much larger impact in helping small businesses by allowing us to work with banks and other funding institutions,” he says. “It has a much larger impact on the community.”
Many of the business that found funding and support through ECDI were present at the conference. Zucca then presented Jordan Oryszak, owner of the soon-to-be Plum Café and Kitchen with an oversized check for $33,000.

Cleveland Clinic is looking for 500 nurses

The demand for nurses is on the rise, and Cleveland Clinic is no exception. “The landscape of healthcare is continuing to change, says Kelly Hancock, the Cleveland Clinic’s executive chief nursing officer. "With more patients getting access to care, out hospitals are busier and our outpatient facilities are busier.”

So the Clinic decided to take a preemptive step in making sure its Northeast Ohio hospitals are adequately staffed. In a three-event hiring campaign that covers the east and west sides and the main campus, the Clinic is looking to fill 500 open RN nursing positions at its main campus, eight regional hospitals, 18 family health centers, medical and surgical and home health care.
The open positions are in all disciplines, but Hancock says there is a particular need in critical care and emergency care. “We see this as a way of being proactive in areas where we need help,” says Hancock. “This is a fabulous opportunity and there are a lot of talented people out there, so we’re excited.”
Recruiters will be at Lacentre in Westlake on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will highlight jobs at the Clinic’s west side hospitals – FairviewLakewood and Lutheran. The recruiters will be at Executive Caters in Mayfield Heights on Friday, Sept. 18 and feature jobs at the main campus and Children’s Hospital. Both events run from 8am to 6pm. The east side event was held on August 21 and featured the Clinic’s east side hospitals.
“We thought this was a really good way to segment off the different geographic regions instead of having one big one,” says Hancock of the three events, adding that RNs interested in any position can come to either of the two remaining locations.
Those interested should apply for the position they are interested in ahead of time. A nurse recruiter will then conduct a phone interview before the event.  However, Hancock says quite a few applicants showed up without registering at the east side event. “We welcome walk-ins,” she says. “A recruitment manager will match them based on their skills set.”

Interviews and assessments should take about two hours. Applicants should bring copies of their resumes. Contingent job offers may be made. 
Hancock says the Clinic is always recruiting for its nursing staff of 12,000, but these events will help the healthcare system fill such a large need. 

CWRU's Innovation Summit to showcase Cleveland's commitment to new ideas

Nationally-known researchers, entrepreneurs, members of academia and innovators will gather on the CWRU campus October 26-28 for the school’s inaugural Innovation Summit 2015: Models of Innovation.

Organizers plan to explore how trends like the maker movement, startup accelerators and networking forums are cultivating innovation ecosystems. The summit will examine how regions and industries have created different innovation models that improve economic opportunity and cultural amenities, and how these models can be replicated.

“We’re taking a comprehensive approach,” says Joe Jankowski, CWRU’s chief innovation officer. “It’s our first innovation summit and we’re excited to take a multi-disciplinary, connected approach.”

Models of Innovation will have something for everyone, Jankowski promises. “We’re not focusing on any one given area,” he says, adding that the whole event was the university’s brain child. “Think of cool gadgets coming out, the next medical device, drivers of change and improvement. It’s not just technology, but also finance and social justice.”

The summit will also give attendees a chance for a first look at think[box], Case’s innovation and entrepreneurship center.

The speaker lineup for the conference is an impressive array of global innovation leaders. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, will kick off the summit, followed by Ellen Williams, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Other speakers include Priceline founder Jeff Hoffman and Burton D. Morgan Foundation president and CEO Deborah Hoover.

Student startups and technology-enabled classrooms will be on exhibit throughout the event. Other programs include discussions divided into innovation by region and innovation by industry, panel discussions, networking and lectures.

Models of Innovation was purposely scheduled to coincide with the Cleveland Clinic Innovations Medical Innovation Summit, BioOhio Annual Conference and Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing Innovation Summit. There are opportunities for attendees to join sessions across summits and participate in collaborative events.
Registration is required and includes access to all sessions and evening networking and social engagements, as well as breakfast and lunch for all three days. 

Lava Room celebrates 12 years of producing rising stars and superstars

When Mike Brown went off to Berklee College of Music in the early 90s, he originally planned to study guitar and be a musician. But by the end of his first semester, he had decided to go the tech route and eventually became an engineer and producer.
After graduating in 1997 and paying his does in the recording world, Brown decided in May 2003 to open his own recording studio – Lava Room Recording on Cleveland’s west side. By September he opened his doors. “I really built it for myself and hoped people would follow,” Brown recalls. “I wanted to make a studio with the elements I wanted.”
The people did follow. Twelve years later, Lava Room Recording has a national reputation in the recording industry, working with artists in all music genres as well as commercial and film production. In 2008 the studio also moved to and renovated the old WHK radio station next to the Cleveland Agora Theater on Euclid Avenue.
Brown has worked with everyone from local bands like The Modern Electric and Kent-based Goodnight Tonight to former Eagles member and independent artist Joe Walsh and Paramore.
“Everyone gets treated like a rock star here, whether you’re a 15-year-old kid or someone like Joe Walsh,” Brown says. “We have a place or room or budget for everyone. I personally like working with unsigned bands because I get to help mold them in their careers.”
Two months ago Brown made a “huge upgrade” to Lava Room’s sound and software systems. Moving forward, Brown wants to focus on the young, up-and-coming musicians. “I’m helping young bands treat themselves more like businesses, help them understand how to be more self-sufficient,” he says. “A lot of times bands don’t understand the business. They just understand the music. There’s loyalty there – when we help them, they definitely want to come back and do a record with us.”
The name “Lava Room” comes from Brown’s love of lava lamps and color for inspiration. The three studios and lounge are all color-coded based on the lava lamps in each room. “I always loved the ambiance of lava lamps and colored lights,” Brown says. “It kind of inspired me.”
Lava Room Recording has eight employees, each capable of engineering a variety of music genres.
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