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University Hospitals, Geis could create hundreds of jobs in the Health-Tech Corridor

University Hospitals announced earlier this month that it plans to build a community care center, called the UH Rainbow Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, on East 57th Street and Euclid Avenue on a part of 12 acres in MidTown’s Health-Tech Corridor.

Along with the facility, Geis Companies’ Hemingway Development will develop the rest of the land for a second Midtown Tech Park with mixed-use medical companies, retail, restaurants and other commercial space. Bike trails will also be created, and a new bus stop in front of the UH facility are planned, according to Fred Geis.

“We’re engaging the community with public spaces, restaurants with healthy eating and possibly a small market,” Geis says. “This will connect E. 59th Street, connect the Hough neighborhood and League Park. With the bike trails, people can easily walk to the facility.”

HTC director Jeff Epstein says the two projects mean jobs and more development in MidTown. "The additional traffic that comes as a result of development adds to the critical mass to add restaurants," he says. "The intersection of a healthcare provider and technology in the corridor provides opportunities for residents. And University Hospitals' major commitment is using strength to bring additional jobs."

Cleveland City Council, which owns the land, approved the purchase last week. Geis says they are scheduled to go before council again on May 4th for approval of the plans. The deal preserves $13 million in Housing and Urban Development loans and grants originally set for renovating the Warner and Swasey building on Carnegie Avenue and East 55th Street.

The UH facility will provide maternity, post-natal and medical care, and will employ as many as 100 people by June of 2016. UH also plans to house healthy living programming at the facility and provide more than 200 parking spaces. Hospital officials predict the 30,000-40,000 square foot facility will see 47,000 visits a year.

As a whole, Geis conservatively predicts the project will create at least 400 jobs. “Based on experience from down the street at the Midtown Tech Park, it should create 600-800 jobs,” he says. “The Midtown Tech Park provides 600 jobs currently. And employment statistics show female and minorities are in half of those jobs.”

Geis says he wants to attract companies from outside the region to the new park. “Our sincerest goal is to entice people from outside the region,” he says. “This is a brand new area, brand new to the region.”

UH officials are pleased with the services the hospital system will offer in MidTown. “As we plan for future growth, it is clear a new and more convenient location for women’s and children’s services is a priority,” says Steve Standley, UH chief administrative officer. “The MidTown Corridor site is ideal for the patients we serve and aligns with University Hospitals’ economic impact goals to help generate the local economy by attracting more businesses to this urban area.”

Hemingway’s Maura Maresh says the center is exactly what the neighborhood needs. “It’s the opportunity they needed to build this facility instead of building in the usual places,” she says. “It shows the power of what you can do with one project.”

Geis points out that residents in most suburban areas have easy access to community medical centers. Other medical centers, including the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic and two divisions of the Veterans Administration, have already successfully established themselves in MidTown.

“They realized years ago it’s difficult to make it down to University Circle,” Geis says. “This is long overdue that someone comes out here to serve these communities. University Hospitals is the first of the institutions to invest in this type of infiltration of a neighborhood.”

Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2016.

LaunchHouse shifts focus to educating student entrepreneurs

When Todd Goldstein and Dar Caldwell first created LaunchHouse in 2008, the organization was the first accelerator in the region to support early-stage startup companies. Since then, LaunchHouse has supported 62 companies and secured $23 million in follow-on funding. “We’re still going to work with our portfolio companies and help those companies be successful,” says Goldstein.

But earlier this month, LaunchHouse announced it was moving away from its adult accelerator model and instead will focus on fostering student entrepreneurs. The move comes with the success of the LaunchHouse Institute, a program started two years ago by LaunchHouse the and Shaker Heights Development Corporation as a way to educate, mentor and invest in student entrepreneurs.

“We’re going back to the roots of LaunchHouse, which are education, investing and bringing the entire community together, and create successful, vibrant entrepreneurs,” says Goldstein. “We’re reinforcing our position as a place in the community for entrepreneurial organizations to start and grow businesses. We’re really recognizing that education is the first step in growing any business.”

With the establishment of the LaunchHouse Institute came the LightHouse Entrepreneurial Education Program (LEAP), one of the country’s first high school accelerators. Students go through a summer program to take business ideas to fruition. “I think what’s exciting about entrepreneurship is the opportunity to be creative while doing something to make money,” says Katie Connelly, LaunchHouse’s director of entrepreneurial programming. “You’re never too young to think about entrepreneurship and starting a business.”

The decision to focus on students came in part after noticing a skills gap in adult entrepreneurs. Goldstein saw the need to teach basic skills, like speaking to people and writing a professional emails, to young entrepreneurs in middle school, high school and college.

This summer LaunchHouse will also offer a Hack-a-Thing, one-day and five-day programs for middle and high school students centered on developing a physical product, says Connelly.

Additionally, through funding from the Arminius Foundation LaunchHouse will place two shipping containers in its garage for office space. The containers can house between two and 10 employees. “There’s no space for entrepreneurs who are growing and need space,” explains Goldstein. “This is an agile space to work out of. LaunchHouse is really a place for all entrepreneurs.”

Healthcare big data pioneer Explorys acquired by IBM

Since 2009, Explorys has leveraged big data in the healthcare field to form one of the largest healthcare databases in the world, helping medical professionals provide better patient care and diagnoses. Formed out of the Cleveland Clinic in October 2009 by Charlie Lougheed and Stephen McHale, Explorys has become one of the world’s largest data platforms.

Last Monday, McHale announced to 38,000 attendees of the HIMSS conference in Chicago that Explorys has been acquired by IBM. The news was announced by Lougheed in Cleveland. The company will be a part of IBM’s Watson Health Unit.
The deal was a natural fit, says Lougheed. “It was one of those things,” he says. “Explorys and IBM are both leaders in the space. We’ve bumped into each other and we’ve even collaborated from time to time with our joint customers. We really see each other as pioneers in the industry”
Lougheed said there were three components to the decision to join IBM: Industry growth, customers, and Explorys’ employees. “We really believe in this mission and we want to see the mission continue and accelerate,” he explains. “We asked, is it good for our customers, does it make sense? Because they subscribe to our systems for a reason, so it had to matter to them.”
Most importantly, Lougheed said they considered their employees. “We asked, is this good for our employees, because they deserve something great as well,” he explains. “This a great thing for our employees to grow their careers.”
Explorys will remain in Cleveland, and all employees will retain their jobs. “There are some of the best and the brightest data software engineers in the world here,” Lougheed says. “Cleveland is a great place to keep Explorys moving. We’re going to continue to expand as expected.”

Who's hiring in CLE: Overdrive Espresso, Arras-Keathley 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.
Overdrive Espresso
The first time Marko Vukelic walked into a Starbucks after coming to the United States five years ago from Croatia through a student exchange program, the philosophy major was in awe over the large espresso machines.
“I wondered who services those large, boxy machines,” he says. Then two-and-a-half years ago while searching a for a job as handyman, Vukelic answered an ad on Craigslist for an espresso machine technician at Phoenix Coffee. “When I started, I had never held a screwdriver in my life,” he recalls. But Vukelic traveled all over the country for training and soon became the only espresso machine technician in the area. “I didn’t have a day off for a year after I started training,” he says.
Vukelic had a knack for servicing the large machines, and soon other coffee shops were calling on Phoenix to service their machines. In July 2014 he bought the business from Phoenix and renamed it Overdrive Espresso.
The company and Vukelic have thrived, servicing machines for places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, as well as smaller companies all over Northeast Ohio, upstate New York, western Pennsylvania and even Vermont.
Overdrive Espresso has become so successful, Vukelic needs help. He has one technician but he needs six to seven more technicians. The job requires a lot of driving – up to five hours a day – and a willingness to learn the trade. Vukelic will provide the training. Ideal candidates will at least be familiar with hand tools and have a basic knowledge of electricity and plumbing.
Once training is complete, the right employee will get a service vehicle and a cell phone. Candidates must have a perfect driving record and no criminal record. “I pay well, but you have to understand the nature of the business,” Vukelic says. “This is not a nine-to-five position and you have to be on call 24/7.” Employees are also expected to stand behind their work and own any mistakes.
For more information or to submit a resume and cover letter, contact Vukelic.
Because I Said I Would
Because I Said I Would, a non-profit organization dedicated to bettering humanity, ending suffering and establish peace, is looking for an executive assistant to founder Alex Sheen. This person would manage Sheen’s calendar; provide support to Sheen for his speaking engagements, including responding to inquiries inviting him to speak; work with the travel agent to make all travel arrangements; attend engagements to assist with merchandise promotion; and manage follow-up with relationships established at the events.
Send resume and cover letter to human resources with “executive assistant application” and your name in the subject line.
Ohio City Incorporated
Ohio City incorporated needs an entry level marketing and events coordinator to assist with the management and implementation of organizational events and marketing. Applicants should be organized, self-driven, personable, and have a passion for community development and the Ohio City neighborhood. Send resume and cover letter to the hiring manager  with a subject line "Marketing & Events Coordinator" by 5 pm on Wednesday, April 22.

Euphoria Health and Fitness
Euphoria Health and Fitness, a multisport training facility, needs certified personal trainers and instructors for yoga, Zumba, kettlebell, and kickboxing classes. Those completing their training through a certification program and accredited institution are also encouraged to apply. Classes are in demand for weekday afternoons and Saturdays. Interested applicants should bring a resume to Euphoria, 20445 Emerald Parkway, Cleveland, or contact owner Kyle Amsdell.
Keep it Local Cleveland
Keep it Local Cleveland, which creates awareness about supporting local business, needs motivated and friendly people to serve as business member representatives. Send cover letter and resume to Marcia. Keep it Local also needs people to join its Street Team to create a buzz about why keeping it local is important. Email Jamie with the subject line Street Team for more information.
Advertising agency Arras-Keathley is looking for an agency project manager, and a senior advertising copywriter. The project manager will work with the creative team internally, as well as engage with and external resources. The copywriter must be able to transform everyday words into show-stopping headlines and cutting edge copy.
To apply for the project manager position, send resume to HR director Mar Dulik. Use 'Project Manager' in the subject line. For the copywriter position, submit resume and digital portfolio through Indeed.
Software solutions provider Casentric needs an inside software salesperson with two to three years of telesales experience. Apply through JumpStart’s careers page.
OnShift, which provides cloud-based staff scheduling and labor management software solutions for long-term care and senior living, has seven open positions. The positions include database developer, full stack software developer, and an online software salesperson. Go to OnShift’s careers page for a full listing and to apply.

Victor Ruiz looks at the whole child to boost graduation rates among Hispanics

In 2010 when Victor Ruiz took over as director of Esperanza, an organization focused on promoting academic achievement among Hispanic high school students and college after high school, things were pretty dismal.

Graduation rates among Hispanic Cleveland high school students hovered around 30 percent. Graduation among white and African-American students in the same schools was double that rate. And many Hispanic students were struggling to pass the 10th grade proficiency test, which they must pass by their senior year to graduate. “There was a lot of failure,” recalls Ruiz. “Students were just not academically prepared. Our youth were not being given the resources they needed. After a few tries and not passing the test, our children were just giving up and dropping out.”
Ruiz set out to change those numbers. Now in his fifth year as Esperanza’s director, Ruiz took a community approach to helping students not only make it through high school, but excel. “We looked at it on a holistic level,” he says. “We partnered with other organizations to address the whole child, not the pieces and parts. We work with parents and teach them about the importance of education and how to participate in the educational system.”
The approach was successful. Graduation rates among Cleveland’s Hispanic high school students in 2014 was 61 percent, pretty close to the overall graduation rate of 65 percent in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
With the proficiency tests, Ruiz implemented mentoring programs to offer support and guidance. “We were able to identify students who have tried several times and gave them rigorous academic tutoring,” he explains. “They may have to try several times, but they are able to pass and graduate.”
Esperanza, which awards college scholarships as a way to promote academic achievement, awarded 103 scholarships in 2014, compared to fewer than 40 in 2010. “Our goal is to see an increase in scholarships in the Cleveland schools,” says Ruiz.
While the numbers are still below the national average, Esperanza and Ruiz continue forward, with a mission to only improve further. “It has to be a priority,” he says. “Education is community. It has to be a priority. On a national level we still have a lot of work to do in graduation and college. But we feel the numbers are continuing to grow. We welcome anyone to join us in our effort.”

CWRU, Cleveland Clinic to partner in healthcare MBA program

Beginning in September, two of Cleveland’s top institutions will come together to offer a program for those with a mind for both business and health care. CWRU Weatherhead School of Management and the Cleveland Clinic announced on Thursday that the two will partner to offer an executive MBA program with a focus on health care.

“This is just an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while,” says Simon Peck, associate dean for Weatherhead’s MBA programs and associate professor in the management school’s design and innovation department. “It’s taking an existing MBA program that’s always been highly rated and collaborating with the Cleveland Clinic. I think it’s crazy we’re not doing more in this area.”
The program will target students who have both an interest in business and the growing health care sector. With a top academic institution and a top hospital system both located so close together, and with the partnership in the medical education campus, the partnership only made sense, says Peck.
“This is the first time Weatherhead School of Management and the Cleveland Clinic have partnered so closely,” he says. “I saw a need for leadership in an MBA with a focus on healthcare. You can’t just be a fantastic doctor and pick up the skills to run a hospital.” But Peck also stresses the eMBA program is not just for physicians -- the need for executives in health care is growing in all areas.
The 20-month academic program consists of 16 sessions over five semesters. Classes meet three days a month. Classroom sessions meet at both the Weatherhead and Clinic campuses.
Applications are due by June 15. For more information, contact Stephen Scheidt, director of admissions at the Weatherhead School.

So much going on at the 5th annual Tech Week, OHTec made it 10 days

The annual OHTec Tech Week has grown so much in the past four years that this year’s even is actually 10 days long. The event features leading companies, products and guest speakers in Cleveland’s tech industry.  “There are big things added this year,” says OHTec executive director Brad Nellis.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people are expected to attend the 16 events during OHTec Tech Week this year – double last year’s attendance and Nellis estimates about 10 times the attendance than its first year. “Every year it’s been a record,” he says. “What we’re really most proud of is that it’s such a vibrant industry in Northeast Ohio.”
The week kicks off this Thursday, April 9 with serial entrepreneur Ray Dalton, founder of Aurora-based PartSource. Dalton will speak on the development and success of his medical replacement parts business at the Aloft Hotel.
New this year is a partnership with the Great Lakes Science Center, which will host Yuri’s Night Space Party, which celebrates the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. People celebrate around the world and in Cleveland with a big party on Saturday, April 11 at the GLSC.
Outer space appreciation continues with the always-popular Space Apps Challenge Friday, April 10 through Sunday, April 12 at NASA Glenn Research Center. “It’s a hackathon kind of thing,” says Nellis. “Teams come in Friday night and they come back Saturday and start writing software.”
Two events will both encourage students to explore STEM careers and offer networking opportunities to those who want to get into the field. Nellis and Tim Needles, founder/CEO of Onix Networking will speak at Tri-C’s Speed Networking event on the state of Northeast Ohio’s tech industry. Employers will also be present to talk about potential job opportunities.
Goodyear STEM Career Day on Saturday, April 18 at the University of Akron targets 1,500 students, parents and counselors who are interested in STEM careers. “Obviously, it raises awareness of the IT industry,” says Nellis. “We want kids to understand what great careers there are in tech.”
Tech companies will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas, products and services to IT executives at the fourth annual Pitch Night at Lockkeepers in Valley View on Monday, April 13. “It raises awareness of these IT executives that there are really good companies right here in Northeast Ohio,” says Nellis of the event. “It’s a mix of early stage companies and later stage companies. The audience votes on best pitch, most intriguing product and product most wanted. It’s a great way to make it interactive.”
And, of course, there is the ninth annual OHTec Best of Tech Awards, which will be held on Thursday, April 16th at Red Space.
There are many additional events going on during the 10 day tech celebration. The events require registration and some events have admission fees. Click here for a full calendar and to register.

Dinner Lab to bring local and national chefs to Cleveland foodies

Attention foodies or anyone looking for a new dining experience: Dinner Lab announced last week that On July 24 Cleveland will become its 33rd location in its social dining experiment. Dinner Lab hosts regular pop-up dinners in unconventional, undisclosed locations in a setting that offers the chance to meet new people, try new great food and give feedback. It also allows chefs – about half from Cleveland and the other half from successful restaurants around the country – to try new concepts and new menu items.
Dinner Lab started in New Orleans three years ago. “Originally, there was nowhere to get really good late night food in New Orleans,” explains Dinner Lab HR director Hallie Dietsch. “What it evolved into is an opportunity to let chefs showcase their true passions.”
The chefs are not given boundaries to what they prepare. Diners are given a comment card to rate the food’s taste, creativity and other feedback. “As a member, you’re having a dinner that you most likely will never have again,” says Dietsch. “For the chef, it’s an opportunity to cook something he knows really well and enjoys cooking.”
There is a $125 annual membership fee to join Dinner Lab, and the five- to seven-course dinners cost between $50 and $65. Members can bring up to three guests with them. The chefs range from seasoned line cooks who are thinking about opening their own restaurants to Michelin Star chefs trying out new concepts.
Dinners are announced three weeks in advance of the event. Diners are told the date, the chef and the menu, but the location is not disclosed until 24 hours before the event.
Dietsch says Cleveland was chosen as the newest Dinner Lab location because of the population’s affinity for good food. “Cleveland is not known as being New York or Chicago, but Clevelanders are keyed in to good food and want to try new things,” she says. “We think people in Cleveland will be excited and ready for this. People are more interested in food and educated about food and they want to know what they’re eating and the chef’s inspiration.”
Cleveland’s first Dinner Lab chef will be Chicago-based Daniel Espinoza, who will cook a five-course modern Mexican meal titled “Anomar.”

SEA Change inaugural organizations pitch their ideas for $50,000 in funding

The SEA Change Happen event at Idea Center On Monday was a success, with all eight enterprises receiving a portion of the $50,000-plus grant money. Rust Belt Riders received the most grant money, with $20,000, while the Vineyards and Biocellar of Chateau Hough received $15,000 and was voted crowd favorite. Upcycle Parts Shop received $10,000 and Modern Good received $5,000. KnotProfit, Tigress, Honor Good Deeds and GiveNext each received $1,000.

Seventy-five social enterprises applied to be in the inaugural SEA Change accelerator program, a collaboration between Civic Commons IdeastreamECDILaunchHouseHispanic Business Center and others to provide coaching and capital to people with ideas to improve their communities with self-sustaining ways of doing so by through business. Thirteen were selected for the program.
Today, Monday, April 6, the remaining eight enterprises will participate in SEA Change Happen and present their concepts in a pitch competition to earn $50,000 in grant funding.
“They’ve all made remarkable progress,” says Mike Shafarenko, Civic Commons Ideastream director. “Each of them came in at a different stage. Some were already setting things up or active in the community, some of them came in with just an idea.
The participants went through a six-week accelerator anda  twelve-week pitch practice program. They received training on how to maximize social impact, develop a unique and compelling value proposition, assess potential customers and competitors in the social and commercial markets, build financial projections and create marketing and sales plans. Ultimately, they each wrote a social enterprise plan.
The eight organizations that made it through the entire accelerator program then practiced their pitches in a variety of settings. Shafarenko says the prize money may be split between a few of the eight participants, or could go to just one winner.
The eight finalists include GiveNext, an online program to make and track charitable donations; KnotProfit, which offers ways to create a charitable wedding registry; and Rust Belt Riders, which collects organic waste and turns it into compost.
“No matter what, they’re all remarkable programs,” he says. “It’s important to nurture and empower people who have ideas to improve the community period. We’re in an era of ideas that are self-sustaining.”

The sold out event takes place at Idea Center at Playhouse Square from 5 pm to 7 pm today.

Constantino's pick-up and delivery service caters to busy downtown lifestyles

Almost a year ago, Constantino’s Market COO Andrew Revy began planning for a pick-up and delivery service at its Warehouse District location. The market, which has been a downtown presence for 10 years, wanted to find a way to serve its busy customers with an easy way to get basic groceries, stock up for a party, or simply get dinner on the go.

“Everybody needs to eat, but people don’t have time to do shopping,” says Revy. “This is all about ease and lifestyle. We have such busy lives, this has been a driving need.”

A week-and-a-half ago, Constantino’s Warehouse District launched its Fast & Fresh program, which offers online ordering with in-store pickup or delivery within a five mile radius. Users can place an order online and a personal shopper will fulfill the order. The five miles extends west to Lakewood and east to University Circle. “It’s not like if you’re two feet out of the radius we won’t deliver,” Revy says. “We’re flexible.”

If the services go well in the Warehouse District store, Revy says Constantino’s plans to expand the services to its University Circle store and eventually deliver to all of Cuyahoga County.

The service is aimed at Constantino’s existing customer base, which includes the downtown resident population and the workforce.  “Everything you would need, whether it’s milk, eggs and bread or if you’re having a party and need beer and wine and snacks, it’s straightforward shopping,” says Revy. “Everything in the store is available for delivery.”

Delivery and pick-up service is available Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Pickup hours are between 5pm and 7pm, delivery is between 6pm and 8pm. There is a $20 minimum for orders. The delivery fee is $5 or 10 percent, whichever is greater. Orders over $150 receive free delivery. The first delivery or pick-up is free.

Local artists plan for a creative community in Cleveland Heights

Shannon Morris has always been an artist. “Ever since I was little I was very creative and resourceful with materials,” she says. Morris first entered a darkroom at age 13, went to NYU for photography and today works in a variety of media and writes her blog, Electric Belle, from her Cleveland Heights home.
But like most creative types, Morris craved inspiration and collaboration from other artists. So in February, she started Artful, a movement to create an affordable space for local artists to come together and create, collaborate and sell their works.
“I’ve been thinking about this for years, to create a creative environment,” she says. “Ideally it will be studio space, a gallery space, retail and flex space. Art is supposed to be an outlet. Artists would feed off each other and share.”
Artful would be open to all artists. Rent will depend on the space Morris finds, but she plans to keep it affordable. She has been looking at spaces around the east side, but would like to locate in Cleveland Heights. “It just feels like Cleveland Heights is what the place is about,” she says. “We need this in Cleveland Heights because we have many artists and there is no affordable studio space. We have lots of empty buildings and a population that is deeply connected to the arts.”
Eventually Morris would like to add an educational element to Artful. “We would ramp up to a place to host events and education,” she explains. “Especially as the arts are dwindling in our schools, this could be a place where kids can go.”
Within two weeks of creating a group Facebook page, 140 people had joined Artful. Today, there are close to 160 members. Morris has been touring different vacant spaces, and has solicited advice from Artful followers for their ideas and advice about creating a business plan.
Last Sunday she hosted a meeting to discuss ideas for a space and ideas on how Artful can become a thriving part of the Cleveland Heights community. “The energy of the meeting was electric,” says Morris. Artists in all mediums attended, as well as local business owners, residents of all ages and business people willing to help out with the cause. Cleveland Heights city planners and Future Heights have also gotten involved.

British firm partners with CWRU to combat HIV drug resistance, opens hub in Health-Tech Corridor

Population Genetics Technologies (PGT), a Cambridge, UK-based biotech company that develops tests for infectious disease diagnostic tests, has chosen CWRU’s Miguel Quiñones-Mateu, assistant professor in the department of pathology and scientific director of the University Hospitals Translational Laboratory, to help develop diagnostic tests to determine HIV drug resistance for use in clinical management of HIV positive patients.
Over time, HIV patients develop resistance to different treatments and medication must be changed. “These tests are an important management tool because HIV is a chronic infection that is never quite cleared from the blood,” explains Alan Schafer, CEO of PGT. “The virus mutates very rapidly every few years and their bodies develop resistance. We need to [develop] tests so physicians have much better information about which drugs to prescribe.”
PGT developed its tests based on proprietary technology, called VeriTag, which enhances the sensitivity of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). While NGS allows for precise detections of disease resistance mutations, VeriTag detects mutations at even more precise level, making patient care and drug choices much easier and effective.
Schafer says PGT chose Quiñones-Mateu because of his reputation and work in understanding drug resistant viruses, including transmission and pathogenicity studies. “Miguel Quinones-Mateu is one of the world leaders in this area, really at the forefront, so we knew that he would be the best person to work with,” says Schafer. “We had enthusiastic discussions of what we could each bring to the table and it worked out to be a perfect fit. We’ll be working together in close collaboration.”
Schafer, who is originally from Los Angeles, was so impressed with Cleveland’s support of early stage businesses, in particular from BioEnterprise, that PGT will open offices in the Baker Electric Building in the Health-Tech Corridor. The offices will become PGT’s US operations hub and used to support the development and commercialization of the company’s portfolio of advanced diagnostic and testing kits for infectious diseases.  
 “As I learned more about the expertise that exists in Ohio, in Cleveland, it became clear this is where we should grow our business and take out products to market,” he says. There’s a fantastic support network for early stage businesses.”
While places like Boston and San Diego typically come to mind in the biotech world, Schafer sees Cleveland as having advantages over the coasts. “You’ve got all the pieces and there’s a feeling of growing and a feeling of a biotech ecosystem,” he says. “I can come with my little company and feel like I can attract good people to work in the lab.”

Cleveland Clinic Innovations, NASA form partnership to bring new tech to market, create jobs

The Cleveland Clinic and NASA Glenn Research Center have often worked together for the past 15 years on solving the problems astronauts face in space.

“We have a small but very impressive group solving astronaut health issues,” says John Sankovic, director of technology, incubation and innovation at NASA Glenn and the center’s chief technology officer. “We solve problems like how do we generate IV fluids and medications to treat astronauts during space flights or improve exercise. A lot of that work has been done at the Cleveland Clinic.” 

Earlier this month, Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI) and NASA Glenn officially came together in a partnership to develop products useful both on Earth and in outer space. The two organizations will now work together on Glen's  technologies to see how they can be applied to healthcare and perhaps create new businesses.

“This is a new effort at taking technologies and opening up our portfolio, and through a different lens looking at how to apply them to the biotech arena,” says Sankovic. “It’s research and technology for the benefit of all.”

In addition to the partnership with CCI, the commercial development arm of the Clinic, NASA Glenn will also join CCI’s Global Healthcare Innovations Alliance, which is a worldwide network of healthcare systems, academic institutions and corporate partners.

“The Clinic has a longstanding relationship with NASA in looking for a way to help with our shared vision of helping others,” says Brian Kolonick, general manager of the Healthcare Innovations Alliance. “There are a lot of resources going on over at Glenn and they have a lot of ideas that they’re using. There’s a way to find an intersection that may translate into helping patients here on land.”

Together, NASA Glenn and CCI expect new spinoff companies, and ultimately jobs, to come out of the partnership. “We’re really excited about what Innovations has been doing,” says Kolonick. “We’re at the forefront of looking at new business and turning these into products. We’re just getting started. NASA will assign someone to work with us directly, get to know us and see the work we do. They have a portfolio of patents available for licensing for any business.”

Nottingham Spirk, think[box] partnership will inspire innovation, bring products to market

A partnership between product design innovation firm  Nottingham Spirk and CWRU’s think[box] is designed to both inspire new inventions and bring existing ideas to fruition. CWRU announced late last month that Nottingham Spirk, known for creations like the Dirt Devil vacuum and the SpinBrush toothbrush, will work with Case faculty and students on the first floor of the new think[box] facility, scheduled to open in the fall.

The partnership was announced by John Nottingham and John Spirk, both Cleveland Institute of Art graduates, at Case’s Engineering Week banquet on February 26, during which they were the keynote speakers.
The idea is to build on Nottingham Spirk’s reputation for creating innovative products in the consumer and medical device fields by helping faculty members, and eventually students, fully develop their own ideas.
“We’re creating a partnership in innovation that they can see what the faculty are doing and what might be applicable to their work,” explains Jeff Duerk, dean of the engineering school. “They’ll be brainstorming how to take them to the next level. Nottingham Spirk is the premier design and innovation company in the United States. They’re like Reese’s Cups – they bring things together in such an obvious way. This is about how to take high-quality concepts and bring them to market faster.”
Bill Nottingham calls think[box] the “nexus” between Case’s seven schools and the CIA. “The greatest thing that can happen is we work together to promote more successes,” he says. “Hearing about think[box] and what they are doing to promote innovation, and hearing about the startups going on right down the hill from us, it’s really exciting.”
Nottingham sees the potential between the two organizations as unlimited. “There are going to be disruptive innovations that come out of think[box] based on the CWRU and Nottingham Spirk collaboration,” he says. “Our success is only as good as our relationships.”
The details of programs with students under the partnership have yet to be worked out, says Duerk, but should be soon.

Great Lakes Neurotechnologies offers 'crash course in biomedical engineering' for HS students

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT), which develops biomedical technologies for research, education, and medical communities, wants to introduce high school students to the many careers available in biomedical engineering. So the company is hosting a “Crash Course in Biomedical Engineering” on Wednesday, April 1st from 4 pm to 6:30 pm at its Valley View Offices.

“We recognize that biomedical engineering is just a huge area of growth, it’s just booming,” says Lori Grimm, marketing manager for GLNT. “It’s a vast field and people may not know just what it’s about, so we’re launching this course to give people an idea.”

GLNT researchers and engineers will lead discussions in a five areas: medical device development; biomedical research; software programming; product manufacturing; and biomedical career paths. While targeted at high school seniors, the event of open to all high school students. Students will also have the chance to talk to the speakers.

"We want to educate seniors in biomedical engineering to inspire them to move on and explore careers in the field,” says Grim. “Lots of kids hear ‘biomedical engineering’ and it sounds intimidating. But actually, it’s s really exciting field.”

Grim admits the motivation is somewhat “selfish” on GLNT’s part, as the hope is that the event will attract students to the field and in turn bring more qualified applicants to the Cleveland area. “Some areas, like research, we don’t have much of a problem,” says Grim, adding that GLNT just hired four new researchers. “But software engineers, that’s a little bit tougher.”

The program is also part of GLNT’s ongoing mission to give back to the community and educate students on STEM subjects. Additionally, the company gives away two $1,000 scholarships annually to Northeast Ohio high school seniors planning on studying biomedical engineering in college.

The Crash Course event is free, but registration is required by March 23. Contact Sara Rini to register or for more information. The application deadline for the scholarships is April 30. 
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