Blog posts tagged with Entrepreneurship

New Incubator Tenants

June 11, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

Two new startups recently moved into The Incubator at MAGNET: Motion Resolution and Real Time Imaging. Motion Resolution is working on a new pedal design for high-end cyclists.  Early tests have shown a dramatic increase in efficiency using the new design, so much so that one of the Ride Across America team members has volunteered to test the pedal during the event. Real Time Imaging aims to simplify dental procedures by making them easier, safer and more efficient to perform through an innovative real-time imaging technology via the miniaturization of the medical fluoroscope.  Check out their website for brief overview of their product. I wish both companies the best of luck and look forward to working with them! The Incubator at MAGNET      

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The Beta Space Resource for Entrepreneurs Plans May 2012 Launch

March 14, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

Here at The Incubator at MAGNET we’re busy getting ready for the launch of a new regional resource called The Beta Space that has two main purposes: Provide a landing space for college/graduate entrepreneurs once they outgrown their dorm room or graduate from college. Provide regional access to a portfolio of financial, legal and marketing service providers who will offer pro bono consultations in their subject-matter areas. We are targeting the beginning of May for a soft launch of the program for companies currently housed in The Incubator at MAGNET and a summer roll out to all the region’s manufacturing-oriented technology entrepreneurs and SMBs. How to Participate The Beta Space has multiple opportunities to participate. Here’s a quick overview of the audiences we are targeting and the value we hope to offer. Student Entrepreneurs: Our primary audience for the bulk of the space is student entrepreneurs. Officials at the Burton D. Morgan Foundation told us that while students feel comfortable starting businesses while on campus, once they graduate they feel somewhat adrift and unconnected. They may have heard about all this great assistance available in the region, but they’re not quite sure how to get plugged in. The Beta Space

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SMART Center Chris Mathers Visits The Incubator at MAGNET

January 24, 2012 by MAGNET Ohio

On Tuesday, January 24, tenants of The Incubator at MAGNET had a networking meeting here in the MAGNET Seminar Room. For this month’s event, they welcomed Chris Mather, Managing Director of the SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems, located at Lorain County Community College (LCCC). In 2010, LCCC received a $5.5 million grant from the Wright Center for Sensor Systems Engineering administered by Cleveland State University to grow new jobs, businesses and educational programs in the high growth industry of sensor technologies. Mather introduced our tenants to the capabilities of the SMART Center. The SMART Center offers back-end packaging solutions for companies who manufacture sensors, micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) and other silicon-fabbed devices. This morning, our Incubator tenants learned about how the Center can help them with chip packaging, surface mounting, reliability testing, and inspection issues. Mather also shared that, while the center is currently housed in around a 3500 sq.ft. space, ground was recently broken for a brand new 35,000 sq.ft. facility attached to the LCCC’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. Mather noted that the SMART Center has been recognized by a national expert as "one of the top centers of it’s kind in the country." And he emphasized that the

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Do you have a PBoD?

September 30, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

That’s Personal Board of Directors, of course. Well before the entrepreneurs I coach require a Board for the companies they are creating, even before the Board of Advisers they pull together to help build their company, it can be helpful to have a Personal Board of Directors.   This is a concept that isn’t limited to entrepreneurs, either.  Just about anyone trying to make a change in their life can benefit. When  I talk with entrepreneurs about creating a Advisory Board for their start-up, we generally talk about three roles: people who can have money to invest, people whose skills can add value to the start-up, and people who can bring potential customers into the fold. A PBoD is a bit different and doing a quick search on the topic pointed me to this article on the Fast Company website.  When putting together a PBoD, look for: 4 to 6 people you think you could learn from a Clarifier who asks tough questions a Connector who leads you to other people a Challenger who helps you act boldly a Wise Elder or Sage a couple "free agents" For more suggestions on how to take advantage of a PBoD, click over

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MAGNET client Vadxx Energy wins media attention

August 31, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

Vadxx Energy, a client of The Incubator at MAGNET, has been racking up media attention recently. The company’s  innovative process produces synthetic crude oil from recycled plastic via a process called thermal depolymerization. Vadxx partnered with the MAGNET Product Design & Development group to finalize engineering and design of the intake system for its commercial production unit. In June, Vadxx and Houston-based Greenstar Recycling announced a joint venture to serve Greenstar’s municipal customers by converting recycled plastics into into synthetic crude oil. (Here’s the June 24, 2011 press release.) The previous week, Greenstar won a contract with the City of Akron to build a single-stream recycling processing facility in the city, in partnership with Vadxx Energy. On the heels of that announcement, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, NewsNet 5, ran a video report, including an interview with Vadxx Chief Technology Officer, Bill Ulom. (See "Akron could create hundreds of jobs with new recycling technology," ABC NewsNet 5, June 16, 2011) That coverage caught the attention of Mark Schmit, a Director with the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership team in Washington, D.C.  Today, Schmit published a thoughtful blog post tracing Vadxx Energy’s evolution. In his August 31st post to the NIST MEP blog,

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Looking for Startup Space?

August 18, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

Are you a technology entrepreneur ready to make the move into an incubator?  Check out the picture below of one of our premium spaces that is currently available at The Incubator at MAGNET near downtown Cleveland. This room is roughly 800 square feet with large windows on two of walls, facing north and east.  Bright, open and furnished, the room is available for immediate occupancy.  Contact davey.crain, (216) 432-5310, if you are interested.

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Vadxx Energy inks deal for first commercial unit

July 06, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

Congratulations to MAGNET incubator tenant Vadxx, who recently signed a MOU with Greenstar Recycling.  Through this joint venture, Greenstar and Vadxx will work together to provide a domestic fuel, and benefit the environment by re-purposing recovered plastic products. Speaking for Greenstar, CEO Matt Delnick said "Vadxx will help us recover plastics from the material stream and repurpose them as feedstock for the production of oil.  This JV will help us better serve our municipal customers by providing a more consistent market value for their plastics that are otherwise largely unmarketable.  It will increase recovery rates by pulling more plastics out of landfills." "Plastics are made from oil, and Vadxx has figured out how to create the lowest sulfur content crude oil in the world, from a commodity that might otherwise occupy space in landfills," stated Jim Garrett Vadxx CEO. "We are thrilled to partner with Greenstar, one of the top recyclers in the U.S.  The Vadxx equity partnership with its feedstock suppliers is a key component of our business model, which features a low capital investment compared to the expected return from oil sales." Greenstar and Vadxx expect that the joint venture will begin producing crude oil in mid-2012 with

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IRxReminder joins The Incubator at MAGNET

May 25, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

March 23rd I attended the TieQuest Ohio business plan competition finals, at Hyland Software. IRx Reminder, as presented by CEO Anthony Stearns, was selected as the winner out of what I thought was an extremely diverse and interesting field of finalists.  So a hearty "Congratulations" to Anthony and IRx Reminder for their selection as the overall regional winner. As a contributor to the prize package, The Incubator at MAGNET offered one year of incubation space, with all privileges, to a winner matching our entrance qualifications.  With the visibility his win at TiEQuest Ohio garnered his company, Anthony had plenty of choices in the region as to where to land, and I’m pleased to announce that IRxReminder is our newest tenant. The International Entrepreneurs (TiE) Ohio was founded in 2008 as the 50th chapter of the global TiE network, the world’s largest organization for fostering entrepreneurship. TiE Ohio is poised to fulfill a critical niche in Northeast Ohio’s business development landscape by focusing specifically on immigrant, international, and minority entrepreneurs within the region, and by encouraging other such entrepreneurs to consider NEO as a place to launch their new businesses. TiE Ohio provides focused support to entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking, and

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How To Score a Second Date With An Investor

May 02, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

The title of this post could probably more appropriately be "How NOT to Shoot Yourself In the Foot On Your First Date." As a member of the review committee for investment programs throughout the region, I’ve seen countless examples of poor presentation techniques. Recently, the folks running the popular Innovation Fund at Lorain County Community College asked myself and Bob Cohen (CEO and Director of Business Assistance at Braintree Business Development Center in Mansfield) to help with this issue.  Too many promising start-ups were not getting their "second date" due to presentations which didn’t position their companies or technologies in a positive light. One of the ways Bob and I came up with to help as many people as possible was an overview presentation on how to present to the Innovation Fund.  The presentation was titled slightly tongue in cheek as "Getting that second date…  Navigating the regional pitch process by NOT embarrassing yourself on the first date." I’ll save Bob the embarrassment and admit that the dating metaphor was my idea, and one that I use often when coaching entrepreneurs on pitching the various early stage investment programs around the region.  Approaching an investor presentation from this mindset, underscores

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My Entrepreneurial Scorecard

February 16, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

Lists of entrepreneurial qualities abound on the web.  After a couple years of working with entrepreneurs and start-ups, I’ve come to the conclusion that while entrepreneurs in aggregate do exhibit many similar personal qualities, the success of their start-up is a different issue altogether and tied to a much more  extensive set of factors. So my personal "scorecard" for initial evaluation of entrepreneurs includes both personal factors and opportunity factors.  I typically look at four factors in each category.  What follows is a quick overview of my thought process in an initial meeting with an entrepreneur. Personal factors There’s an old cliche in the investment community that they would rather invest in "an A team with a B product, then a B team with an A product."  This speaks to the importance of the people involved in any start-up, and I tend to judge the entrepreneur before I judge the idea.  Following are the four factors that weigh heavily in my evaluation of the personal side of the entrepreneurship equation. Passion and Commitment "Inner Circle" support Realism Ownership Finally, on my scorecard, it’s highly important that the entrepreneur takes  ownership for their own success.  Any entrepreneur who demonstrates in any

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