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mspire: Northeast Ohio's only pitch challenge exclusively for product-focused entrepreneurs and small manufacturers

MSPIRE Main Logo 2019


What is mspire?

mspire is Northeast Ohio's only pitch challenge exclusively for product-focused entrepreneurs and small manufacturers.

Apply for mspire →

Check out last year's mspire video below!


Why should I apply?

Finalists are given resources and guidance specifically geared to their unique situation. We work hard to ensure that winners are given the help that they need to build their businesses. 

Who should apply?

The event is open to any entrepreneur or small business with an innovative product idea in the 21 counties of Northeast Ohio, including:

Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne.

What are the specific prizes?

  • MAGNET Engineering Projects
    • One fully subsidized $20,000 project
    • One fully subsidized $10,000 project
  • 12-month membership to the MAGNET Iterator ($4,800 value)
  • A $5,000 cash award from the Bank of America
  • A $5,000 interest-free loan from the Hebrew Free Loan Association
  • $10,000 in cash and project funding from the Business Growth Collaborative for minority entrepreneurs in Greater Cleveland
  • A Digital Marketing Assessment from Tenlo ($3,000 value)
  • An Intellectual Property Landscape Assessment from Renner Otto

I applied last year. Can I apply again?

Yes! However, if you’ve been awarded in the past, you have to demonstrate a pivot or significant progress to be eligible to win again.

What are the judging criteria?

Each project will be evaluated for fit with MAGNET's existing services, as well as feasibility, economic impact, and potential for job creation.

What types of submissions are you looking for?

Any physical product or process improvement in manufacturing is welcome to apply. (Take a look at the application.)

What do you mean by "subsidized project"?

We know that turning ideas into reality is challenging. The process can be complex and expensive. MAGNET has expertise on-staff and in our network, and we can subsidize specific project steps and leverage our considerable resources to help you build your product in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

What's the overall timeline?

May 20th - Online application opens

June 30th (11:59 PM) - Application period closes and initial evaluation begins

July 19th - Finalists announced

August 7th and 8th - Presentations

August 16th - Winners announced


Apply for mspire →


Congratulations to our 2018 winners!