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

MSPIRE 2020 Logo


What is mspire?

mspire is Northeast Ohio's only pitch challenge exclusively for product-focused entrepreneurs and small manufacturers. The applications for mspire 2020 are now closed.

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
    • Three fully subsidized $10,000 projects to be utilized within 3 months
  • 3-month sprint with the MAGNET Iterator team
  • $10,000 in cash and project funding from the Business Growth Collaborative for minority entrepreneurs in Greater Cleveland
  • One digital marketing assessment from Tenlo

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.

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?

September 1st - Online application opens

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

October 12th - Finalists announced

October 21st and 22nd - Online Presentations

October 26th - Winners announced