JumpStart Inc., the Northeast Ohio venture development organization that accelerates the progress of high growth early-stage businesses, is partnering with national organizations The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), The Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking, and The Marathon Club to present one of the country’s first summits on minority entrepreneurship and investment capital. The summit, called “Transforming the Landscape of Business in America: A Minority Business Early-Stage Capital Summit,” will take place on December 3, 2009, in Cleveland.
Unique to this event is the focus on equity investment. Two panels will feature expert angel investors and venture investors to help entrepreneurs understand the investment process and criteria. “This summit brings together some of the nation’s experts in private equity and venture capital investing in high growth, emerging domestic market businesses, in an effort to increase awareness and the flow of capital to diverse entrepreneurs,” says Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, President, The Marathon Club.
Also speaking will be Deborah Shufrin, Senior Vice President and Director of Programs, ICIC. Her session will focus on ICIC’s partnership with the Obama Administration to evolve our nation’s Urban Strategy, with a focus on the critical role of inner city-based businesses and those led by minorities and women. “Female and minority entrepreneurs, as well as entrepreneurs starting businesses in our inner cities communities, are critical to supporting the future economic growth and prosperity for the U.S.,” explained Shufrin.
A highlight of the event will be the luncheon keynote speaker, Dr. William Pickard. Dr. Pickard is a 30 year serial entrepreneur who currently owns and runs one of the largest minority enterprises in the nation. He organized the Detroit partners of the MGM Grand Casino (in Detroit) as well as owning significant stake in five African-American newspapers, several automotive companies located in five states and Canada, and multiple McDonald’s restaurant franchises. He also serves as an adjunct Professor of Urban Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan Business School.
The event will also feature investor pitch presentations, open to all attendees, from six of Northeast Ohio’s most promising minority entrepreneurs.
Sponsors of the national event include Cleveland Clinic, The Ohio Capital Fund, Ohio Department of Development, TechColumbus, and Thompson Hine.