LaunchHouse changes investment community in Northeast Ohio
Selects 10 companies to participate in the LaunchHouse Accelerator
LaunchHouse is changing the way Northeast Ohio views entrepreneurship and investment in the region. LaunchHouse was identified as a premier business accelerator by the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Third Frontier and awarded a $200,000 ONEFund grant in order to fund tech startup companies. With a $50,000 matching grant from Clarion Direct Investment, LaunchHouse will invest $25,000 for an 8% equity stake.
LaunchHouse is excited to announce that they have selected 10 startups that will be participating the LaunchHouse Accelerator. LaunchHouse is the first, formalized accelerator inNortheast Ohio. The inaugural program begins September 4.
The Accelerator mission is to invest a small amount of capital, offer hands-on experiences and mentorship in order to assist startups with the development of a strong business model and to successfully receive follow on funding. Companies will present to local and national venture capitalists, investors, angel investors and fellow entrepreneurs on Showcase Day, November 28.
The LH Accelerator has been inspired by the work of Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Nathan Furr, Paul Ahlstrom, Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur and other successful accelerators across the nation. The accelerator has specifically embraced the human-centered design approach of customer development. According to Steve Blank, “Customer Development reinvents the business model on the fly, iterating often and pivoting whenever indicated.”
Ten Rules of the LaunchHouse Accelerator:
1. Facts live outside the building, where future customers live and work…so GET OUT!
2. Relentless execution without knowing what to execute is a crime.
3. Make sure decisions are fact-based, not faith-based.
4. Learning that a hypothesis is wrong is not a crisis. A pivot is not a failure.
5. Market type influences everything a company does.
6. Preserve cash while searching for the repeatable and scalable business model.
7. Gathering a massive, growing audience efficiently and cost-effectively is job No. 1.
8. The answers are easy. Asking the right questions is hard.
9. Winners understand why customers buy.
10. Optimization never ends.
During the 12 week program LaunchHouse staff, mentors and faculty will help to accelerate the development process for each startup. Each company will be supported, ensuring that they reach their milestones, and are prepared to present for follow-on funding.
More than 50 startups from the United States and internationally applied to the LaunchHouse Accelerator. Through this program, LaunchHouse will continue to attract and retain entrepreneurs to the region, demonstrating that startups can grow and succeed in the Cleveland area.
“We are excited to continue to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio, through the LaunchHouse Accelerator, while building awareness that Cleveland is a place to start a business,” said Todd Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer and managing partner of LaunchHouse. “Cleveland has offered us an abundance of resources, mentors and partnerships, which will directly benefit each of the 10 startups in the development process, and ultimately assist them in securing follow on funding.”
LaunchHouse has partnered with Cleveland State University Business Gateway Series to provide additional expertise to the companies and to enhance the Accelerator curriculum. Topics range from venture capital, social media, crowd funding/lending, product pricing and international sales.
LaunchHouse has also partnered with Ingenuity Fest, the Cleveland festival of Creativity and Technology in order to showcase entrepreneurism inNortheast Ohio. The accelerator companies will demonstrate their concept, establish relationships with potential customers and receive feedback during the upcoming festival – September 14-16, 2012.
About Clarion Direct Investment
Clarion Direct Investment is the venture capital and private equity arm of Clarion Capital Ltd., a diversified investment partnership designed to provide its investors with appropriate asset allocation and diversification across all asset classes. Morris H. Wheeler, CEO and President of Clarion Direct Investment, has been successfully investing in technology ranging from pre-seed stage venture capital to private equity for more than 15 years through his company Drummond Road Capital Inc. For more information, go to www.drummondroad.com.
About Ohio One Fund
Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs Fund (ONEFund) is an innovative approach to retaining and attracting the best and the brightest talent to Ohio. This exciting mentorship-driven program focuses on the professional development of young entrepreneurs with the necessary ambition to commercialize new technologies and looks to link promising new ventures in Ohio with early-stage investment capital. ONE Fund will aggressively recruit young entrepreneurs from within Ohio and outside the state and will foster the young entrepreneurs’ professional development by educating them on what it takes to form a business in Ohio.