Strengthening Entrepreneurship


As part of its work to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio, the Fund for Our Economic Future retained Scott Shane, the Mixon Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, to prepare a report on potential steps that could be taken to spur entrepreneurial activity and generate job growth in Northeast Ohio.

Professor Shane’s report concludes that the Fund should focus on proposals that:

  • Attract experienced, successful venture capital-appropriate entrepreneurs to the region.
  • Augment the amount of pre-seed grant funding available to prove potentially commercializable technologies.
  • Increase the number of angel groups and venture capital firms operating in the region and the magnitude of their investment activity.

Read Professor Shane’s full report by clicking on the link below. You must be registered with to access the report. Registration is free. Please register here.

Let us know what you think of his recommendations, and what you’d like to see the region do to accelerate entrepreneurship. The Fund for Our Economic Future will use your input to help shape its response to the recommendations made by Professor Shane.

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I have several comments on the Scott Shane study, some of which I expressed in the 10/24 meeting:
1. I hope the Fund uses the recommendations as guidelines and not rules. The divergence of opinions expressed in the meeting indicate to me that while Scott produced an interesting study, many in the audience have issue with the very “black and white” conclusions Scott reached.
2. Specifically on the conclusion that incubators have no effect on attractive entrepreneurship: As stated in Scott’s study, “in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generated annual revenue of more than $17 billion.” Can they, and the entities that support them, ALL be wrong?
3. While I couldn’t check out all of Scott’s references on that topic, one of his citations is from a study that looked at 1988-1998. As far as incubators are concerned, that’s ancient history since incubators really didn’t begin to come on the scene which significance until the early 90s and they would not have had much time to make an impact in that time frame.
4. Didn’t Scott find any references that indicated that incubators DO have a positive result? I continually see and hear of the great things incubators are doing in North America and increasingly around the world.
5. I agree with Scott that increasing funding for early stage businesses is probably worthwhile, I wonder if Scott separated the “cause” from the “effect” in that area. I contend that money along does NOT create attractive entrepreneurship. I believe the region needs a BALANCE between funding, talent, technology, and support. And getting any one of those categories out of balance will have limited if any positive effect.