Business Growth

Expanding Research Through Collaboration

Posted by cthompson on November 24, 2008

Northeast Ohio could create 11,000 more jobs simply by being “average” when it comes to attracting federal research dollars to the region, so that’s why it is encouraging to see new collaborations being formed across the region to support expanded research efforts.

Recently, Akron General Medical Center and Cleveland State University announced they will establish a joint program to boost their involvement in bioengineering through testing, evaluation, development and enhancement of products and systems used in health care.

Under the five-year agreement, the institutions will participate in joint research projects in various areas, including orthopedics. They plan to exchange lectures and jointly create a Clinical Education Program that would involve medical residents and graduate students, and will share information on opportunities for state and federal grants.

Collaborating to Grow Companies

Posted by cthompson on November 17, 2008

Partners in Advance Northeast Ohio are committed to collaborating with each other to make our region more competitive and to help our companies grow.

There’s probably no better example of regional collaboration than the activities of several organizations working to strengthen our region’s most promising early stage companies. For example, the Youngstown Business Incubator recently introduced one of its companies, Eris Medical Technologies, to the Innovation Alliance Fund based in Lorain that invests in early stage companies. The Fund was started by the Lorain County Community College Foundation and it has since attracted other investors, including the University of Akron.

The Fund liked what it saw in Eris and has invested $100,000 in the medical software company. Eris will use the money to develop its software, which helps hospitals maximize their revenue. The collaboration between YBI and the Fund shows that the 90 mile distance between Youngstown and Lorain isn’t that big a gap at all.

Connecting A Mega Region

Posted by cthompson on November 11, 2008

A major premise of Advance Northeast Ohio is that when we (the 16 counties, 4.1 million people) work together as a region we are better equipped to grow our economy. So it stands to reason that if we could connect together an even larger economic region, our ability to compete on a global scale would be even stronger.

That is the thinking behind the Tech Belt Initiative that is gaining traction between Youngstown, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Plain Dealer reporter Tom Breckenridge detailed the Tech Belt Initiative in a story last week. Here is how he summarized the effort:

Nearly 30 business-development groups, universities and hospital systems from Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Pittsburgh have formed a steering committee to pursue the initiative. They will craft a marketing plan to attract more venture capital and entrepreneurial talent to the mega-region, as well as lobby for more state and federal money to buttress emerging tech-based development.

Their focus will be business advances in alternative energy, biosciences, information technology, robotics, advanced manufacturing and advanced materials, such as polymers and specialty steels.

Hunter Morrison offers a rather detailed look at the rationale and benefits of this mega region organizing itself (and its 7.1 million people) to take action. Hunter says:

To thrive in this changing world, we must take a long view-looking 30 years ahead to new economic patterns rather than looking back to the industrial world of more than 30 years ago.

Adding Jobs in a Terrible Economy

Posted by cthompson on November 11, 2008

The global economic crisis is unlike any witnessed in decades and it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by the dire job news being announced each day. While there is little we in the region can do about the global forces crushing our local companies, we can work harder together to attract those companies that are growing.

Recently, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce demonstrated for everyone in the region what it really means to collaborate and share in a way that results in business attraction. The chamber was working with a growing Canadian company, SP Data, that wanted to open a 400-person office in our region. When it became clear that no location in the Mahoning Valley would meet the company’s needs, the chamber asked Team NEO if it could help find SP Data a home elsewhere in Northeast Ohio. Team NEO helped the company choose Richfield for its U.S. headquarters and call center operation.

The deal is the eighth done this year by Team NEO and its partners. Those companies represent about 700 new jobs to the region. Of course, these gains won’t make up for the large losses caused by the global crisis, but they offer us signs of hope that our region is an attractive destination for growing companies. And the deal never would have happened without the great leadership and collaboration of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

Mark Todd of The Star Beacon reported another sign of hope, a Los Angeles building materials company plans to open  an operation in Conneaut that will employ 100 initially but may grow to 1,000.

Countryside Conservancy Joins ANEO + Ag Industry Cluster

Posted by laurasteinbrink on November 4, 2008

There are over 500 networks and organizations working on growing Northeast Ohio’s economy by growing our agriculture industry local food production and processing.  Joined together through an action-focused network, there are people changing the conversation about global food to local food and showing each other how it works.   The newest ANEO Partner is part of this coalition, and is also a leader in land use planning efforts:  Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy. 

The region’s economic agenda is linking unlikely partners in the shared mission of growing our economy.  Local food, and an agriculture industry cluster that also supports bio-agriculture and advance energy, is what links rural economic development to urban economic development.  Not only is there shared purpose in growing businesses, there is shared purpose in becoming more sustainable and less dependent upon grid energy, implementing meaningful land use planning policies that preserve agricultural resources and reinvest in urbanized land.  Everyone eats.  The question you can ask yourself is this:  where does the food you eat come from, and what role can you play in growing our economy by eating locally grown, locally prepared, and locally processed foods?  Check out the attached file for more information.

What strategy should the region pursue to increase job growth through entrepreneurship?

Posted by cthompson on October 24, 2008