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7 craft food startups that are making it in the 216

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:00am
Using the local food scene as a launch pad, craft food startups are growing quickly. We caught up with a fresh batch to learn the recipes behind their success.

four companies compete as finalists in cose's business pitch competition

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:00am
The Shark Tank style competition, now in its second year, is designed to give new businesses financial assistance and expert advice to get off the ground.

video: hundreds find new ideas for their cities at inaugural urban innovation exchange

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:00am
In September, innovators from around the country convened in Detroit to exchange their ideas for building better cities and stronger communities. For three days, Detroit was transformed into a marketplace for ideas for cities.

everykey the winner of magnet's product-focused pitch competition

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:00am
EveryKey, creator of a high-tech wristband that wirelessly syncs with various electronic devices, was the winner of the Incubator at MAGNET's first product-focused pitch contest. EveryKey was pitted against five other hardware-creating entrepreneurs during the ProtoTech competition held Oct. 21 at the Ariel International Center in Cleveland. The nascent Case Western Reserve University-based company took home $12,000, funds that will be sunk into an invention that holds all of the wearer's online passwords and is designed to lock and unlock doors. Chris Wentz, CEO of EveryKey, was thankful for the opportunity to put his product before a panel of investors, development specialists and peers interested in supporting physical technology. Now that the contest is over, the startup will concentrate on its Kickstarter campaign, set to launch Oct. 29. "This competition meant so much to us," says Wentz, 23. "There were a lot of great companies here with some great ideas." The ProtoTech pitch contest, co-sponsored by NASA Glenn Research Center, concentrated on tech-driven wares and the startups aiming to bring those products to market. The competition was introduced in July by MAGNET executive director Dave Crain with the intention of highlighting manufactured creations rather than IT or service-based ventures. ProtoTech's second-place winner was RoboNail, designer of an app-operated robotic roofing installation machine. The other ProtoTech finalists were: * Advanced BioSensors-Ohio, creator of a "Continuous Glucose Monitor" for diabetic patients. * Axenic, maker of non-toxic liquid-based solutions that clean organic waste. * FGC Plasma Solutions, creator of a fuel nozzle designed to save money and reduce emissions. ? * Real Time Imaging Technologies, designer of a low-dose dental x-ray imaging system.  

metroparks' mill creek connector bridge to be set next month

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:00am
With the addition of nearly 1.25 miles of trail, area walkers, bikers and runners will have access to Mill Creek, a lesser-known scenic urban waterway, by spring of next year.   The Mill Creek Connector Trail will extend north from Bacci Park, East 71st Street and Warner Road, to the intersection of Garfield Boulevard and Warner Road. The addition will connect to the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation by way of a curving wooded path in Bacci Park, completed in 2007 as phase one of the project.   Features for the new path will include a 150-foot bridge traversing Mill Creek, light industrial scapes, an overlook providing eagle-eye views of Mill Creek and the Cuyahoga River Valley, soil retaining walls that will present as "vertical gardens," and a 130-foot change of elevation, which will be offset by a 1,100-foot switchback to facilitate grades not in excess of the five percent accessibility standard.   "The entire trail is ADA accessible," says Sean McDermott, the Metroparks' chief planning and design officer, adding that construction is well underway. "We are actually getting ready to set the bridge over Mill Creek. We will be doing that in November. That will be a major milestone of the project. After that we'll be continuing earthwork up Warner hill." The project is scheduled for completion by June 2015.   The unusual mixture of nature and industry that characterizes much of the adjacent Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation will also be inherent on the forthcoming trail.   "When you get to the overlook, which is at the top of switchback," he says, "you'll have a view of Mill Creek Valley. You'll also be next to industry, which is an interesting dichotomy."   Ground broke on the trail in August. Independence Excavating is proceeding with the $3.293 million project, $1.9 million of which comes from federal funding that is administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation. The balance is funded by the Metroparks.   McDermott notes that the Mill Creek Connector meets several criteria in the organization's strategic plan, such as connecting Cleveland to the inner ring suburbs and furthering the development of the regional greenway system.   "When we can get that accomplished, it really is something to celebrate," he says.  

recently completed footbridge townhomes bring new life to hidden valley in tremont

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 12:00am
In 2009, things were looking bright for the Footbridge Townhomes, 2868-2882 West 11th Street. Construction was well under way and one of the four units was pre-sold.   "When we started the project, it was kind of a precarious time in real estate," says Progressive Urban Real Estate president David Sharkey. "We needed that presale to get the project moving."   The precarious state of things turned into what Sharkey calls the "real estate depression" and the presale went south.   "The whole thing fell apart," recalls Sharkey. "That is what really stalled the project out."   To make matters worse, all the naysayers had something to gloat over.   "A lot of people thought (the project) was a mistake," says Sharkey. "They didn't think it would succeed. For a while it kind of seemed that way."   While he admits being an advocate of the area was a challenge, Sharkey is quick to offer a view of it through more forgiving eyes, pointing out the lush greenery, stunning views of the neighboring industrial valley and access to area parks and entertainment via the arching footbridge that spans Interstate 490 (which will soon be open to the new West 12th Street Neighborhood Pathway). The unique pocket is at once secluded and urban. With all that going for the project, he didn't give up.   Working with Tremont West Development Corporation and the city of Cleveland, the team was able to secure federal funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Approved earlier this year, the funds covered the remainder of construction financing and a 20 percent forgivable second mortgage for buyers.   All four units have sold.   They range from 1,238 to 1,373 square feet and sold for between $140,000 and $168,000. Construction is finishing up, but Sharkey feels confident the homes should all be occupied within four or five weeks.   Civic Builders (affiliated with Progressive Urban Real Estate) owns more than 16 other lots in the area, with most of them along West 11th and a couple on West 12th. Plans for those are not yet in place.   "We're trying to figure out our options," says Sharkey, noting that additional townhomes or a custom home project are possibilities. In any event, he sees the Footbridge project as a harbinger of good things to come for this underappreciated part of town.   "We have been determined to see it through to the end—and we have. It's a big deal," says Sharkey. "It took some creativity. Without the city of Cleveland coming through and working with us on the NSP funding, I'm not sure it would have happened. But in the end it is succeeding and it's going to be a catalyst for great things to come down there."  

who's hiring in cle: makergear, western reserve historical society, onshift and more

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:00am
Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water's "who's hiring?" series. Once a month or so, we feature growing companies with open positions, what they're looking for and how to apply.   MakerGear Business is booming at MakerGear, a Beachwood company that designs, engineers and manufactures desktop 3D printers and accessories. The firm has seen its M2 3D printer rank as Amazon’s top-rated for the entire year and just started shipping to China, potentially a huge leap for business. To help address its month-long backlog of orders, the company is currently looking for a mechanical engineer with Cartesian machine design experience. This is a hands-on environment where you will be involved in product design, prototyping and testing. Solid modeling experience is required. “We’re hoping to hire a handful of engineers by the end of the year,” adds company founder Rick Pollack. For more information, click here. To apply, send resumes here.   Western Reserve Historical Society Take a ride back in Cleveland history as a carousel operator. Western Reserve Historical Society is looking for a full-time carousel operator to man the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel when it opens in November. Apply online here. University School University School is seeking a part-time relationship manager who will support the public relations requirements of University School’s Entrepreneur Institute and its initiatives. Responsibilities include developing and maintaining corporate and foundation partnerships, and marketing strategy and implementation. Interested candidates can send their resume, cover letter, or application to email the recruiting manager.  OnShift, Parker Hannifin and more C.TRAC currently has three open positions. The marketing solutions provider needs an account director, technical solutions architect, and UX Developer. Information on all three positions can be found here. Send resumes here.   Junior Achievement needs a fundraising specialist to maintain and grow relationships with existing corporate and individual donors as well as proactively identify and develop new sources of financial support to meet annual fundraising goals, primarily through execution of special event fundraisers. For more information, click here. To apply, send resume and salary requirements here. OnShift, the leader in staff scheduling & labor management software for long-term care and senior living, is looking for a database administrator to Design, install and maintaining complex databases in a server based environment. The job includes all aspects of backup/recovery, security, integrity, performance tuning and data modeling. To apply, go to OnShift’s careers page. Parker Hannifin is looking for people to join its accounting trainee program. The program’s purpose is to hire, develop and retain accounting professionals. Through a systematic process of division training and mentoring, trainees are introduced to the Parker accounting ranks and quickly begin to play a significant role in day to day operations of the business. For more information and to apply, click here.   Sherwin-Williams needs a recruitment specialist. For more information and to apply, click here.   American Greetings is looking for a graphic/card designer in its creative division: "Standing in front of a greeting card display - looking up and down the rows of cards and taking in all the different colors, sizes, shapes, art techniques, layouts, and lettering styles - you're looking at the work of a Designer. That's not to say that the Designer singlehandedly does all the work behind each of those individual attributes, but he or she does pull it all together' into a cohesive card expression that resonates with our consumer. A Designer thinks 'big picture' while using a small canvas - actually, hundreds of them, displayed together." For more information, click here.   PR Newswire needs a Manager of Inside Sales. For more information and to apply, click here.   Case Western Reserve University has an opening for a wellness coordinator to support the medical director in developing a culture of wellness within the university. For more information and to apply, click here.    Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!  

floating downtown offices ready to set sail following $1.5m renovation

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:00am
Talk about waterfront property: one of Cleveland's coolest offices -- and perhaps the only one that not only has views of Lake Erie, but actually floats on the water -- is moving to a whole new level. With $1.5 million in renovations all but complete, software studio LeanDog and Arras Keathley Advertising (AKA) are ready to debut renovations to the Kearsage, which was built in 1892 and has served as a transit ship, barge and restaurant. The North Coast Harbor fixture has a new wind in her proverbial sales. Gone are the vinyl-clad booths and dank coolers from the ship's days as Hornblowers Barge and Grill. The new and revamped office areas are swank on the inside and lined with new windows—a lot of new windows—that offer stunning views of the lake and downtown.   "One of the challenges of renovating a boat is that it has such great views," says Jon Stahl, President of leandog. "Every time we cut a hole it was like … cut another one … cut another one ... We kept adding windows. The good news is: we ended up with a lot of windows. The bad news is: we spent a lot more money than we anticipated." The team, spearheaded by Stahl and AKA president Jim Hickey, had originally budgeted $1.2 million. The two-phase renovation started in 2010 and hit a nine-month snafu courtesy of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now the race is on to get everything shipshape for the Oct. 23 christening and gala, but the finish line is in plain sight. Improvements include an airy kitchen space in the center of the boat, a new 1,700-square-foot rooftop deck outfitted with open-air fireplaces and a 60-inch weatherproof television, and a dock where you'll find LeanDog's 27-foot fishing boat, AKA's 27-foot pleasure boat, paddleboards, kayaks and two jet skies.   "I love the water," says Stahl from the helm of the zooming fishing boat (no name yet). "Finally having access to water was a big deal for us because we had this underutilized waterfront that we all wanted to be a part of."   And now they are, with the fishing boat serving as an impromptu meeting spot; employees opting for a little lunchtime exercise courtesy of the kayaks and paddleboards; and the rooftop deck, with its giant television, as host to any number of gatherings, from business reviews to tailgate parties.   "Part of what we teach is innovation, so we wanted to have a really innovative place to work," says Stahl. "Creative people need creative environments."   The boat includes 9,219 square feet of office space, 1,700 of which is new. It also has 4,178 square feet of finished decking and a 2,036 square foot dock. The improvements came to fruition with the help of a $180,000 vacant loan grant and $95,000 low interest loan (since repaid), both from the city. No. 225 LLC (formed by Stahl and Hickey in 2012 to purchase the boat) financed the remainder of the funds through Huntington Bank. Combined, LeanDog and AKA employ 50 full-time employees and 27 full-time subcontractors.   With a few finishing touches still yet to complete, Stahl can't help but look to the future. He mentions tentative plans for more decking and a concert stage on the roof with the possibility of renting the space for venues and parties.   "If you saw it before … ," muses Stahl of the storied Kearsage as he gazes out over the lake from the rooftop deck. "You couldn't get to the water. The windows didn't even open."   "We brought it back to life."

cwru's think[box] breaks ground on new $30m innovation center

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:00am
With fireworks and smoke machines, and science experiments galore, CWRU officials on Thursday officially broke ground on the new home to thinkbox, a collaboration and innovation center housed in the former Lincoln Storage Building, now known as the Richey-Mixon Building.   The CWRU board of trustees voted unanimously last Sunday, October 12 to approve the renovations with the $25 million out of a $30 million goal. Phase I is due to be completed in August 2015.   Phase I includes renovations to the first four floors. A glass skyway will connect the athletic center to the thinkbox entrance. The first floor will be a community floor with a bike station. “It will be a younger-feeling creative space that suits our students’ lifestyle,” explains thinkbox manager Ian Charnas. “The second floor will be the ideation floor with amenities such as whiteboards and meeting rooms modeled after Stanford d. School in California.”   Floors three and four are dedicated to some real hands-on innovation. Three will house a prototyping floor and a small metal shop, will offer tools for nearly every metal project conceivable. “We’re sending an email out, saying 'come enjoy several thousand square feel to do your projects and get messy.'”   Charnas expects thinkbox to both attract and retain innovative thinkers to Cleveland. “This is helping to build industry in the region,” he says. “Most of our students are recruited from outside of Cleveland, and even Ohio. This is a big golden carrot to keep these folks in the area.”   The announcement was made during Case’s homecoming celebration. Case president Barbara Snyder was accompanied by the major donors to make the announcement amid smoke machines and fireworks displays on monitors. Instead of a ribbon-cutting, the group flipped a giant old-fashioned power switch.   Students dressed in white lab coats embroidered with thinkbox and blue hard hats made commemorative chocolate coins using liquid nitrogen, with the help of Sweet Designs Chocolatier and Piccadilly Creamery. A laminar flow fountain – the kind where the liquid leaps about – dispensed punch that shot from a white display case into guests’ glasses.   Charnas says they hope to raise the remaining funds in the next year and shoot straight into phase II renovations, which will include the remaining top three floors.    

how public art builds safer, stronger neighborhoods

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:00am
Forget your ideas about giant abstract sculptures on museum lawns. In Detroit, public art is an essential part of community life.

the flats are back: five big and small projects reshaping the city's oldest neighborhood

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:00am
After a decade of standing still, the Flats are on the move. Check out some of the newest developments changing this mixed-use neighborhood, from the Lake Link Trail to plans for a new boathouse on the Cuyahoga River.

want to get people back to work? fill the basic skills gap

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:00am
Low-income workers often lack the basic skills needed to find a good job. To bridge the gap, experts says it's essential to invest in training. Yet despite millions of people out of work, programs are hard to find.

wheels up: bike share plan aiming to make inroads throughout cleveland

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:00am
When it comes to the new Zagster bike share system, the excitement is only just beginning. Three more stations are being rolled out before the end of October, a crowdfunding campaign is underway, and organizers say the system could expand further in the spring.

top entrepreneurs talk about why cle is the best place to grow a business

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:00am
At the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) annual conThrive!, in Cleveland October 1-3, top entrepreneurs came from around the world to talk about best practices, how to grow a company and the potential stumbling blocks in being an entrepreneur. While conference attendees – all EO members – are successful in their own rights, two local business owners highlighted why Cleveland is one of the best places in the world to grow the thriving business. Brendan Anderson, co-founder and managing partner, of Evolution Capital Partners, a small business consulting and investing firm, shared what the top one percent of entrepreneurs are doing differently than everyone else.   “The top one percent has figured out a way to find access to capital and free up their time to focus on their goals,” Anderson explains. He cites four main components – current financial statements; a solid plan; transparency; and accountability as critical to success. “Once you got all these things, you can attract the people you never dreamed you could,” Anderson elaborates on these points. “Generate financial statements as often as daily, and the core parts are shared with all interested parties,” Anderson says. “Come up with a plan. Some plans start small and then turn into bigger plans. The plan should list were you are going, what you are doing and why. Outline a transparency, talking about the information you have and sharing it. Finally,, accountability is important. If you are being transparent and everyone knows what they are individually responsible for then you can get the right people in the right seats.l Once you got all these things, you can attract the people you never dreamed you could.”   Anderson also emphasizes the amount of support for entrepreneurs in Cleveland. “I think this is a great place to be an entrepreneur because of organizations like the EO,” he says. “We have pockets of entrepreneurs who are willing to share and give. I would never be where I am today without the EO.”   While EO members must gross at least $1 million in yearly revenues, Anderson points out the wealth of incubators and accelerators available to smaller companies. The key is the willingness in Cleveland to mentor and share advice among entrepreneurs.   “You got to be a continuous leader – keep your head up and keep meeting people,” advices Anderson. “In the entrepreneurial community, most of us remember how painful it was to have the door slammed in your face, having banks say no.”   Mike Berlin, founder of Briteskies, an IT tech services company that helps customers bring their products to the online market, also sees Cleveland as having a wealth of resources for the entrepreneur. “There is a great support network here,” he says. “There are a significant number of large companies we can work with here. Organizations like COSE are a good resource. They do a good job of promoting small businesss.”   Basically, Anderson and Berlin see Northeast Ohio as full of valuable resrources. “The Northeast Ohio EO gave me the opportunity to so what I’m doing,” says Berlin. “I’m not sure if I could do it anywhere else. There are big companies here who have taken the leap with us, and there’s a willingness of mentors to partner million-dollar companies with small upstart companies.”   Almost 500 people from as far away as Australia and China came to the EO Thrive! conference earlier this month to hear Anderson’s and Berlin’s thoughts on entrepreneurship. Other keynote speakers included Jodi Berg of Vitamix and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.