[M]SPIRE 2017 Winners Announced!

MAGNET has revealed the names of six entrepreneurs, startups, and small manufacturers who will receive an array of services and connections through the second-annual [M]SPIRE pitch competition.

Announced in late July, the winners span many different areas, backgrounds, and industries. Over 40 applications were received from individuals and companies across Northeast Ohio, including submissions from Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Elyria, Lorain, and Canton.

“Entrepreneurship is an essential and irreplaceable component of Northeast Ohio manufacturing, and MAGNET is thrilled to help these individuals and small companies achieve their potential by connecting them to the funding and resources necessary for success in the long-term,” said MAGNET President and CEO Ethan Karp.

Sponsored by Bank of America, AT&T, and Jumpstart, the submission period was held through the month of May. 11 finalists were selected to meet with an expert panel of judges comprising area entrepreneurs, engineers, consultants, and more. The six winners will receive varying types of assistance from MAGNET and MAGNET partners, including grant funding, product development, market research, and specialized consulting services.

These winners include:

  • Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce – a local manufacturer of 100%, all-natural applesauce
     
  • Karis Doll Collection – a line of dolls that aims to help young girls adapt to diverse, non-traditional family arrangements
     
  • SmartMulch – an innovative landscaping solution that’s lightweight, easy to transport, and cuts down on waste
     
  • Cleveland Sewing Solutions – provides fashionable, adaptive clothing for seniors and other individuals facing physical challenges
     
  • Storm Mountain Coffee – French-press coffee on an industrial scale for use in restaurants and coffee shops
     
  • Peaceful Fruits – fruit snacks using wild, sustainable ingredients ethically harvested from the Amazon

“[M]SPIRE 2017 was a huge success,” said Brandon Cornuke, Vice President of Startup Services at MAGNET. “Our six winners demonstrate the breadth of Northeast Ohio manufacturing. We have consumer goods, food products, clothing, and mulch, and our winners come from all backgrounds. We’re excited to help these businesses grow and have already started working with each of them.”

MAGNET is currently planning to launch [M]SPIRE 2018 in the spring.

The Perks of Punting, Pivoting, and Persevering

The Perks of Punting, Pivoting, and Persevering

If you're starting a business, there's a good chance an assumption you've made will turn out to be wrong. You can hope that day never comes but, trust me, it will. Startups, after all, are full of risky bets and guesses (that's what makes them startups).

But even if you know it's coming - even if you're looking for your own weak assumptions - it's tough to absorb the blow of being wrong. Sometimes it's even harder to know what to do next.

Combating Confirmation Bias: How to Spell Success for Your Startup

Combating Confirmation Bias: How to Spell Success for Your Startup

Entrepreneurs are a self-confident bunch, and for good reason. The old perception of nine-in-ten startups failing remains as true as ever, and you have to have deep faith in yourself and your idea to face down such long odds.

But the gift of self-confidence can also be a liability. As human beings, we're already programmed to find evidence that supports our beliefs. Psychologists call this “Confirmation Bias”, and in ultra-confident entrepreneurs, that bias is often turbo charged… sometimes with expensive consequences.