Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Innovation reshaping the landscape of Northeast Ohio

We generally don’t delve into non-sports related topics here, but since we love Cleveland this is one time that it is warrented.

Sunday’s Plain Dealer had an article about how private companies in the area have attracted nearly $1 billion in investment capital over the last five years, in large part because of the growth of cutting-edge science and technology start-ups in the region. According to the article, Cleveland-area businesses attracted $961 million from venture capitalists between 2007 and 2011 – a 26 percent increase over the previous five-year period. In addition the region had a 133 percent increase in the number of investments in area companies.

We’ve known about the growth in the region for a couple of years, thanks to our day job where we’ve had the opportunity to talk with Baiju Shah, CEO and founder of BioEnterprise, a group that works to form, recruit and accelerate the growth of bioscience companies in the region; John Dearborn, president of JumpStart, a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that works to increase the economic impact and sustainability of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem; and Dr. Lorry Wagner, president of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, which is working on a wind turbine farm in Lake Erie.

(Now if we could just get some of the innovation going at Progressive Field, Cleveland Browns Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena, we may be on to something).

These stories are important because too often all we hear is doom and gloom about the economic outlook of Northeast Ohio. Yes, manufacturing jobs are not what they once were, which is unfortunate, but there are still a lot of good things going on in the region – don’t let anyone tell you differently.

If you are a Cleveland fan and want to let other people know there is more going on here than the downtown casino, share the stories and let people know.

It’s Cleveland, after all, what’s not to like?

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