Semi-finalists will participate in a small business bootcamp to prepare for pitch competition
CLEVELAND (October 24, 2022) – Greater Cleveland Partnership’s (GCP) Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) today announced the 22 businesses that will advance to the semi-finals of Cleveland Chain Reaction, a neighborhood economic development project and pitch competition. Over the next four weeks, the businesses will participate in a bootcamp hosted by JumpStart where business experts and mentors will help them prepare to pitch a panel of judges at showcase days taking place Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9.
“JumpStart is thrilled to partner, once again, with COSE and Fox 8 on this new round of Cleveland Chain Reaction,” said Lorne Novick, JumpStart’s Chief Services Officer. “Since its inception, the program has helped to accelerate the growth of dozens of Cleveland-based entrepreneurs, adding to the vitality of our neighborhoods and small business community. We’re excited to start working with the next cohort of business owners, providing high impact advising so they can scale their companies and deliver prize-winning pitches.”
The judges, consisting of Cleveland Chain Reaction partners and supporters from JumpStart, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, GCP and KeyBank, along with partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, reviewed the 76 applications to select the semi-finalists. These businesses are vying for prizes that include $40,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place and $10,000 for third place.
“We received a strong selection of applications for the fifth season of Cleveland Chain Reaction, and we’re excited to announce our semi-finalists,” said Megan E. Kim, executive director of COSE and senior vice president, membership development and marketing at GCP. “These businesses represent a variety of industries with products and services ranging from food and hard goods to audio production, floristry, wellness, lifestyle and more. Each company was selected for its potential growth and impact on jobs and investment in the city of Cleveland.”
The semi-finalists include (in alphabetical order):
Cleveland Chain Reaction connects entrepreneurs to capital and mentors and places new businesses in Cleveland neighborhoods to create jobs and prosperity. Since its inception in 2017 (the competition was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic), Cleveland Chain Reaction has received more than 476 applications, coached and prepared 88 small business semi-finalists, connected winning businesses to nearly $1.7 million in capital and provided 380 hours of technical assistance.
Cleveland Chain Reaction was inspired by Cleveland Hustles, the reality series produced by LeBron James that aired on CNBC in 2016. Cleveland Chain Reaction is an independent and unrelated effort that supports the continued opportunity that Cleveland Hustles initiated.
Cleveland Chain Reaction is produced by GCP and COSE in collaboration with FOX 8 News in the Morning’s “Kickin’ it with Kenny.” FreshWater Cleveland is the competition’s digital publication partner. Cleveland Chain Reaction is sponsored by MAGNET, Bedrock, KeyBank and JumpStart. Visit clevelandchainreaction.org for more information.
About Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Council of Smaller Enterprises
Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is the region’s leading economic development organization and with over 12,000 members, the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation. Guided by a board of corporate and entrepreneurial CEOs, the organization focuses on strategic initiatives, business services, and advocacy to build a vibrant business environment and region for small businesses, middle-market companies and global corporations. It includes the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and Cleveland Development Advisors, a real estate development affiliate. GCP is committed to working with private, civic, and public partners to accelerate growth and prosperity to propel Greater Cleveland towards being one of the Great Regions in the Great Lakes.
Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the small business arm of GCP, provides networking and educational events, advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues, cost-effective group purchasing programs, and navigation to the right resources and solutions within the entrepreneurial ecosystem to help small businesses grow and succeed.