Cleveland’s Flashstarts Looks To Fund Over 100 Startups In Once In A Generation Opportunity
Flashstarts, one of the back bones to Cleveland’s startup ecosystem is looking to fund 100 startups. As more and more manufacturing jobs have slipped away to other countries, the future of job growth in America starts with startups. That’s the basis for a new initiative from Flashstarts, the organization that’s supported startups through incubation, acceleration and funding.
Flashstarts is working with the Third Frontier program to distribute over $100 million dollars over the next three years. The new initiative is called the Cleveland200 fund. Charle Stack, the CEO of Flashstarts, and a pioneer for startups in Cleveland, says at least $5 million dollars of the fund will be used to advance job growth in Ohio through startups.
This $100 million in newly available funding is the result of the Ohio Third Frontier Program’s recent commitment to seven Cleveland-area funds focused on seed-stage investment. This is the largest regional seed-stage investment pool in the world. The funds are to be deployed between 2017 and 2019. With an average of $500,000 per investment there will be about 200 seed stage companies that will receive funding. These 200 startups will receive the support and funding they need to build successful companies that will generate wealth, jobs, and transform the Cleveland Region.
“Every study that’s ever been done shows that the vast majority of all new jobs come from startups. Big corporations over time add and reduce and eliminate almost as many jobs, so it ends up being a net of zero. But actual job creation is almost entirely the result of new companies.” Stack said.
“Flashstarts has shown the ability to recruit and prepare very high-quality teams,” said Todd Federman, Managing Director of the North Coast Angel Fund, one the largest angel funds in the US; and one of the recipients of Ohio Third Frontier funds. “We look forward to investing in additional companies in the near future.”
Startup applications are open now at www.cleveland200.com, and teams will be selected on a rolling basis over the next three years. Flashstarts will initially invest $25,000 – $50,000 in each company in its program in exchange for 4-8% equity.
“We are looking for dynamic teams with really big ideas,” said Shannon Lyons, Flashstarts, COO. “We will accept companies from all over the U.S. and the world. We offer specialized programs to accommodate global companies, and international entrepreneurs coming out of universities.”