The Entrepreneur Beat


WKSU undertakes a year-long examination of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio with a 360-degree look at business creation in the region and examine the resources available to start-ups, the opportunities, and pitfalls in the local business climate. The project includes long-form features as part of WKSU's ongoing Exploradio series as well as entrepreneurship-themed news reports.

The Entrepreneurship Beat is produced with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Burton D. Morgan Foundation champions the entrepreneurial spirit, contributes to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, and leads in the burgeoning field of entrepreneurship education. Read more about the project HERE.

Ways to Connect

Tim Ryan and Comeback Cities participants

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan says a visit by West Coast venture capitalists to the Midwest last week has paid its first dividend. 

The Comeback Cities tour highlighted entrepreneurs in Youngstown, Akron, Detroit, Flint and South Bend. Congressman Ryan, who sponsored the tour, said Robert Wolf of a fund called 32 Advisors, is pledging $100,000 in new money to a Flint startup initiative as a result of the tour.

Horrigan State of City Address
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

In his state of the city speech today , Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced initiatives to boost 10 neighborhood business districts and to transform downtown.

During the speech, Horrigan launched “Great Streets Akron” to boost access, public spaces, safety and small businesses in 10 neighborhoods that were once their own small downtowns.

Tim Ryan and Comeback Cities participants

More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists traveled to Youngstown and Akron yesterday, looking for ways to invest in the Midwest. 

The Comeback Cities Tour was organized by Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and his California counterpart, Congressman Ro Khanna. Ryan says the goal is to round out the uneven American economy by boosting entrepreneurs who are not based on the East and West Coasts. 


More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists are taking a closer look this week at what are often dismissed as rust-belt cities: places like Youngstown, Akron and Detroit. They’re trying to figure out if there’s a match to be made with their money and the region’s strengths. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the Akron stop on what’s being called the Comeback Cities tour.

The smell of the city’s rubber history still lingers in the stairwells in the old B.F. Goodrich plant on the south side of Akron’s downtown.

Photo of Accelerate Finalists from 2017
The Cleveland Leadership Center

Twenty-five civic-minded entrepreneurs are going to get a chance to pitch their ideas for improving Cleveland.  The fourth annual "Accelerate" event is a civic pitch competition presented by the Cleveland Leadership Center.  The presenters have five different categories in which to pitch. 

"Accelerate" Co-Chair Ursula Cottone says that this presents an opportunity to solve some of the city’s challenges.