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Entrepreneurs + Innovators

Sam McNulty and  Andy Tveekrem - photo Bob Perksoki

American author Napoleon Hill said that, "Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes." True, but good ideas aren't just one-man money-makers -- they can serve as triggers for the kind of economic development that turns around entire blocks, neighborhoods, even cities and regions. In Cleveland, good ideas lead to an ever-growing array of new businesses filling needs across a wide spectrum. From food trucks to got-to-have-it smartphone apps, small start-ups are the lifeblood of a progressive economy. 

Entrepreneurs + Innovators Features

Old Havana traditional clothing

Passport to Cuba: The surprising connection between Cleveland and Cuba, and why it matters

In early October, Cleveland became the first northern port city to sign a memo of understanding with Cuba’s maritime administration—effectively paving the way for future trade possibilities. The agreement makes a fitting cap for what has been a year of rich synergy between Cleveland and Cuba across the spectrum, from art to entrepreneurship to architecture to dance.

Ohio City Farmís workers from The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program

Innovations from Cleveland's urban farms are taking root around the world

One wouldn't guess by its industrial past, but Cleveland has surprising ties to the roots of urban farming in America—and they're on full display at these local farms, which were spotlighted recently at the global Meeting of the Minds conference. See why Chateau Hough, Green City Growers, Rid-All Green Partnership, and Ohio City Farm are now serving as a blueprint for MOTM experts to apply in their own cities.

Tom Lix owner of Cleveland Whiskey

The room where it happens: There's a whiskey revolution going on right here in Cleveland

The word "heretic" doesn't generally have a positive connotation, but Tom Lix embraces it with a fervor all his own. The Cleveland Whiskey founder and chairman proudly refers to himself an "Industry Heretic, Embracer of Change, and Disruptor of the Status Quo" in his Twitter bio—and he's got the goods to back the claim up.

Dr. Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Research Lab

This Cleveland Clinic doctor is close to making breast and ovarian cancer vaccines a reality

When it comes to the Greek myth of Sisyphus, Dr. Vincent Tuohy can relate. Since 2002, the Cleveland Clinic-based doctor has been working to develop game-changing vaccines that may be able to eradicate breast cancer and ovarian cancer, but not without an "uphill struggle."

Meeting of the Minds 2013 in Toronto, Canada

350 global thought leaders set to converge on Cleveland for Meeting of the Minds

If past Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) confabs are any indication, the eleventh installment of the annual conference is sure to be an inspiring conversation-starter about all things urban innovation—especially since this year's chosen setting is Cleveland.
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Entrepreneurs + Innovators Videos

Bourbon infused Smoker Bricx

Cleveland Whiskey: Building its success brick by 'bricx'

Last week, Cleveland Whiskey entered a new product category with the launch of its new Smoker Bricx grilling chips. Watch this video to learn more about their smokin' new offering, then click here to read more about the method behind the madness.

Rust Belt Riders

Rust Belt Riders: "Feed People, Not Landfills"

This inspiring video from ideastream follows the Rust Belt Riders on their mission to transform Cleveland's considerable food waste into compost and animal feed.

Fresh Gear

Refresh Collective's fresh take on engaging CLE youth

Founded by David "Dee Jay Doc" Harrill, Refresh Collective offers a plethora of programs designed to energize and empower local youth. The common thread? Hip-hop. Check out this video about Fresh Force, its workforce development program through which students learn design, screen printing, sales, and entrepreneurship via the Fresh Gear T-shirt line. (And don't miss our recent story about Freshtoberfest, where hip-hop meets horticulture.)

Fuel Cleveland

Need some creative Fuel?

When motorcycles, art, and photography collide, it makes for one revved-up rendezvous. Check out this recap of Fuel Cleveland 2017 from Lowbrow Customs.
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Entrepreneurs + Innovators

julie and shawn warren

julie and shawn warren

City: Lakewood
Meet Julie and Shawn Warren, founders of Erie Design, a family-owned and operated sign company in Lakewood.
lynde vespoli

lynde vespoli

City: Cleveland
Meet Lynde Vespoli, founder of Discover My Cleveland, a destination management company with nine part-time tour directors and one fulltime employee.
todd pownell

todd pownell

City: MidTown
Meet Todd Pownell, owner of TAP by Todd Pownell, a designer jewelry firm in Midtown with a team of four.
fred geis

fred geis

City: Streetsboro
Meet Fred Geis, founder of Geis Companies, a northeast Ohio design/build company with 140 employees.
autumn skoczen

autumn skoczen

City: Broadview Heights
Meet Autumn Skoczen, founder of Auts Tipse Treats, a Broadview Heights maker of the first-ever cupcake shot.
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