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Innovation Hub: How Cleveland is Becoming a Hub for Technology and Startups

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Cleveland, a city in northeastern Ohio, was initially known as a manufacturing capital. Today, however, it is now known as the newest and hottest tech hub in the nation.

While it hasn’t yet reached the levels of the country’s more established tech hubs like San Francisco, New York, and Seattle, it is showing great promise as more and more entrepreneurs move in. This may be because of the city’s growing entertainment scene and its increasing number of accelerator programs.

Start-ups in the Cleveland area amassed a whopping $578 million in venture capital deals last year.

Not only that – it was also last year when Cleveland was hailed the third-largest region in the Midwest for biotechnology and biomedical companies, with over $3 billion worth of investments given to more than 700 companies.

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland explores the growing tech ecosystem and the start-up companies that are currently making waves.

Starting in The Land: Top 5 Cleveland Start-Ups to Watch Out For

Wisr

Founded in 2016, Wisr’s focus is higher education student engagement. The goal of the Wisr software is to help colleges and universities encourage student engagement for the duration of their schooling years.

Students are enabled to connect with faculty members, student leaders, and other students for educational guidance and advice through the Wisr platform. Other features of the platform include virtual experiences and online admissions recruitment for institutions.

Proformex

Also founded in 2016 is Proformex, a digital platform that monitors and manages insurance policies.

Serving financial agents, advisors, institutions, and broker-dealers, the Proformex platform offers end-to-end solutions for life insurance policies. This includes automated requests, archiving essential policy documents, and constant monitoring of policy performance.

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Axuall

Axuall, a workforce intelligence company, developed its platform in 2018 with the support of leading healthcare organizations.

The main focus of this start-up is digital credential authentication and verification, facilitating real-time sharing of digital credentials within a medical facility. 

Their platform allows health professionals to manage and share digital proof of identity healthcare organizations, with the goal of lessening the burden of paperwork while simultaenously focusing on patient care, reducing operating costs, and improving revenue.

Brilliency

Founded in 2014, Brilliency is a utility management app that allows users to track, control, and manage all their utilities in a single platform. Brilliency partners with various utility providers so that individuals can check on the status of their electric, water, and gas accounts at any time.

Farm Fare

With a focus on local food supply chain management, the aim of Farm Fare is to connect the local food supply chain from source to destination. Founded in 2016, the company connects food hubs with each other to share resources and information to work together. 

In addition, Farm Fare hires the services of local and underutilized food delivery trucks to transport the food.

Apart from the start-ups mentioned above, there are many others that contribute to Cleveland’s status as a tech hotspot. With the success rate of the city’s start-ups, we can only expect Cleveland to soon become a new reigning tech capital.

Cleveland’s Cultural Festivals: Celebrating Diversity and Heritage in the City

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Like many vibrant American cities, Cleveland is a cultural melting pot.

Estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that the Cleveland area is one of the most diverse regions of the state, with large populations of Latinx, Hispanic, Black, and Asian residents.

Every year, the city celebrates this fact with an abundance of cultural festivals to honor its heritage and diversity. These are a fantastic way to get to know Cleveland and its people.

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland says all that’s left is to figure out how to enjoy as many festivals as possible during the year. 

One World Day

Usually held in late August, One World Day has been celebrating the diversity of Cleveland for nearly 80 years. Held at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, this multi-day event typically includes a naturalization ceremony, dozens of gardens representing an array of cultural backgrounds, a parade of flags, and much more.

At the most recent festival, representatives from 56 cultural communities participated, including members of organizations such as the Brazilians in Cleveland and the United Moroccan American Association of Cleveland, Ohio.

Each garden offers unique food and drink choices, such as meat pies at the Lebanese garden and pierogies at the Ukrainian garden, as well as individual events like dancers in the Irish Garden and live music at the French garden. 

Cleveland Asian Festival

One of the first cultural festivals of the year is also one of the best. The Cleveland Asian Festival, typically held during the third week of May to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, is a mix of live entertainment, food, and cultural performances of various Asian institutions, like sumo wrestling.

Don’t miss the world marketplace either, filled with over 100 one-of-a-kind vendors and exhibitions. There’s also the Cleveland Dragon Boat Race Festival, which is held annually in mid-September. 

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Cleveland Pierogi Week

Cleveland has long been home to a large Polish population, so of course the iconic dumpling dish from Poland gets its own week-long tribute. This festival is unlike others, in that it’s focused on learning about the city’s heritage through special pierogi-themed menu items at restaurants throughout the city from late January through early February. 

The Tremont Greek Festival

Who doesn’t love an exuberant Greek festival? Also held in May, this one has a little bit of everything related to Mediterranean culture, including tasty Greek cuisine from local restaurants, dancing, and shopping in the city’s Tremont neighborhood on the west side. 

Simply Slavic Heritage Festival

One of the more unique cultural offerings of the year, this festival in nearby Youngstown offers everything Slavic for one day in June. The signature event in this celebration of Eastern European culture is the annual parade, followed by an array of distinctive Slavic foods to try, which is often a first for many visitors.

The Rest of the Best 

• June: The Ohio Scottish Games and Celtic Festival in Wellington is epic, with log hurling and lots and lots of bagpipes and pipe-and-drum bands. 

• August: The Little Italy Feast of the Assumption is a nearly 130-year-old tradition that has become part street fair, part food festival. 

• September: The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest is the largest outdoor celebration of German culture in the city, with games, music, and yes, lots of beer.

• October: The Ohio Swiss Festival, held since 1953, lets visitors sample wines, watch marching bands, enjoy as much Swiss cheese as possible, and participate in some traditional games such as Steinstossen, a stone-throwing sport.

The Arts Scene in Cleveland: Celebrating Local Talent and Cultural Institutions

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio, has long had a gritty image as an industrial city, where steel was king and numerous car companies once set up shop.

As its industries grew, so did Cleveland’s arts scene. The big manufacturers and steel mills may be gone, but the city’s music, art, and theatre scenes are still alive and thriving.

In fact, Cullen Fischel of Cleveland says they’re bigger now than ever before.

Cleveland’s Music

Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, thanks to Alan Freed who coined the term “rock and roll.” In 1952, Freed even produced the Moondog Coronation Ball, which was the first ever rock concert in the United States. Visitors can pay their respects at the Alan Freed Memorial, but this is only scratching the surface of Cleveland’s music scene and history.

The city is also well known as the home of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, as well as Severance Hall, a historic and still-popular concert venue that has hosted some of the most influential voices in music and continues to do so to this day. The Cleveland Orchestra also offers an innovative mix of music events, such as playing movie scores alongside live films, partnering with ballet companies, and sponsoring a string of small music residencies in different neighborhoods. 

Local institutions such as the Foundry Concert Club, Mahall’s 20 Lanes, the Variety Theatre, and the Music Box Supper Club bring a diverse range of innovative and unique bands, genres, and local musicians to Cleveland every week.

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Getting Artsy

First-time visitors to Cleveland often start their exploration at the Cleveland Museum of Art, considered one of the best of its kind in the U.S. The 44,000-square-foot space features works by Rodin, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, and more. And, to top it off, it’s free to visit.

There’s a lot more to Cleveland’s visual arts scene than its popular museum, though. In University Circle, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (also free) is home to an ever-changing collection of galleries featuring contemporary art, and has featured work by Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol.

The Reinberger Gallery at the Cleveland Institute of Art is the best place to discover local professional artists, and a visit to the Waterloo Arts District means exploring numerous indie art galleries, such as the Waterloo 7 Studio and Gallery.

Other fantastic art venues include Transformer Station, exhibiting curated contemporary art from the Cleveland Art Museum, and SPACES, well known for its experimental and mind-bending pieces.

The Play is the Thing

Much like its collection of art museums, Cleveland’s live theater venues are an eclectic mix of traditional and modern works. 

The Cleveland Playhouse is considered one of the top 10 regional theaters in America, and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015. Playhouse Square is the U.S.’ largest center of performing arts outside of New York City. With 10 different venues spread out over just one block, it offers over 1,000 performances a year, including many Broadway favorites. 

Also of note is the Karamu Performing Arts Theatre, which was founded in 1915 and is considered the nation’s oldest African American-produced theater. Today, it reflects its original mission, showcasing remarkable experiences and fosters gatherings of people from different economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.  

The Latest Happenings In Cleveland

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

The bustling city of Cleveland, Ohio has been alive with various exciting happenings in the last few weeks. As the sun continues to shine, residents can rejoice in the events, exhibitions, and sports happening across the area. 

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland explains that, since there’s so much to catch up on, those wanting to get the latest and greatest news have found the right place. 

Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp Sees Three Notable Winners

While there aren’t any huge competitions to win in June, the Cleveland Browns showed real talent in their mandatory minicamp. The skills and promise they displayed certainly gives them a chance to make the fall season oh-so-fun in the northeastern part of the state. 

Experts picked three winners from this latest team display — Deshaun Watson, Za’Darius Smith, and Elijah Moore. 

On the first day of minicamp, Watson showed off his timing and accuracy, particularly near the end of practice with his three touchdowns to Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and other players. 

Even though he didn’t replicate this stunning talent display throughout the rest of the week, he made enough outstanding throws to be crowned one of the camp’s winners. 

As for Smith, he’s considered to be the most effective way to ensure that the Browns secure their best defensive linemen once the real season starts. He’s a versatile player, giving managers plenty of opportunities to have their five best footballers on the field at once. 

Moore has a fantastic physical skillset, allowing him the ability to play various positions — a boon for any manager. Although, coach Chad O’Shea noted that the most impressive thing about him is his mental ability to assume almost any role and excel. 

Cleveland Museum of Art’s Exhibition Changes Perceptions of the World

Most Cleveland Museum of Art visitors probably haven’t heard of Udaipur, a city populated by 604,000 individuals in the Indian state Rajasthan. However, that’s about to change with this attraction’s latest exhibit, A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur. The exhibition is free and opens Sunday, June 11. 

The show focuses on landscape paintings created over 200 years ago, commissioned by Mewar’s king, the dynasty that used to rule Udaipur. 

To be displayed until September 10, 2023, visitors will exit the exhibition with a brand-new perspective of Indian art, a forever-changed mental map of the world’s best cities, and an enhanced appreciation for humans’ abilities to live as one with nature. 

Cullen Fischel Cleveland

Parma’s Rib ‘N Rock Comes to Tri-C Western Campus

On Thursday, June 8, the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce 31st annual Rib ‘N Rock opened on the Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus. 

Running for four days every year, attendees are treated to a glorious collection of excellent music, great ribs, and, of course, cold beer.

The ribbers taking center stage this year include Armadillo’s, Smokin T’s, BG’s Main Event, and Off The Bone BBQ. These aren’t the only food options at this event, though — Jimbo’s Philly, Sue’s Homemade Pierogi, and Feelin’ Good Ice Cream can also be found amongst the miasma of smells and sounds. 

This is certainly something residents won’t want to miss!

What’s Happening in Cleveland, Ohio – News and Current Events

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland

Embrace the pulse of a vibrant city and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Cleveland, Ohio. Whether you’re a first-time visitor aiming to uncover hidden gems or a local seeking to stay informed about the latest happenings, staying up to date with Cleveland’s news and current events is essential. Below, Cullen Fischel of Cleveland invites readers into the beating heart of this captivating city, where stories unfold, events unfurl, and the spirit thrives. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery and be at the forefront of all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Popular Events

There is plenty to say in favor of the city. It is the home of some of the most passionate sports fans in the world, as well as popular talents in Rock and Roll from over the decades. Parks and neighborhoods are peaceful while still bursting with life. No bad news here! Three of the most recent events promoting positivity within the area include: 

  • Charitable pharmacy donation
  • Polaris students win big
  • Summer concerts at university heights

Let’s look at each of these stories in more detail to feel the positive vibe of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Charitable Pharmacy Donation

One of the most exciting happenings in the city is the donation of an office building for physicians by Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital. Being able to finally use the building is a great relief, as it has been largely unused and empty for many years. 

What better way for it to be used than by Beacon Charitable Pharmacy? This pharmacy has long been beloved for contributing to the community, especially for underinsured or completely uninsured residents. 

It should come as no surprise that Cleveland Clinic has taken this charitable step, since Mercy Hospital’s founder at the Sisters of Charity Foundation also helped to establish Beacon Charitable Pharmacy. 

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland

Polaris Students Win Big

Another bit of news that should be cause for celebration among Clevelanders is the bright future of Polaris Career Center’s Entrepreneurship and Satellite Marketing program. 

These students will evidently end up going far in their futures, as they won first place in a social media campaign competition hosted all around the world by Just Drive.

The first-place prize was an impressive $10,000, and more importantly, it proved that these students understand how to effectively communicate on important topics like driving safely. 

Summer Concerts at University Heights

Finally, the Cleveland community is alive as always with fun events! A Summer Concert Series is being planned with much anticipation for June 15th, running all the way through to the first few weeks of August. In fact, one of Cleveland Magazine’s picks for Best Cover Band, Billy Likes Soda, will be performing along with Piano Cleveland, hosting a family watch party on June 22nd!

In Conclusion

There is plenty to celebrate in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Whether it is examining the success of students like those in Polaris, or the fun concerts planned near University Heights, or even the donation of buildings to a charitable cause, Cleveland is a community of great news!

The Top Business Stories Out of Cleveland

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland

Cleveland is a bustling city in Northeastern Ohio alongside the gorgeous Lake Erie. Not only does it provide beautiful views, but it also has a bustling business environment for startups, well-established enterprises, and individual entrepreneurs. 

From new small business funding to the launch of City Goods’ City Market, Cullen Fischel of Cleveland reports that May 2023 has been a vibrant month for the business sector in this area.  

The Centennial Building Project

Downtown Cleveland has been awaiting the Centennial Building for quite some time. Now, it’s finally happening, thanks to the tax credit award, provided by the State of Ohio, that focuses on crafting more work for the region’s union trades. 

The Millennia Companies plan to rejuvenate the Centennial Building using the $40 million tax credit, creating between 500 and 600 new jobs for union construction workers. 

Since the project began, Millennia Companies has secured over $476 million in federal, state, local, and private funding.

While there isn’t a start date just yet, the 21-story building is expected to begin rehabilitation very soon. 

Hingetown Small Business Central Announces City Goods’ City Market

Cleveland is home to many events and festivals, but Cleveland Magazine urges people to prioritize the launch of City Goods’ City Market. From May 13 until September 23, the summer jaunt will occur every second and fourth Saturday. 

City Goods plans to bolster its mission with the market, encouraging citizens to shop local by featuring a revolving number of small businesses. In other words, the event acts as a stepping stone for small businesses in Cleveland who may not have a brick-and-mortar store for customers to visit. 

The idea was soft-launched last September, but it’s really been picking up the pace this summer, showcasing a diverse range of small businesses for the city’s shoppers. Liz Painter, City Goods co-founder, urges people to keep their eyes peeled for the announcement of the local businesses involved in the market. 

New Owner Plans Commercial Development at Hough’s MLK Plaza

Cleveland’s Hough Neighborhood will soon get a face list after Northern Real Estate Urban Ventures, a real estate development firm, purchased Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. 

Located at 9300 Wade Park Avenue, the company reportedly purchased the site for $2.75 million from its previous owner. The firm has plans to build 149 multi-family units, 7,500 square feet of commercial space, and another 6,700 square feet of live/work areas. 

The developer and entrepreneur hopes to entice small Black-owned businesses to join the complex using a community ownership model, giving owners the opportunity to purchase shares of the development. 

Cullen Fischel of Cleveland

Cleveland Posts New Small Business Grants for 2023/2024

Speaking of small businesses, those based in Cleveland have a wide variety of grants to choose from this year and the next. Some funding amounts are case-dependent, but others, like the Innovation Corps at NIH Program, offer set funding amounts for all applicable businesses. 

Depending on the sector, small businesses can take advantage of $50,000 or $75,000 loans to fund their ventures, which will help many get off the ground in 2023.