The Cleveland area’s “First and Tech” happy hour is hosted by the Browns

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“At JumpStart, we focus on three main resources: capital, services and communications,” Leech said. “What sets the Browns family apart is that it can bring the entire community together, so entrepreneurs here have the opportunity to meet all the different types of players, bankers, investors and other service providers, as well as each other.

Leach is CEO of JumpStart, a nationally recognized business development organization that provides capital, services and communications to small business owners in Northeast Ohio. The organization held its third event in partnership with the Browns on Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium – a “First and Tech” happy hour event for tech startups led by minority founders in the region to pitch their companies to investors and learn from entrepreneurs and other business experts about how to grow their businesses.

“In the entrepreneurial community, it’s very beneficial to find ways to connect and help each other.

That’s exactly what the happy hour event served to do.

For tech startups, gatherings like this can be crucial to growing their business because they don’t always have a tangible item or service to sell in a retail store or their own store. Their business thrives on actions like app downloads or website visits, which requires a strong network as they look for ways to let others know about their service.

“I hope these founders learn about different ways they can support their growth,” said Camille Heard, the JumpStart resident entrepreneur who helped organize the event. “Many people in the tech industry need access to investment capital and resources, but also connections and networks to get to the next level. Our goal is to give them that opportunity to showcase their brands and products.”

Large networking events for tech startups are not uncommon in Cleveland, and founders often have to travel long distances or find other ways to promote their companies to potential investors and customers

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