News


Three entrepreneurs share ideas at Sundown RunDown

November 13, 2018
by Tracy Geibel, Richland Source
The Old Bag of Nails Pub bustled with excitement Tuesday evening when three entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas at Sundown Rundown.A college student, a recent college graduate and a stay-at-home mom each were allotted five minutes to share their idea and an additional five minutes to take questions from the audience.“Who knows what some of the companies we see here today will go on to do?” said Bob Cohen, Braintree Business Development Center business advisor.

MANSFIELD – The Old Bag of Nails Pub bustled with excitement Tuesday evening as three entrepreneurs prepared to pitch their business ideas at Sundown Rundown.A college student, a recent college graduate and a stay-at-home mom each were allotted five minutes to share their idea and an additional five minutes to take questions from the audience, which was filled with fellow entrepreneurs, potential investors and other professionals.“Who knows what some of the companies we see here today will go on to do?” said Bob Cohen, Braintree Business Development Center business advisor.He explained how Sundown Rundown alumni like Lexington High School graduate Dan Manges, who pitched Root Insurance at a previous event, successfully got the car insurance company off the ground. It was valued at $1 billon in August.And Todd Kelley, who pitched Aspire Tech at an earlier Sundown Rundown, won third place at the recent Richland Idea Audition competition. Kelley is now pursuing more funding opportunities.Gate GenieOn Tuesday evening, stay-at-home mom, Amy Hiner of Ontario, pitched an idea inspired by her 10-year-old dog and two children, 5-year-old Maeley and 21-month-old Evan.Gate Genie is a fashionable, but affordable. fabric cover for child and pet safety gates.“My husband and I had a conversation about how we are constantly rigging things around our house to make it fit for our family and our life, and it was at that point that I decided I would stop rigging and start inventing,” Hiner said.She thought safety gates were ugly, so she decided to create a cover for them.She first pitched the idea at the Richland Idea Audition competition in October, where she was named as one of six finalists.While she didn’t win, the experience encouraged her to keep going. She used feedback from the event to refine the Gate Genie and came to Sundown Rundown to share the idea in front of another audience.“This is great because it’s mostly local people who are either experienced with working with entrepreneurs or they are entrepreneurs themselves,” she said.Hiner hopes to wrap up beta testing by March 2019 and to have Gate Genie ready to market to households with pets and young children by May 2019. She asked for the audience for connections to influential bloggers and material suppliers.See Me PlayPhil Frentsos, an Ashland University senior, pitched an idea called See Me Play to Tuesday night’s crowd.See Me Play is a digitally automated live stream for sporting events that uses computer vision and digital auto-tracking technology.Frentsos, originally from Delaware, Ohio, has re-imagined existing technology for a new purpose.“It was just seeing two things that already exist, putting them together and making it unique,” he said.Frentsos, a starter on the Ashland University men’s basketball team, hopes to create a platform where he can share live streams from a single camera that follows basketball or other sports in a new way. The cameras used can create a live stream can capture the whole court, follow the action and even follow a single player around. He said every image can be manipulated.“You can zoom in, you can crop it, or you can set the game to digital auto tracking where it follows the game naturally," Frentsos said.He intends to market the technology to mega sports complexes, YMCAs and college recreation centers.He hoped to get feedback and find some mentors at Sundown Rundown.EvittJoe Duncko, CEO and cofounder of the Event Discovery Company, pitched an online calendar and invitation platform for non-profit organizations, called Evitt.Duncko of the Youngstown area and two others, Andrew Jarvis and Chris Palmer, came up with the idea after discovering a void in online event promotion.“Evitt allows organizations to work together to prevent event overlapping and gain more event exposure,” Duncko said.The “most dangerous” thing an organization can do, he explained, is to “plan an event in the dark.” Organizations may end up picking a date that conflicts with another event relevant to its target audience. Evitt aims to diminish that risk.Duncko has attended at least two Sundown Rundown events in Youngstown and one in Canton.“I think it’s a real opportunity to practice the pitch and get some feedback in a low-pressure environment,” he said.Duncko and the others are currently finalists at the FUEL competition in Akron for this same idea.FacebookTwitterEmailPrintSave

Read more: Three entrepreneurs share ideas at Sundown RunDown URL: https://www.richlandsource.com/business/three-entrepreneurs-share-ideas-at-sundown-rundown-event/article_02ff7842-e7b2-11e8-8122-5ba5f9956c27.html


Richland Idea Audition" 2018 Winners include Aspire Tech

November 6, 2018
by Richland County Foundation
In October of 2018, the Richland County Foundation held its first "Richland Idea Audition," an event for entrepreneurs to pitch their concepts to a panel of judges. Three winners walked away with funds to help get their ideas off the ground. Among the three was Braintree's own Todd Kelley and Aspire Tech.



Here is a link to a video featuring the top three pitches at
Richland Idea Audition

https://youtu.be/tcVri89v-aM

Read more: Richland Idea Audition" 2018 Winners include Aspire Tech URL: https://youtu.be/tcVri89v-aM


Local entrepreneurs will pitch ideas at Richland Idea Audition

October 12, 2018
by Emily Mills, News Journal
Richland County residents will pitch their ideas for new products, businesses and services during the Richland Idea Audition next week.The Richland County Foundation, Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Richland Community Development Group, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Braintree Business Development Center, Small Business Development Center and North Central Ohio SCORE are co-hosting the event.

Richland County residents will pitch their ideas for new products, businesses and services during the Richland Idea Audition next week.The focus of the contest is to support new businesses, help entrepreneurs get businesses off the ground and introduce entrepreneurs to the community for support, according to a press release.The audition will be Tuesday, Oct. 16, in Founders Hall at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, 1760 University Drive, Mansfield.The five contestants who make it to the final round will pitch their ideas to an audience and a panel of judges, made up of local entrepreneurs.About 30 entrepreneurs, mainly Richland County residents, who are participating in the audition will have four minutes to explain their ideas for a chance to win the top prize of $5,000. The second place idea will receive $2,500, and third place will receive $1,000. The public is invited to attend a reception to meet and talk with the entrepreneurs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The final round starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.It is the first year for the Richland Idea Audition. Applications to compete in the audition closed in August.Richland County Foundation chief advancement officer Maura Teynor said several years ago, she and others from the foundation attended a similar event in Cleveland's Ohio City and were inspired to plan a Richland County event "to encourage entrepreneurship locally."The Richland County Foundation, Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Richland Community Development Group, The Ohio State University at Mansfield, Braintree Business Development Center, Small Business Development Center and North Central Ohio SCORE are co-hosting the event.

Read more: Local entrepreneurs will pitch ideas at Richland Idea Audition URL: https://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2018/10/12/local-entrepreneurs-pitch-ideas-richland-idea-audition/1592946002/


Braintree board member Jack Stewart debunks estate planning myths

September 10, 2018
by Emily Dech, Richland Source
There’s an adage that goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”When it comes to estate planning, this doesn’t necessarily apply — at least, it doesn’t have to, according to Jack P. Stewart, one of the area’s only certified elder law attorneys.

There’s an adage that goes, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”When it comes to estate planning, this doesn’t necessarily apply — at least, it doesn’t have to, according to Jack P. Stewart, one of the area’s only certified elder law attorneys. “We do encourage a meeting ahead of time so people aren’t trying to do everything at the last minute … but contrary to belief, even though they didn't do any planning and they're coming to see me at the last minute, a big myth out there is people sometimes feel there's nothing they can do to save money or save their assets, and there are things they can do. There's a lot they can do,” he said.Stewart, who operates his own law and tax practice in Ontario, said estate planning typically involves drafting living wills, healthcare powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, trusts and deeds.He offers consultations to help people understand the various legal documents associated with estate planning.“A lot of people, I guess you’d call it a myth, when they come in they think estate planning means I just need a will,” he said.Unbeknownst to many is the need for a healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney, he said.A healthcare power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make crucial healthcare decisions in the event you are unable to do so, whereas a financial power of attorney grants someone legal authority to act on your behalf for financial issues.“People get those two confused all the time,” Stewart said.The difference between a will and a trust can also cause some head-scratching.“A last will and testament is a document basically that states who gets your property when you pass away,” he explained. “Sometimes people feel they don't need a will because they're married or something like that.“They don't realize sometimes a will can help for other reasons.”He noted that it’s much easier to administer your estate if you have a will and that the process is slower and more expensive if you don’t have one when you die.“A trust is a vehicle where you're giving your assets to someone, a trustee … and that person takes care of the assets for the benefit of a beneficiary," he said. "Now, a lot of people do a trust and it's a trust for themselves, so they're the trustee and the beneficiary. A typical example is you have a husband and wife — they'll do a joint trust."They’re both trustees and the trust is for them for the rest of their lives."The big kicker is trusts can aid in avoiding probate, he said.Probate is a legal proceeding that involves the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. An executor must be appointed, who will then have the authority to transfer assets to the beneficiaries.“Usually it’s your spouse or one of your children, and they're in charge of dispersing the assets according to your will,” Stewart said.Stewart recognizes the complexity of estate planning. Given the detailed and intricate nature of the estate planning process, it can cause some misunderstanding. He expounded on one of the most common misconceptions.“When people go into nursing homes, especially if they are single, they feel that they have to spend all of their assets on the nursing home and they can't save anything — that’s the biggest myth we face,” he said. “That's the biggest one we fight every day and try to tell people, 'No that's not the case."There are techniques we can use that have been used before that can help them.’"Say, for instance, a single person with $80,000 has a stroke and now they’re in a nursing home.“Someone will tell them they must spend all $80,000 first and then they can get on Medicaid,” Stewart said.Who that person is depends — it could be someone at the nursing home or even a friendly neighbor, he said.Why would they say that?“Because, I believe they don't know any better, No. 1. No. 2, they’re reading the law literally because if you read the law it says if you spend all your money down and you get it under $2,000 you’re eligible for Medicaid, so they know they're not telling them a falsehood because that's what the law says," he said. “But they don't tell them that there might be some other options in addition to spending some of your money where you can save some money.”Some people may think estate planning is too costly to pursue.“But if you’re not talking trusts, and most people are, for the cost of one or two car payments, you can get all of your estate planning documents done," Stewart said.Why even do estate planning at all?“One reason is to prevent guardianship,” Stewart said. “If they don't have these documents in place and suddenly they get very sick, now they might have to go through that whole process of guardianship. That means if someone is incapacitated and they don't have power of attorney, if someone wants to help them, they have to go to the probate court and become a guardian for that person to handle all of their affairs."That process is expensive and it takes awhile to do.”There are all sorts of reasons why people may put off or completely avoid estate planning."But I always tell people, I mean, if you're still standing, it's never too late,” Stewart said. “There's always something — that's the biggest message I can give people — that it's never too late.”

Read more: Braintree board member Jack Stewart debunks estate planning myths URL: https://www.richlandsource.com/gray_matters/elder-law-attorney-debunks-estate-planning-myths/article_69e6ef06-8f6d-11e8-ad78-9bd03bc9bcd5.html


If Bob Cohen has his way, Mansfield won’t be left out of a regional blockchain initiative. Cohen of Braintree Business Development Center spoke about Mansfield’s potential role in Blockland Cleveland Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the monthly Richland Community Development Group meeting.

If Bob Cohen has his way, Mansfield won’t be left out of a regional blockchain initiative.Cohen of Braintree Business Development Center spoke about Mansfield’s potential role in Blockland Cleveland Tuesday, Sept. 4 at the monthly Richland Community Development Group meeting. “The idea (is) that Cleveland and northeast Ohio could be an epicenter of blockchain activity,” Cohen saidThe initiative has been led by Bernie Moreno, a Cleveland area car dealer, who imagines the region as a hub for blockchain technology, which is likely best known for its use with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Cleveland, Akron, Ashland and Mansfield all have representatives currently involved.“One of the questions that came up has been how ‘Cleveland-centric’ this effort is. I met last week with Dean Elad Granot of Ashland University’s Dauch College of Business and Economics to specifically ask if the effort was intended to be regional and he said, ‘Yes, definitely,’” Cohen said in an email. Granot is the co-chair of the BlockLand entrepreneurship committee. But Cohen hopes to see even more involvement from Mansfield in the coming months.“I don’t want them to someday say, we tried to make it regional, but nobody came,” Cohen said at the RCDG meeting.The next meeting about Blockland Cleveland is set for Friday, Sept. 21 in Cleveland and is open to people who are interested. They should contact Bob Leach at Braintree for more details.Later this year, from Dec. 1 to 4, the organization has planned Cleveland’s first international blockchain conference at the Huntington Convention CenterCohen related blockchain’s information tracking capabilities to Carfax.“This keeping track of everything is not a new concept; it kind of reminds me of Carfax, where you can look up everything that’s ever happened to that car, but what makes it a little bit different is this distributive nature, that it’s stored on hundreds of thousands of computers,” he said.This makes it more difficult for information to be hacked, as it is stored on thousands of computers, Cohen explained. Read more about this initiative at blocklandcleveland.com

Read more: Braintree and Ashland University are both part of regional blockchain intitiative URL: https://www.richlandsource.com/news/mansfield-participating-in-regional-blockchain-initiative/article_d0d41be0-b087-11e8-aaef-87991df0d5d8.html