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Canton startup Vlipsy lets the stars speak for you

May 7, 2017
by Dan Schingler, Crain's Cleveland Business
Exciting things are happening with Canton-based entrepreneur Chris Nickless and his new website, Vlipsy.com. "It's a video clip search engine soundboard," Nickless said.What that means is that the site offers video clips the way some other places, like Giphy.com, provide users with GIFs that they can use in their emails, tweets and other online communications. However, Vlipsy's pieces are actual video clips with sound.

You know the feeling: What you want to say is really best summed up by a quote from the great George Costanza. Maybe, for example, you need to convey exactly how you feel about getting stuck with the bill for someone else's big salad.But where to find it — especially if you don't want to wade through a whole episode of "Seinfeld," let alone spend time editing out what you want for a three-second clip.Enter Canton-based entrepreneur Chris Nickless and his new website, Vlipsy.com."It's a video clip search engine soundboard," Nickless said.What that means is that the site offers video clips the way some other places, like Giphy.com, provide users with GIFs that they can use in their emails, tweets and other online communications. However, Vlipsy's pieces are actual video clips with sound."Face-to-face communication is no longer prevalent," Nickless contends. So, he said, it is increasingly important to communicate online in ways that properly convey things like humor or sarcasm."Expressive media, like emoji and GIFs, have really grown in power. Vlipsy is the next wave in that trend," he said.The site is new. Nickless has been rolling it out since April and is working hard to increase its content and exposure, he said. But he's already got an app available for use on Apple devices and clips can be shared through Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest, or just embedded in the form of a URL link.If he succeeds, Nickless said, using the site will become second nature to a growing base of users. He's counting on ease of use and convenience to make that happen.As an example of how the site makes video clipping easier, Nickless used a famous Tom Hanks' quote from the film "Apollo 13.""Let's say I want to say, 'Houston, we have a problem.' That's a four-minute video, and it takes Tom Hanks about two seconds to say, "Houston, we have a problem," Nickless said.Vlipsy, however, gives users just the two seconds of video with the famous quote, no editing required. All you have to do is type the phrase into Vlipsy's onboard search engine.To be sure, the site is hardly a compendium of every quote a user would want. But, like YouTube, Vlipsy will be driven by users who post their own videos, so it's no surprise that not every video is there now.And some clips will never be there. Like other sites, Vlipsy will be limited to materials already available online — so as not to violate copyrights — and there will be standards prohibiting things like hate speech, sexual content or other offensive materials.If he succeeds, Nickless could be a very wealthy man. Giphy, for example, has a reported value of over $600 million even though it's just 4 years old and has yet to turn a profit.Nickless has a second-tier strategy as well. "Our goal is to be doing specific branded accounts, not unlike a YouTube channel," he said.That will hopefully bring him sponsored content.What might be the most surprising thing about Vlipsy, though, is that it's based in Canton and not a more trendy location. Nickless, a 2007 Ohio State University grad, moved back from California to start the company."I love Northeast Ohio. So for me, it was, 'Why not here?' " Nickless said."We've seen a lot of talent from this area get moved out to bigger cities or have to find a job remotely working for someone else. … I want to make sure they can stay here," he added.So far, the company is extremely lean — just Nickless and his childhood friend and now partner Matt Tew, who, like Nickless, is an Ohio native.The company probably will never need thousands of employees, but as it grows, the plan is to hire additional people to edit content, manage the site and help market it, Nickless said.Once he does begin to hire, he'll likely look for office space, too — possibly in Akron, his hometown.For now, Nickless is compiling new clips and meeting with local economic development officials. Some have been impressed with what they see."He has returned to (Northeast Ohio) to launch a tech startup that sounds to me like it has exciting, high-growth potential," said Heather Roszczyk, an Akron entrepreneurship fellow for Fund for Our Economic Future. "He's very enthusiastic about Akron, and purposely chose this area to launch the business because of his desire to assist revitalization and bring tech jobs to the area."

Read more: Canton startup Vlipsy lets the stars speak for you URL: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170507/NEWS/170509863/canton-startup-vlipsy-lets-the-stars-say-it-for-you


Meet Amanda Greenberg, one of the many incredible founders attending the SheWorx100 Summit. Amanda pitched at the very first SunDown RunDown in Mansfield in February of 2014.

1. What does your company do?
Baloonr removes bias from collaboration and decision-making, so that companies gain access to otherwise unreachable insights.
2. What impact are you making?
What does this impact look like in 10 years?When developing Baloonr, our team dug into hundreds of studies across the areas of cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, social science, public health, and psychology with one question in mind: How do you get the best and most information and insights out of a group in the most efficient way possible? In groups and companies, a wall is created that locks knowledge in peoples’ minds. This wall is complex and is a result of corporate culture, group dynamics, bias, and fear of failure. We create a more productive and equitable workplace by removing that wall and driving inclusive innovation. That’s what we provide for our customers, like Bosch, BMW, AbbVie, Dartmouth College, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.In 10 years, our plan is to have ushered in a new wave of productivity that is specifically focused on mitigating bias. This wave will have a dramatic impact on the workplace — every aspect will change — from hiring to strategic planning to product development — and it will be moving toward a true level playing field.
3. Why are you excited about the SheWorx100 Summit?
What is the best part about being in the SheWorx community?I have heard great things from previous attendees, and I am thrilled to attend this year. Oftentimes, the challenge is finding a strong intro or the right connection. Providing an approach focused on relationship, action, transparency, collaboration, and accessibility is incredibly exciting.

Read more: SunDown RunDown alum Amanda Greenberg of Baloonr featured in SheWorx AAA Spotlight URL: https://medium.com/@SheWorx/sheworx-aaa-spotlight-amanda-greenberg-co-founder-and-ceo-baloonr-1b80d1f034a8


Braintree's building has interesting history

April 18, 2017
by Timothy Brian McKee, richlandsource.com
Humphryes Manufacturing Co. began their foundry business in 1882, and served as an anchor of Mansfield’s industrial strength for decades making pumps and then cast iron bathtubs and sinks, operating in the building that was more recently known as the Braintree Business Development Center, our area's business incubator, from 2001 to 2017.
In the 1950s Hymphryes consolidated with Borg-Warner and expanded their product lines to include vitreous china; and expanded their industrial sites to include West Fourth Street and Shelby.They ran full bore until 1973 when the foundry went cold.

Humphryes Manufacturing Co. began their foundry business in 1882, and served as an anchor of Mansfield’s industrial strength for decades making pumps and then cast iron bathtubs and sinks.In the 1950s they consolidated with Borg-Warner and expanded their product lines to include vitreous china; and expanded their industrial sites to include West Fourth Street and Shelby.They ran full bore until 1973 when the foundry went cold. This familiar corner at Fifth and Newman was the Humphryes main office; today Braintree Business Development Center. A few of the Humphryes buildings survive today, one of which is the Braintree Business Development Center.Even though their factories are long gone, Humphryes still casts a shadow in the Flats: from the landmark smokestack that even yet anchors the former factory district.Timothy Brian McKee is a featured columnist on our site every Saturday with a column titled Native Son. Every Tuesday, he taps into his knowledge and collection of historical photos and bring us Then & Now, a brief glance at the way things were.

Read more: Braintree's building has interesting history URL: http://www.richlandsource.com/area_history/then-now-humphryes/article_65b60812-1eef-11e7-8310-1f1c62151c80.html


OHTec, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership that focuses on connecting Northeast Ohio businesses of all sizes through the common thread of technology, has announced the finalists for its 2017 Best of Tech Awards.Winners will be named in six different categories on April 27 during the awards show at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. among the finalists for Most Promising Startup are Wheedle, who pitched at the November 19, 2015 SunDown RunDown in Canton

OHTec, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership that focuses on connecting Northeast Ohio businesses of all sizes through the common thread of technology, has announced the finalists for its 2017 Best of Tech Awards.Winners will be named in six different categories on April 27 during the awards show at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland.Nominees for 2017 are:Tech Company of the YearFuturi MediaHyland SoftwareMRI Softwaren2yBest IT Services CompanyBlueBridge NetworksFIT TechnologiesLevel SevenVizion SolutionsTech Team of the YearAccellis Technology GroupDakota Softwaren2yPolyOneBest Software/Device ProductDakota SoftwareHyland SoftwareMRI SoftwareOECMost Promising StartupHeureka SoftwareRevenue ConduitVotemWheedleBest Tech WorkspaceAccellis Technology GroupFIT TechnologiesTechnology Recovery GroupBest Healthcare Tech ProductiRxReminderOnShiftOHTec’s Best of Tech event takes place during its annual Tech Week celebration, an annual initiative to support and engage the local tech community through education and networking. Learn more about Tech Week by visiting www.techweekneo.com. And click here to register to reserve your place at the 2017 Best of Tech Awards. About OHTecFounded in 1998, OHTec has hundreds of members representing all facets of information technology: software development, IT services, website design and development, custom application development, IT recruiters and others. OHTec is an industry-led, industry-driven membership organization dedicated to furthering the growth and development of our region’s technology-based businesses. Learn more at www.ohtec.org.

Read more: SunDown RunDown Canton alum Wheedle announced as finalist for "Most Promising Startup" in COSE April 27th Best of Tech Awards URL: http://www.cose.org/Mind%20Your%20Business/Operations/Best%20of%20Tech%202017%20Finalists%20Announced.aspx


Manufacturing continues to provide an economic bolster to Mansfield as indicated by the various economic development projects that were begun and/or completed in 2016.In Tuesday's state of the city address for 2016, Mayor Tim Theaker noted the activity in the economic development office overall was higher than it has been for the past eight to nine years.He cited Hess Industries newly renovated the building at 108 Sawyer Parkway and purchased of a new CNC machining center which created two full-time jobs for an investment of $1.5 million.

Manufacturing continues to provide an economic bolster to Mansfield as indicated by the various economic development projects that were begun and/or completed in 2016.In Tuesday's state of the city address for 2016, Mayor Tim Theaker noted the activity in the economic development office overall was higher than it has been for the past eight to nine years."The area saw considerably more activity in the way of investment in small businesses during 2016, and it appears that 2017 will be even better," Theaker stated. Contributing to that activity was Newman Technology, which constructed an 80,000 square-foot facility, acquired tube manufacturing equipment and created five full-time jobs for an investment of $7.5 million.Jay Industries had multiple projects that included expansions of the Jay Plastics and Taylor Metal Products facilities.Carroll Fabrication, a new computer numerical control machining business, acquired the remaining building at the former Ohio Brass site. The company has purchased new CNC machining equipment and created 14 full-time jobs for an investment of approximately $500,000.Hess Industries renovated the building at 108 Sawyer Parkway and purchased new CNC machining centers which created two full-time jobs for an investment of $1.5 million.Ohio Valley Manufacturing began an expansion project at its Swarn Parkway welding facility, which will be completed in the second quarter of 2017. The expansion will create five full-time jobs. The business has also increased employment at its main plant by adding 20 new employees.The 84 Lumber Company purchased the former Roberts and Dybdahl buildings on North Main Street and will invest approximately $2 million in renovations and purchase equipment for a truss-making operation. An estimated 58 full-time jobs will be created within the first year of operation.Cement Products demolished two deteriorating buildings and fully renovated an existing building into a new office space and showroom. The company projects it will create three to four new full-time jobs by the end of the second quarter of 2017 for an investment of $1 million.TLC Kanvas purchased the former Grainger building on National Parkway and relocated from Bellville to Mansfield, bringing 20 full-time employees. The company anticipates adding five full-time jobs this year for an investment of $500,000.

Read more: Mansfield Mayor Theaker: Company expansions like Braintree grad Hess Industries are boosting Mansfield's job market URL: http://www.richlandsource.com/business/state-of-the-city-company-expansions-boosting-mansfield-s-job/article_d743b076-13c1-11e7-a56b-2f90d4faaba5.html?utm_content=buffer77321&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer