Braintree hopes to attract up-and-coming entrepreneurs

December 13, 2015
by Brittany Schock,

MANSFIELD, Ohio – Mansfield’s entrepreneurial ecosystem hopes to foster more small business development locally.With that goal in mind, Braintree Business Development Center hosted an open house last week at its downtown location for start-up businesses interested in being a part of their cohort.In addition to networking and sampling of local refreshments, Braintree staff explained the process of becoming a tenant and provided details about Braintree’s services including operating space, loans, grants, investment, mentoring and talent attraction.

Bob Cohen, CEO of Braintree, said the event also functioned as a way to spread the Braintree name and message in the community.“There might still be people that aren’t familiar with Braintree or aren’t sure what it does,” said Cohen. “When we create an event like this we’re hoping a person who is either in business or thinking of starting a business will come check it out. We want to bring would-be entrepreneurs out of the woodwork.”One of those entrepreneurs was Darion Burks, who drove from Cleveland to attend the informational session. Burks is the owner and founder of Solar Screen, a company that would provide a protective spray of sunscreen to people standing at outdoor events such as amusement parks or concerts. +1 Buy Now Visitors from as far away as Cleveland and Canton came to Braintree Business Development Center on Thursday for an informational open house should they choose to be Braintree tenants. Brittany Schock, Staff Reporter Burks said he hopes his company can be operational by the summer of 2016. He heard about Cohen and Braintree through MAGNET, a business incubator in downtown Cleveland.“I was told to contact Bob in regards to crowd sourcing and crowd funding activities,” said Burks. “From the reference at MAGNET and talking to Bob, he’s shown he knows what he’s talking about and I definitely want to learn more about what he has to offer.”Burks said he left the informational session on Thursday slightly overwhelmed, but with an overall good impression.“As a startup entrepreneur, you look for as many avenues for the best route to take you to get to where you’d like to be,” he said. “Everybody here went through their own growing pains like where I’m currently at, and it’s a homey feeling.”Cohen said Braintree specializes in high tech, high growth startup businesses. He noted for interested businesses that may not fit that description, other local organizations including the Small Business Development Center, the Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, the Richland County Foundation, and the North End Community Improvement Collaborative, would be available to offer assistance.“There is a community of resources available and we want them to pick the best one to fit their needs,” said Cohen. “We see it as an entrepreneurial event to get people plugged into entrepreneurism.”For additional information or questions about Braintree, email or call 419-525-1614419-525-1614.

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