Launch League’s core is community. It’s no wonder that our Micorommunity program is a key focus behind who we are and what we do. With a goal to attract and engage talent in Akron, Launch League Microcmmunities have been around since the beginning. At the start of the year, we were proud to announce a new Community (Design) and have additional plans for growth throughout 2017. Today we are excited to announce a new addition to the Launch League team, Byron Delpinal, who will serve as our Microcommunity Coordinator
Courtney GrasLaunch League Leadership Grows with new Microcommunity Coordinator
On February 18th and 19th, Launch League hosted the third installment of SparkAK – Akron’s Entrepreneurship Weekend. The purpose of SparkAK is to give local innovators the opportunity to execute on business ideas with guidance from mentors and local startup founders.
Courtney GrasSparkAK Turns Startup Ideas into Action
Sometimes you have to take a step back from the excitement of a growing startup-community and say “thanks” to the organizations that make it all possible. Since 2014, Launch League has been making Akron the place to build a scalable startup by creating a startup ecosystem. Our mission to attract, engage and connect talent to startups to support economic development has been supported by the Burton D Morgan Foundation since 2015. The result of this support has been incredible. In 2016 alone:
Courtney GrasLaunch League Honored with Continued Support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation
A lot has changed since Launch League was formed and our original logo was created. We’ve gone from a scrappy group of founders to, well a scrappy group of founders who can pull off one heck of a conference 😀
On January 19th, Launch League started off the new year by filling one of Akron’s premier food and drink venues (Chop and Swizzle) with the best and brightest startup founders and tech enthusiasts. Conversations topics varied from explaining a new startup idea to talking shop & discussing the challenges and successes of current projects.
Courtney GrasAkron’s Startup + Tech Community Unite at New Monthly Networking Events
2016 has been an incredible year for Launch League. New programming, new leadership, and continued growth on the foundation we built in 2015. I’m excited for what’s next in 2017, but first, let me summarize what our community accomplished this year.
I have the honor of reflecting on the incredible community building and engagement I witnessed on Friday at Flight. As I attempt to put into words the excitement our startup community feels at this time, know that nothing can really compare to being there. But I’ll do my very best!
Courtney GrasThe view from orbit: director’s notes on a successful “Flight”
When Xyla Foxlin, a student at Case Western, wanted a hug from her long-distance boyfriend, she turned to her penchant for robotics to solve the problem. Partnering with Harshita Gupta, then a high schooler who she met at a University of Michigan hackathon, Xyla wanted to make a teddy bear that could hug back. With a grant from the 1517 Fund, these two STEM stars turned their project into a company that has wowed audiences at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and SXSW in Austin, TX. Though Harshita is now focused on her studies at Harvard, Parihug has a growing team and is set for a crowdfunding campaign early in 2017. Xyla gave us a sneak peek at the insight she’ll share during Flight in Akron on December 2. Register for the conference at launchleague.org/flight and learn about the company at parihug.com
Launch League ContributorThe tech that hugs you back
How should she answer these questions, as entrepreneur or designer? That was the question. The fact she could respond either way is part of what makes ZoCo Design founder Lacey Picazo so special. So we encouraged her not to choose but do both as “a designer turned entrepreneur” which leads us to answers that are as insightful as they are unexpected. Just imagine what she’ll have to share at Flight in Akron on December 2. To register for the conference, visit launchleague.org/flight and to find out more about ZoCo, visit zocodesign.com.
Launch League ContributorBring on the Designtrepreneurs
With a background in is computer science and technical operations engineering — as well as a decade of professional IT experience — Patrick Regan now works as a Cloud Specialist Solutions Architect with Red Hat Technologies. His experience as both a software and operations engineer makes him passionate about DevOps and promoting collaboration within technical organizations. For a sneak peek at what he’ll be sharing at Flight on December 2 in Akron, we asked him four questions, which he took liberties answering. To register for Flight
Launch League ContributorBeing a startup without starting your own business