There’s something about the seconds right before you receive news that you don’t know if it’s good or bad that is truly terrifying, at least it is for me. An innate need to know the future is something that I believe truly drives a great number of people and is the reason why we look to “what’s already been tried” so often, because we hope it’ll tell us what to expect. So the other week, when our ED (and cofounder of Launch League) came to me and said with a grim look “hey, we should probably talk…” my level of uncertainty shot through the roof. He explained that he had been offered another position and that he would be accepting it. My guess is that he was pretty uncertain how I would take the news so we were likely both a bit on edge. After making sure that this is what he wanted, my mind instantly went to “who could replace you?” In true Rick fashion, he already had a name. One that was potentially perfect but came with a big question: “yeah that’d be amazing but is she even available? Isn’t she doing about 1,000 things?” Turns out she was more than happy to make the time.
Nicholas PetroskiA Change in Launch League’s Leadership
Launch League was created for the simple purpose of creating a community for scalable startups. The idea actually started about three years ago when I was doing startup events out of the OSC Tech Lab. Throwing monthly events while running a startup was a large amount of work and definitely wasn’t sustainable without help. About a year ago Rick Stockburger helped actually form the events into an organization with a clear mission. The vision was the same, an Akron that bustled with quality startup activity, but now we had a vehicle that might actually take us there.
Once we had the vehicle we needed help fueling it. We needed both people and capital to make real change in the city. We found a number of capable people willing to jump on board and be a part of this movement so what was left was the capital. We looked for sources of capital that had the foresight and risk appetite to take a chance on something bolder than what’s been tried before. One of the organizations that responded very positively to us was the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. They have had a long history of thoughtfully supporting entrepreneurship and were very interested in partnering with us, even at that early stage. Today, we’re happy to announce that partnership has taken another step with the award of a $20,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to Launch League to build on our success over the past few years of building a place for startup founders to thrive in Akron.
From all of us at Launch League, thank you for taking a chance on a startup community non-profit a year ago, and thank you for continuing to support our work in the community today.
Nicholas PetroskiA small startup non-profit named Launch League