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Event targets aspiring entrepreneurs

Melissa Topey • Apr 18, 2014 at 5:50 PM

The Erie County Economic Development Corp. and the Erie County Chamber of Commerce are partnering for the next RISEing Entrepreneurs event.

The RISE speaker series promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and offers support to those thinking about becoming or just starting out as an entrepreneur. Anyone with an interest in starting their own business or curious about what it might take are encouraged to attend, said Peter Zaehringer, executive director of the Erie County Economic Development Corporation.

RISE operates at the BGSU Firelands College campus. The school provides support to the local incubator program with educational resources and faculty to assist local entrepreneurs.

“Those who participate in an incubator program are eight to nine times more likely to succeed than someone who does not have the support or network of the incubator,” Zaehringer said.

The next event is from 4 to 6 p.m. April 23 at EHOVE’s Young Chef Inn.

There is no charge to attend.

Jason Nemeth, founder of InStore Finance in Cleveland, will speak about his experience starting a business, including the good and bad decisions he made.

InStore Finance offers merchants a platform to finance customer purchases online.

Nemeth, who grew up in Lorain and graduated from Vermilion High School, wanted to open up a tech business in Northeast Ohio nine years ago.

“There was no support then” Nemeth said.

Seven years ago he returned from Michigan and found an incubator program.

"It was completely different. I was in a network and had a ton of support,” Nemeth said. “That allowed me to launch my company here instead of packing up and going to California, which a lot of companies do”

Even though he is busy, it was important for him to share his experiences and maybe help guide others.

“Once you get to a certain level it’s important to let others know how they can get there walking the same path” Nemeth said.

The agencies hope to have a speaker every four months, Zaehringer said. The next speaker has yet to be found.

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