Shaker LaunchHouse hopes to foster more young entrepreneurs as a result of a new partnership with LightHouse, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit that invests in student executives.
The two entities announced the creation of LEAP — the LightHouse entrepreneurial accelerator program — at an event earlier this month. Organizors say it will give 10 to 15 students access to workspace, an entrepreneurial curriculum, a network of mentors, and possible investment funds to help turn ideas into startup firms.
The announcement was made at an event in which the two groups recognized area student entrepreneurs for their recent accomplishments. Of the 14 students honored at "A Night of Recognizing Student Entrepreneurs,” three attend Shaker Heights High School. According to LightHouse.com, they are:
- Chris Hill, a Shaker Heights junior who runs Minecraft Nation a gaming company and server for more than 150 players.
- Hope Gerald, a junior at Shaker, who operated a lemonade and food stand. Her total revenue was more than $3,000.
- Gyasi Wingo, a senior at Shaker, who designs clothes for his streetware fair trade company.
“LightHouse is, essentially, LaunchHouse for students," LightHouse managing partner Zach Schwartz said in a statement. "We aim to provide support, mentors, investment, and space for the entrepreneurial student community in Cleveland.
“Our program, LEAP, is one of the nation's first-ever true business accelerators for high school students. We are excited to launch the inaugural LEAP class in the summer of 2013 at LaunchHouse.”