Backing the Best Business Ideas

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Brad Whitehead is looking to nurture a new crop of Northeast Ohio innovators.

WHITEHEAD: Entrepreneurs are the seed corn for the future of the economy.

Whitehead runs the Fund for Our Economic Future, a local group of philanthropists that support economic growth and competitiveness across the region. One way it does that is by backing organizations like Jump Start and Bio-Enterprise that help entrepreneurs with the nuts and bolts of starting a business --- how to write a business plan... how to work with banks... and how to draw-up the legal documents. But, not every idea is worthy of becoming a business, and that's why the Fund is hosting a group of area entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who will react to research by Case Western Reserve business professor Scott Shane on how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

WHITEHEAD: This conversation sets the stage for many in the community to sort out where to go from here, and specifically, for us at the Fund, we'll be using that to sort out our next steps in terms of the grants we make and the other actions we take.

Whitehead says in a time of tightening money, it's important to support projects with the best chance for success.

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