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Tech conferences throughout Cleveland are hoping to connect entrepreneurs with investors

Hear from Blitz Bazawule at the Mimi Ohio Theatre at FutureLAND and how to harness the potential of Cleveland's BIPOC entrepreneurs in arts, culture, and technology.
Kelly Krabill
Ideastream Public Media
This past weekend's FutureLAND conference is just one of several tech conferences that are happening in Northeast Ohio.

2023 has been quite the year for technology related investments in Ohio.

This summer the state's Department of Development announced that $111 million would be available through the Ohio Early Stage Focus Fund and the Ohio Venture Fund.

Applications to receive those dollars are open now, and will then be allocated to various tech start-ups later in the year through 2024.

The news of these dollars comes of the heel of news that Google will spend $1.7 billion to expand several data centers in Central Ohio.

That's on top of the $2 billion that Google has already committed on those data center projects.

While those large-scale spending initiatives are happening, there are more regional and focused events happening here in Northeast Ohio.

The Ohio VC Fest takes place later this week in Cleveland, the FutureLAND tech conference occurred last week in Playhouse Square and the All In For Tech Day is taking place on Tuesday.

All of those initiatives are aimed to promote smaller tech companies and shine a light on ones that are excelling in their field.

What does all of that mean for Northeast Ohio and the rest of the state? Do leaders want us to become the next Silicon Valley -- the Silicon Heartland? Or something else?

Monday on the “Sound of Ideas” we'll zero in on several of those conferences happening this week and then later in the show, share a conversation with NPR's Steve Inskeep about his new book which focusing on the political acumen of President Lincoln.

"Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded In A Divided America" is a profile of 16 individuals in Lincoln's life that Inskeep uses to paint a picture of a patient man that used his disagreements with others to formulate his distinct political views.

- Baiju Shah, President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Ted Souder, Founder, Wiggs Holding; Former Google Employee
- Hardik Desai, Managing Partner, Jumpstart Ventures
- Charu Ramanathan PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, vitalxchange
- Steve Inskeep, NPR Host and Author of "Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded In A Divided America"
- Drew Maziasz, Producer, Ideastream Public Media

Watch video of the episode from the Ohio Channel in the player below.

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.