Center for Innovation & Growth


CIG Past Events


Fall 2014


Global Entrepreneurship Week
BW plugged into this international celebration and staged a roster of events that included the CIG/Ernst & Young Innovation Summit, free innovation talks, a Cleveland pitch contest for women, and more.

  Bad Girl Ventures Fall Session

Bad Girl Ventures teamed up with the Center for Innovation & Growth and Blackstone LaunchPad to offer its distinctive training program at the Berea campus, and to award fellowships for the first time.


September CIGtalk
Ryan Farris, Parker Hannifin Corp's co-inventor of the first lightweight and portable exoskeleton that allows people with severe spinal cord injuries to stand up and walk, wowed students and community members at the "Innovation Can't Be Paralyzed" CIGtalk.


Local artists Steve Cagan and Mary Kelsey showcased how they turned passion into opportunity to create their exhibition depicting the works and lives of El Choco, Colombia, grassroots miners - and threats to their traditions. The artists' "Mechanized Gold Mining vs. Rainforest Cultures in El Choco, Colombia" exhibit ran September 3-16 at the Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG). Organized by Professor Michael Melampy with help from BW's Biology, Political Science, Art and Foreign Language departments, CIG's first "Gallery Talk" brought together the BW and NE Ohio community for an exciting and informative lunch-and-learn opportunity. The NEO Sierra Club Rainforest Committee and the Center for Innovation & Growth sponsored the exhibition. 

Spring 2014


February CIGtalk
SWEET! INNOVATION - Students, entrepreneurs and community members learned all about Cleveland's food truck craze with local entrepreneur David Southerington, owner of Sweet! The Mobile Cupcakery. And the cupcakes were delicious!

  March CIGtalk
JOIN THE CROWD! - Guests met with one of Ohio's foremost authorities on crowdfunding: Dr. Bob Cohen, CEO of Braintree Business Development Center, who shared insights on negotiating the crowdfunding landscape to help launch that next big idea!

Fall 2013


  September CIGtalk

NONPROFIT INGENUITY - Social entrepreneur Mary Johnson, assistant executive director at Conucopia & Nature's Bin (Lakewood, Ohio) shared how - since 1975 - the businesses evolved from an idea to a social enterprise transforming lives, futures, and communities.

October CIGtalk
ETCH-A-ENTREPRENEUR - Local celebrity artist George Viosich III, of GV Art + Design (Lakewood, Ohio), wowed the crowd who learned how he turned a passion for artwork and toys into a world-renowned venture. George's "Etch-a-Sketch" drawings have allowed him to meet some of the most famous athletes, celebrities, and world leaders of our time, while also providing a springboard to open his own design firm.

Spring 2013  


February CIGtalk
EarthQuaker Devices (Akron, Ohio) - BW (and SPROUT) '01 grad Julie Robbins and husband, former Black Keys tour manager Jamie Stillman, wowed the crowd while sharing their entrepreneurial success story about turning their passion for music into "one of the most creative, futuristically retro stompbox outfits in the biz." (Premier Guitar magazine) 

March CIGtalk
Bold Alternatives (Cleveland, Ohio) - Rob Martens, founder of one of the most active solar businesses in the area shared how his company has been pushing the boundaries of technology and applications for the solar industry since its 2007 launch. Students and guests learned how action-oriented individuals turned passion into a business model that really got things going (and even led to the 416 solar panels installed on top of the CIG roof!

Fall 2012  


Innovation Summit featuring winners of the 2012 Northeast Ohio Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program

Participants learned how northeast Ohio based companies continue to overcome challenges, inspire others, and ultimately, fuel the region's economic growth at "Ingenuity & Perseverance: Real World Insights on Innovation" from 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winners Joseph A. Carrabba, chairman, president & CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.; A.J. Hyland, president & CEO of Hyland Software; Eric Lofquist, founder, co-Owner, president & CEO of Magnus International Group; and Theodore Zampetis, president & CEO of Shiloh Industries Inc.

Blackstone LaunchPad Guest Entreprenuer Presentation
Connections Count: Networking for Entrepreneurs Presented by Margey Lowery, Owner, Ladies Who Launch - Cleveland

Blackstone LaunchPad Guest Entrepreneur Presentation
Featuring Alex Nosse, Co-founder, Joy Machines Bike Shop


October CIGtalk
Dr. Ray Onders, Director of Adult Minimally Invasive Surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Dr. Onders shared insights on medical innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, including how he developed a minimally invasive procedure to allow ventilator-free breathing for paralyzed patients (including actor Christopher Reeve). He has since led the effort to apply that same technology to extend the lives of ALS patients.

Blackstone LaunchPad Guest Entrepreneur Presentation
Know Your Customer: Voice of the Customer Training
Evaluating Your Venture Idea: Is it REAL? Can it WIN? Is it WORTH doing?


September CIGtalk
Tom Lix, Cleveland Whiskey
More than 40 students, innovators and community members gathered to enjoy learning from Tom Lix, Founder of Cleveland Whiskey, who shared his story as a serial entrepreneur whose most recent venture is revolutionizing whiskey production and helping transform the region. See gallery.

Blackstone LaunchPad Guest Entrepreneur Presentation
Micki Tubbs: Co-founder and CEO, FIT Technologies

Blackstone LaunchPad Opens for Business
Baldwin Wallace University officially opened the doors to a new campus program that encourages young people to pursue entrepreneurship as a career and to turn untested ideas into real business ventures. See gallery.


Spring 2012


Spring Innovation Summit
The Heart of Innovation - Building Trust & Encouraging Risk
Keynote speakers:  
Mark Shapiro
President, Cleveland Indians and
Carmen Medina
Recently retired Deputy Director of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency


CIG Innovation Salon - "From an Idea to a Business"
Guest Speakers: Entrepreneurs Mike Belsito and Bryan Chaikin
Co-founders, eFuneral, the first online platform to connect families in need with funeral directors in their own neighborhoods (and which launched in its first market – Cleveland – at the time Mike and Bryan visited CIG)
Andradia Scovil
Recruiting Leader, Bizdom Cleveland


CIG Innovation Salon - "Local Brothers. Ice Cream Innovators."
Guest Speaker: Pete Mitchell
Co-founder, Mitchell Brothers Ice Cream

Fall 2011


Fall Innovation Summit
Myths and Realities: Building a Culture of Innovation"
Keynote speaker:  Saul Kaplan
Founder and Chief Catalyst, Business Innovation Factory

Don Esch, President & COO, Bettcher Industries

Susan Luria, Vice President, BioEnterprise

Paul Pirozzola, Global Marketing Manager, The Lubrizol Corporation

Dale Ashby, Vice President of Innovation & Technology, Parker Hannifin


LiveStream Interactive Program (Webinar)
"Growing Thought Leadership"
Keynote speaker: Peter Senge
Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Founder of Society for Organizational Learning and award-winning author of The Fifth Discipline


CIG Innovation Salon - "Nonprofit Ingenuity"
Guest Speaker: Juliana Chase-Morefield
Executive Director, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio


CIG Innovation Salon - "Innovation in Marketing from the Agency Perspective"
Guest Speaker:  Jason Therrien
Founder & President, thunder::tech

Spring 2010

Spring Summit Open Innovation - video


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