Wanted at Bounce: People with Ideas

By Jess Melton, director of community and partnerships

I have been involved in the northeast Ohio startup community for several years now—from helping launch TechPint, to building JumpStart’s Startup Scaleup event, growing the Industry Conference with the team at Product Collective and now serving as Bounce’s director of community and partnerships. One similarity in each of these projects is that they all seek to engage and grow their communities. The science behind growing communities has been a passion of mine and I have been looking for the right opportunity to help me explore and test ideas. That’s what brought me to Bounce.

As the person who runs and oversees the operations and programs in Bounce’s new first-floor Generator space, I saw an opportunity for the perfect place to help support a community. This is the first time Bounce (and formerly the Akron Global Business Accelerator) will be open to not just technology companies, but companies from all industries and entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

Our focus is to bring together and support people with ideas. With a public café, coworking space, event venue, makerspace and eSports lab in the works, in addition to our incubator, accelerators, iterator (a product development program run in partnership with MAGNET) and public programming and services, Bounce now has all the necessary tools for someone to take their idea to the next level.

And in May, we’ll finally be ready to show it off to the public! Here are some of the things we have planned as we open our doors and celebrate.

First-Floor Grand Opening and Building Open House

After months of planning, construction and hard work, we are finally ready to reveal our new first floor! On May 22, we are opening our doors to not only showcase the new space, but to also give you a chance to experience everything that happens here at Bounce for yourself.

We are starting our day at 8 a.m. with a yoga class taught by our amazing partners at Yoga Squared. We have been working on creating unique partnerships with local businesses to bring wellness (and fun) to our members at Bounce and the community. Directly following the class, attendees will be treated to mimosas, refreshments and a private tour of the space. Admission is free, but space is limited, so register today!

At 11 a.m., we are premiering a new program, Bounce’s Office Hours. It is our mission here at Bounce to help entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors connect to the resources they need to keep building. Office Hours offer the opportunity for attendees to sit down, one-on-one, with an expert and get some free advice. We have pulled together a great group of community partners, advisors and service providers to help answer any question you might have about your business or idea. Moving forward, we plan to offer Office Hours on a monthly basis, at no charge, so you will always have a place to turn. Schedule your appointments here.

Finally, we will end our day with a building-wide event to let you experience Bounce for yourself. Kicking off at 4 p.m., we will have numerous activities throughout the full 300,000 square foot building. Activities include: hands-on demonstrations in our makerspace; activities with the University of Akron eSports team in our eSports lab; a full open-house of all 51 of our tenants; Crafty Mart DIY “Make and Take” activities; and our software accelerator’s first Demo Day, where you can hear pitches from some of the region’s up-and-coming tech startups. Registration is appreciated.

Plus, the whole day is an open coworking day, so if you have ever wanted to try out a coworking space or just need a spot to hang out for the day, stop on by! You can sign-up in advance here.

Ultimately, May 22 is just the beginning. What we hope to grow at Bounce is a place where people can meet, businesses are grown and a community of the best and brightest minds find a home to nurture their ideas. Growing a community is not a one-way street. We are looking for community partners, service providers, and of course, people with ideas to come and take part. Whether you are looking for a sound board for your ideas, a place to build a prototype or just to network with like-minded people, we want you as a part of the Bounce community. Please join us!