Bounce Strengthens Program for Black Entrepreneurs

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(pictured left to right, Dr. Constance Peek-Longmire, Lucas Tindell and Da’Shika Street)

AKRON, Ohio (March 23, 2022) – Bounce Innovation Hub announces that it has hired three business owners and advisors to serve as the organization’s first entrepreneurs in residence (EIRs) working with clients in the Next Level Business Incubator, part of the GROW program at Bounce. 

The Next Level Business Incubator is for established, Black-owned small businesses that are ready for growth. EIRs work directly with entrepreneurs and owners to help navigate the journey of growing a company. These EIRs are the central component to the Next Level program.

“We are extremely excited to expand our EIR program to Next Level and to our community’s Black entrepreneurs,” said Jessica Sublett, Bounce COO. “All small businesses, at some point, need one-on-one advising and coaching. This is something Bounce has always provided our technology clients, thanks to our Third Frontier State of Ohio funding. Now, because of a group of local funders, we can offer this service, and many other benefits, to our Next Level (non-tech) clients.”

Thank you to the City of Akron, Huntington Akron Foundation and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation for the funding to make this possible.

About the Team
The new EIRs are:

Constance Peek-Longmire, Ph.D., is the founder of Living with Purpose nonprofit organization, Peek Institute Professional Development and Grace International Bible College. She has served as a VP of customer service, HR manager, university instructor, executive coach, and diversity and equity consultant. Dr. Peek-Longmire attended The University of Akron and received her doctorate from Grace and Truth Seminary in Indiana. 

Da’Shika Street is an Akron native and founder of VineWorks Marketing, LLC., a branding agency which serves as the parent company to Project Sew United and BABE Magazine. She is best known for hyper-brand activation and advocacy for women of color through business. Her most recent endeavor, Project Sew United, was established on the premise of addressing the worldwide shortage of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas Tindell is an author, public speaker, corporate trainer, executive coach and podcast host. He has ten years’ experience working in key leadership positions focusing on organizational and personnel development. Tindell has also worked with private and government agencies to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for lasting success.

The program is managed by Asha Zayn, who has been with Bounce since 2020. “I am eager for the opportunity to manage the Next Level Business Incubator program, that has been so heavily considered as a means to cultivate meaningful and impactful relationships with Black entrepreneurs in Akron!” said Zayn. “I have been afforded the chance to learn more about Summit County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for the sake of Bounce’s clientele, and it’s been an honor. Next Level is the first of its kind in Akron and I am pleased to hold the responsibility of managing such an intentional program.”

Next Level 2.0
The program, which has been around since 2019, has been completely revamped and expanded to include several benefits and resources that can help established entrepreneurs scale their business.

These include:

  • Accounting and financial services
  • Core business operations services (marketing, legal compliance, etc.)
  • Access to the Bounce entrepreneurial network
  • Business coaching and advisory services (EIRs)
  • Networking opportunities and community events
  • Action plan development
  • Affordable office space and shared workspace

There is no cost to join the Next Level Business Incubator. However, to be accepted into the program, companies must meet certain criteria and are required to fulfill specific obligations if they are accepted.

To apply: www.bouncehub.org/apply

For more information: www.bouncehub.org/next-level-incubator; www.bouncehub.org/team

Questions? Contact Asha Zayn, program manager, azayn@bouncehub.org

Media contact: Jeanine Black, chief marketing officer, jblack@bouncehub.org

About Bounce
Bounce Innovation Hub is located in downtown Akron in a former B.F. Goodrich plant and comprises 300,000 square feet of office, lab and light manufacturing space. More than 50 companies and organizations are located in Bounce.  Bounce encourages open collaboration among diverse groups through unique opportunities, programs and events. The organization has served more than 300 entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses since its founding in January 2018.

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