MAGNET Incubation Center


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Applications are closed as of July 1st


Over $40,000 in prizes including...

Cash Awards

Expert Assessments

Free MAGNET Incubation Center Memberships

Subsidized Projects

And More!


What is mspire?

Northeast Ohio's only pitch competition exclusively for product-focused startups and small manufacturers

Why should I apply?

Winners are matched with resources to help them reach their unique goals

Who can apply?

The competition is open to any entrepreneur or small business with an innovative idea in the 21 counties of Northeast Ohio, including:
Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, and Wayne. 

What are the specific prizes?

MAGNET Projects – 100% off of a $5000 project, 50% off of a $10,000 project, 25% off of a $20,000 project

3-month memberships to the MAGNET Incubation Center 

$5,000 in cash and project funding from the Business Growth Collaborative for minority entrepreneurs in Greater Cleveland

A $4,000 Intellectual Landscape Assessment from Renner Otto

5 hours of free legal advice and consultation from Jackson Lewis

A 3-month membership to the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen

A Food Certifications Assessment from the CCLK (value tbd)

A Digital Marketing Package including Professional Search and Social Campaigns set up from the Markey Group ($3,000 value)

I applied last year. Can I apply again?

Yes, but please make sure to highlight any new changes to your product or business that will make your application even more exciting last year. 

What are the judging criteria?

Each project will be evaluated for fit with MAGNET's existing services (including operations, employee development, product development, process innovation, quality management, sales and marketing, and talent pipeline) as well as feasibility, economic impact, and potential for job creation.

What types of submissions are you looking for? 

Any product or process improvement in manufacturing is welcome. If you can touch and feel it (and it's new to the marketplace), your product is eligible to apply. Winning submissions will be a good fit for MAGNET's existing consulting and engineering services, and lead to economic growth and job creation here in Northeast Ohio.

What do you mean by "subsidized project"?

MAGNET is looking to help companies make their product ideas a reality, and we know that often requires prototyping, 3D printing, designing for manufacturing, growth consulting, quality management, sales and marketing support, and more. MAGNET has expertise - on staff and in our network - in all of these areas. But these projects have a cost; for example, creating a prototype can run $10,000, or launching a website for your product can go for $5000. For winners of mspire, MAGNET will subsidize these specific projects and leverage its considerable resources to do them in an affordable, efficient manner that will make a tangible difference for your business.


What's the overall timeline?

May 15th - Online application opens

July 1st (12:00 PM) - Application period closes and initial evaluation begins

July 9th - Finalists announced

August 8th and 9th - Presentations

August 15th - Winners announced


Congratulations to our 2017 winners!