The business plans are done. The two-minute “elevator pitches” delivered.
Now, a panel of judges has selected two winners of StartUp Lakewood’s Ideation Challenge.
The winners are Jonathan Yale of HooftyMatch, a proposal for an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of locally produced meats; and Daniel Dudley of Lakework+, a plan for a membership-based “co-working space” to supply the desired office amenities to entrepreneurs and new business owners.
Whittled down from about a dozen applicants, each of the winners will each receive a few boosts — including a full scholarship to an entrepreneur training session.
Both participated in the city’s StartUp Lakewood initiative, where they picked up some valuable lessons at the “Ideation Sessions,” which will now take place regularly at the University of Akron Lakewood campus.
“They’re motivated young entrepreneurs with the beginnings of good ideas, and we look forward to seeing how these ideas take shape,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “I could see them launching within a year. They both had a great blend of creativity and pragmatism.”
Here’s more on the winners:
Lakewood Patch: We’ve heard your two-minute elevator pitch. What’s your two-sentence elevator pitch?
Jonathan Yale: HooftyMatch is a data collection an dissemination service focused local meat products. We make it easy to find, purchase and track quality meat from farm to fork.
Daniel Dudley: It’s a co-working space, where small business owners and workers can pay to gain access to different amenities. It’s great because the membership is month to month, which is impossible in a commercial real estate situation.
LP: Where do you see your business in one year?
JY: In one year, HooftyMatch will be the eBay of premium, local meats in select markets.
DD: I am working with the planning department and LakewoodAlive to find co-working spaces in Lakewood. I hope to be launched in early 2013, and in a year, have co-working spaces in Lakewood.
LP: How does winning the Ideation Challenge help?
JY: Ideation contacts can help establish the necessary connections to build our network. Also, Ideation mentors could help guide us to target the highest ROI initiatives.
DD: It’s been awesome. I’ve only been in Lakewood for two months. Winning put me in touch with some really interesting people — not only the judges, but the people I was competing against. It’s been a snowball effect. I’ve met a lot of people in Lakewood and in the Greater Cleveland area.
LP: Why startup? Wouldn’t it just be easier to join a company and earn a paycheck?
JY: No. We have the privilege to design an ideal society. The ideal society is healthy, connected and educated. HooftyMatch exists to create this society.
DD: It would probably be easier for me to get a job, but I don’t think it’s something that’s for me. I really enjoy organizing things, and helping people organizing their vision. In the future I may get a 9-to-5 job, but I will do something where I can bring personal motivation to do what I want to do. I’d rather just make my own job.