IdeaCrossing (www.ideacrossing.org), the free online community that helps entrepreneurs connect with regional and national mentors, experts, service providers, investors and other resources, announces the launch of Workspaces. The new feature provides entrepreneurs with private online collaboration areas to help them develop and grow their businesses.
Workspaces give entrepreneurs a virtual meeting place to collaborate with their advisors and stakeholders without being bound by geography or business hours. Through Workspaces, entrepreneurs can request online feedback, share documents, and obtain referrals to others who can help advance the business.
“Early stage entrepreneurs need better ways to collaborate with their current advisors and expand their networks,” said Tiffan Clark, Vice President of IdeaCrossing. “Workspaces create new opportunities and enable advisors to collaborate with entrepreneurs in a trusted group environment in a way that is both time sensitive and efficient.”
To help an entrepreneur get started, IdeaCrossing automatically generates a summary PDF document of the business based on the IdeaCrossing Business Profile. As the entrepreneur gathers feedback and evolves the business, the entrepreneur edits the Business Profile. IdeaCrossing automatically incorporates these edits into the PDF document accessible in their Workspace. The entrepreneur’s Workspace members can then view the updates or download the summary and share it offline.
JumpStart Inc. (www.jumpstartinc.org), the Cleveland, Ohio-based nonprofit accelerating the successes of entrepreneurs, their high growth companies, and the support ecosystems they need, launched IdeaCrossing in 2007. A tool originally designed for the individual entrepreneur, IdeaCrossing is now being introduced into regions seeking to increase entrepreneurial activity.
“IdeaCrossing can complement any region’s efforts to support entrepreneurship,” says Mike Mozenter, President of JumpStart’s community advisors group. “All entrepreneurs find it difficult and time consuming to find the people, organizations and companies that can help them develop and grow their businesses. IdeaCrossing provides entrepreneurs with a cost-effective way to connect to expertise and resources, and does not limit the entrepreneur to resources located in the region.”
In addition to Workspaces, IdeaCrossing matches entrepreneurs with prospective investors and business mentors using a proprietary matching engine. Regional assets such as universities, economic development organizations, chambers, foundations, and professional service providers can also register and create profiles to highlight their services or offerings within a searchable Service Provider Directory. The IdeaCrossing Resource Center also includes news stories, user-submitted articles, and an event calendar searchable by zip code.
Today, IdeaCrossing has over 6,000 registered community users from across the nation. “The community is growing. As more users join and recommend it to others, we think IdeaCrossing can become a hub of collaboration that can aid in growing our entrepreneurial economy,” says Clark.
JumpStart Inc. accelerates the successes of entrepreneurs, their companies, and the ecosystems supporting them. Its number one job is investing time and sometimes dollars in diverse, early stage companies that are positioned to excel in high opportunity markets. The organization also supports the growth and strengthening of Northeast Ohio’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem and uses its experience in doing so to help regional leaders across the country to grow more entrepreneurial companies in their own regions.