Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support

Supporting new, innovative companies that will blossom into the economic engines of tomorrow is a priority of the County and its partners. Several of our development partners provide assistance to our start-up, scale-up and small businesses in order to help them grow. If you currently own a small business, or are looking to start one, several of the resources below may be right for you.

Bounce Innovation Hub

Founded by the City of Akron, Bounce Innovation Hub is Northeast Ohio's first open innovation center focusing on supporting and growing new and small entrepreneurial firms, and connecting them with both investors and established large firms. Located in downtown Akron, and including a small business incubator, accelerator programs, makerspace and Summit County's largest co-working space, Bounce truly serves as the innovation epicenter of Summit County. If you are looking to start an innovative new business, or are looking to put your start-up in the right environment, we encourage you to connect with Bounce. Learn more about Bounce here.


Focusing on the entire Northeast Ohio region, Jumpstart provides venture capital and intensive, high impact assistance to diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners, working one-on-one to establish and achieve growth. Services provided by Jumpstart include new business assistance, business mentoring, scaleup services and funding and support of diverse businesses in underserved areas. Jumpstart is also a leader in Northeast Ohio in providing capital investment to start-ups in order to encourage growth and success. Learn more about Jumpstart and its expansive services here.

Summit Medina Business Alliance

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) manages Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout the United States. The Summit Medina Business Alliance is a consortium of local governments that host an SBDC under the SBA to provide services in Summit, Portage, and Medina counties. In several states, including Ohio, SBDC Business Advisors must be certified to assure a baseline professional standard. Services provided by the Summit Medina Business Alliance include pre-venture consulting and training, start-up assistance, growth assistance and organizational reviews. Additional information on the Summit Medina Business Alliance is available here.

Minority Business Assistance Center

Based in the Akron Urban League, the Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) supports the growth and sustainability of small, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses. Assistance to minority business includes access to capital, surety bonding, and professional assistance. Additionally, the MBAC assists businesses with obtaining MBE/EDGE certifications that enable minority-owned businesses to have additional opportunities to obtain work with the State of Ohio and local governments. For a better understanding of the services the MBAC offers to minority-owned businesses, please click here.


The University of Akron Research Foundation's (UARF) mission is to transform and expand the region's innovation economy through entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization, application of University of Akron research, and creation of new entrepreneurial ventures. UARF offers a series of programs and services to start-ups, with a focus on technology-based companies. Support from UARF includes advice and mentorship, tactical support services and connections to other entrepreneurial providers. Learn more about UARF's services here.


Capitalizing on the know-how of experienced executives, Akron SCORE mentors new and small business owners on how to succeed in today's economy. Volunteer executives assist with the creation and vetting of business plans, provide guidance on how to grow your business, and conduct workshops on the necessary steps to start a new business. We encourage you to contact Akron SCORE today to take advantage of their free business assessment and other mentoring services.
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