In addition to the many amenities and attractions the area offers, Akron/Canton has a thriving network of people and companies willing to help and support local entrepreneurs and business start-ups.

The University of Akron is one of the biggest proponents of local entrepreneurs. The University of Akron’s Research Foundation (UARF) undergoes cutting edge research and invests time and money to build, attract, and retain high tech companies locally, including sponsoring technological research. The Akron Regional Change Angels (ARCHAngels) helps to present technologies and ideas from local start-up companies to investors and business professionals who can help to fund those ideas and take them to the next level. The Student Venture Fund at the University of Akron conducts due diligence of early stage companies, provides some micro funding, and helps connect those companies to additional funding resources. The College of Business Administration also works closely with area businesses to place interns and create a stronger entrepreneurial network between the University of Akron and local businesses.

Akron/Canton is also home to SCORE Chapter #81. SCORE is a non-profit whose mission is to provide assistance with starting a small business or making a small business more profitable. They offer free counseling, mentoring, workshops, and seminars provided by a group of successful local business professionals. They also offer the Entrepreneurs’ Idea Exchange where people at all stages of their business can meet to get feedback on business practices and ideas.

There is help for the environmentally focused, as well. Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) recently relaunched its Akron network. E4S offers networking opportunities and learning programs to support sustainability across businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) also recently launched an Akron-Canton Extension. The USGBC is a non-profit that hopes to make sustainable buildings available to everyone within the next generation. The Akron-Canton Extension is meant to advance the green building agenda in the region through education, consultation and cooperation. They hope to work with local government and businesses to promote sustainable practices in the region.

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