Bizdom U Cleveland Now Accepting Applications for Inaugural Entrepreneurial Session

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Entrepreneurial accelerator looks to spur economic growth with next generation of business leaders.

“Entrepreneurs who complete Bizdom U will be fully equipped with the knowledge, network and resources necessary to launch viable and scalable businesses that will help strengthen Cleveland’s downtown core,” said Andradia Scovil.

Bizdom U, a non-profit entrepreneurial accelerator that trains and mentors aspiring local entrepreneurs to launch and grow successful businesses, is now accepting applications for its inaugural Fall 2011 Cleveland training session. Bizdom U intends to launch waves of scalable businesses in downtown Cleveland.

Founded in 2007 by Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., Chairman of Rock Gaming LLC, and the Operator of the Quicken Loans Arena (“The Q”), Bizdom U is dedicated to creating stronger entrepreneurial cores in the Cleveland and Detroit downtown areas. With a significant company presence in Northeast Ohio and a commitment to downtown development, Gilbert announced last fall that Bizdom U’s first expansion would come to Cleveland. Orientation for the inaugural session of up to 20 Cleveland entrepreneurs begins in mid-October. The Bizdom U Cleveland downtown location is still being finalized.

“Entrepreneurs who complete Bizdom U will be fully equipped with the knowledge, network and resources necessary to launch viable and scalable businesses that will help strengthen Cleveland’s downtown core,” said Andradia Scovil, Bizdom U Cleveland Recruiting Leader. “Bizdom U is intense. Participants will need to completely change their routine. Their days and nights will require full dedication to train, plan and implement the launch of their businesses; however the investment will be extremely rewarding both individually and for the Cleveland community. The application is only the beginning.”

Scovil brings her expertise from Cleveland’s Civic Innovation Lab, where she assisted grassroots entrepreneurism by working with young business owners, helping them turn their passion into reality. A Cleveland native and Cleveland Public School alumna, Scovil returned home after graduating from Ohio University to focus on improving the city for future generations.

“Andradia’s unique knowledge of Cleveland’s business landscape is vital in our efforts to strengthen the city’s downtown core,” said Ross Sanders, Bizdom U CEO. “At a time when many people are leaving the state to find opportunity elsewhere, Andradia will be at the forefront of identifying entrepreneurial talent and fostering it for tangible results.”

Bizdom U entrepreneurs undergo an initial four months of full-time, demanding training in the fundamentals essential for new business owners, such as marketing, sales and finance. During that period entrepreneurs develop plans for innovative and growth-oriented businesses that must be located within the downtown area of the local Bizdom U operation.

The training features accomplished business leaders who provide insight into the real-world experience of running a business. The hands-on training bypasses the standard textbook and lecture format and immerses participants in situations they are likely to encounter as they establish their own businesses.

Bizdom U, a non-profit organization, offers training at no charge to participants and provides a modest living stipend to applicants who are accepted into the program.

After completion of the initial program, entrepreneurs present a detailed and complete Cleveland-based business plan to a Bizdom U funding committee. If the plan is approved, the participant will receive:

  •     Start-up funding from the nonprofit Bizdom Fund (up to $100,000)
  •     A share of ownership in the business
  •     Post-launch training, plus continued mentorship

Any future proceeds acquired from Bizdom U's share of ownership in the launched businesses are reinvested into future Cleveland-based businesses born out of Bizdom U.

The deadline to submit an application for the inaugural Fall 2011 Cleveland training session is July 29, 2011.

For more information about Bizdom U visit http://www.bizdom.com, e-mail clevelandinfo@bizdom.com or call 216.586.8985.

Gilbert’s Cleveland Connection:
Gilbert’s family of 40-plus companies employ 5,000 people nationally, with more than 2,000 in Ohio through the Cleveland Cavaliers, the AHL Lake Erie Monsters and Quicken Loans Arena, as well as the Quicken Loans Web Banking Center and Veritix, a paperless event ticketing company, all located in downtown Cleveland. In November 2009, Gilbert successfully backed a state constitutional amendment bringing full-service casino gaming to Ohio.

About Bizdom U:
Bizdom is a comprehensive, non-profit, entrepreneurship accelerator located in Detroit, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio. The program was launched by Dan Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Gaming LLC, Majority Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters, Operator of the Quicken Loans Arena (the “Q”) and Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., in January 2007. Local entrepreneurs and professionals who share their real-world experiences with entrepreneurs in the program participate in training. During the four month, full-time, program, entrepreneurs prepare plans for a business, which must be located within city limits. Entrepreneurs whose plans are approved can receive start-up funding for their plan of up to $100,000. Bizdom U maintains a share of ownership in each business, using its share of the proceeds to fund future entrepreneurs that will launch even more innovative businesses in these cities. For more information, visit http://www.Bizdom.com.

About Quicken Loans Inc:
Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender and among the five largest overall retail home lenders in the United States. The company closed a record $29 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2010, and recently closed its 1 millionth loan. Quicken Loans employs approximately 3,700 team members and generates loan production from five web centers located in Michigan, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Michigan as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates for 2010. "QuickenLoans.com" has been named "Best of the Web" by Forbes and Money magazines. The company also has been named to FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies To Work For" eight consecutive years, ranking as high as #2, and named in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine's "100 Best Places to Work In Technology" for six years in a row. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in the Detroit Free Press' 'Top Workplaces of 2010' List. The company recently moved its headquarters and 1,700 of its 3,700 full-time team members to downtown Detroit. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit http://www.quickenloans.com.

About Rock Holdings Inc:
Rock Holdings Inc. is the parent company for several financial services related businesses and employs more than 4,000 team members. These client-focused and technologically-driven companies include Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and One Reverse Mortgage unit, the fastest growing reverse mortgage lender in America; Title Source, a nationwide leader of title insurance and settlement services; Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), a mortgage origination platform servicing community banks and credit unions across the country; In-House Realty, the preferred real estate partner of Quicken Loans that matches clients with trusted real estate agents in all 50 states; and, Quizzle.com, the online innovator and website where consumers manage their home, money and credit. Rock Holdings, Inc. also recently moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit.

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