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RESPONDENT QUOTES GOOD & BAD

(Some edited or removed for the purposes of anonymization and clarity)

Great community!

StartInCLE is an inspiring community!

It's important that the "users" are engaged in the ecosystem created to support them. I've enjoyed seeing the progress that this grassroots effort has made in a very short period of time.

Love what you all are doing and I think it's massively healthy for slowly but surely, year-over-year building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.

Since i am not a founder i don't attend, but If it ceased to exist would mean a lack of enthusiasm amongst the founder community which would be a bad signal for the region.

It's a great resource that's underutilized and can help us get competitive with other cities.

I feel like StartInCLE is one of the only founder-focused organizations that has a pure agenda. I love the way you have brought founders together and the consistency in which you've done it.

Great opportunity to meet like minded people and scout potential talent and customers.

Organic community organizing is important, it's the same life cycle i went through with .

Despite having an existing local community in my industry, my needs and challenges align more with the startup industry than the industry I'm in. I struggled for many years to find contemporaries with similar struggles, until I found StartInCLE.

Haven't had a chance to participate yet much unfortunately, but like where things are headed

Having something that is organized and centered around founders is super important to the future of CLE. No one has any motives except getting together and helping each other.

StartInCle is the only platform in NEO to meet other founders.

We need a bigger start up ecosystem.

StartInCle feels open / inclusive and more down-to-earth / in-touch than other groups. I think a lot of that is because there's no money involved / no investing. Founders can be vulnerable and get the support they need. Also, it's not a tech play, or a food incubator, or any one industry. It's for all types and formats of startups. That's cool.

I think the work you are doing is grounded at the lowest level in building a give first community in NE Ohio. Using the Razer gaming peripherals moniker; for founders, by founders. It should be the first comfortable place a founder turns too.

We need to become a founder driven and centric ecosystem. Right now it feels like support organizations exist to build their own brands and drive their own agendas. Support organizations are nothing without startups- we need to remember that and build programs that address the real needs of founders. (We need more founder friendly high-risk money, access to real talent, connections made just in time and the ability to support nascent chaos. This is gritty, thankless work and it’s rare to find organizations willing to get their hands dirty.)

Off to a good start, more work to do!

I am yet to take advantage of something that has been absolutely crucial for me or my business, but everything I have been a part of has been very good and positive for moving in the right direction.

Everyone that uses the network comes together under the “helping support and strengthen” banner. It’s necessary.

As a past founder I know the immense benefit of having a strong ecosystem. Cleveland's is a bit weak compared to the coasts but StartInCLE is playing a large role in changing that. It's also good to see an organization with no hidden agenda. While it's great some corporate entities try to help startups I always question their motive.

It's the only thing trying to build up a community - I'm just not sure the community really is there (to no fault of your own). It's a region thing that just is missing something and I'm fully supportive of those (you) who are actually trying to make something happen.

Don't feel extremely compelled to attend meetings, but the Slack group is interesting to keep updated on.

I believe in the startup culture StartInCLE is trying to create. If we could get founders to connect/intersect and drive the narrative around what their needs are or where our city needs to evolve that would be awesome!! Thanks for pioneering this work.

I've made a lot of connections/met people I wouldn't have otherwise.

I am new to the Start In CLE community, so I have not had an opportunity to fully utilize it. My business needs are somewhat different than the typical start-up.

I hope to get more involved in it yet, but have not so far.

StartInCLE is the only program that tries to actively increase the density of founder interactions in Cleveland. That energizing interaction exists naturally and spontaneously in other regions like Silicon Valley / San Francisco, where I happen to be as I complete this form. For example, I arrived at a co-working space in Sunnyvale at 10:30 am this morning. After just 2 hours, I've met and spoken to three strangers, and they've provided valuable input on my company and me on theirs.

The momentum is really picking up and I want very much to see it carry on.

Organization has been great catalyst in advancing entrepreneurial community, we need more voices and connectivity!

I think StartInCLE represents the essence of what the Cleveland startup community really need to grow. If they no longer existed, I would feel discouraged that we will never see change in our region.

StartInCle has done a lot to bring together and support local founders in Northeast Ohio. It would be really sad to see the organization no longer around.

Your program is a great way to enhance our ecosystem and get people from different silos to meet one another.

Because you are beginning to really have an impact, the momentum is building.

Even though it’s not possible to make it to every event... I meet fellow founders that have interesting and helpful perspectives and advice every time. Also, it’s the only way founders, especially new ones (the usual suspects are cool, but seriously, the new people are awesome and add vibrancy), will ever get together to hang out and talk.

There are currently additional forums for meeting other co-founders, though none with StartInCLE’s specific focus.

Getting people talking to each other is huge.

Knowledge, networking, ethics, caring, the whole enchilada.

I think the community needs organizations who understand the mindset of Cleveland startup founders who have limited resources.

I don't see alot of resources for starting businesses just already started businesses.

StartInCLE is the only regular support open meeting in CLE for Startup Founders.

Cleveland needs SOMETHING that isn't associated with the "ruling class".

The only group of founders, by founders, for founders. Keeps my entrepreneur PTSD in check.

It seems like you are doing work people really value.

It's a very good start in bring together the tech founder community. I would suggest thought be put into a results oriented mission. Social "get to know" each other a good start. But, unclear (publically communicated) regarding specific goals -- in order to attract a more founder supporting community - money, customers, mentors.

I like everything Start in CLE stands for. I like that it’s grassroots, while catalyzing the ecosystem and challenging the status quo.

Connection and community people in the same boat is irreplaceable.

So important to our founder eco-system in NEO.

Community needs more leaders not less.

I think opportunities to interact with other founders and startup communities is valuable, though I have never taken advantage of the StartInCLE dinners.

Founder dinners are good for getting an idea of what other founders are doing in the area.

It's gaining traction to bring people together.

StartInCLE makes the Cleveland startup community better. It would leave a hole as there isn't anything similar to fill the space it occupies. But, as it only takes away from me in and of itself, I will only be somewhat disappointed.

There's just nowhere else to interact with founders in NEO.

It’s important to have a culture of entrepreneurship in our region that is driven from the founder perspective to balance representation in the startup ecosystem.

I've worked with 5 extremely NEO founders and none of them felt startup community events added value for them. I'm also torn with the fact that having been a founder myself I know how limited a founders time is. They are already shorting friends and family and now we expect them to short them more in the name of the community. As an operating investor, I honestly see no value in having a founder I've invested in doing the same. I'd rather they spend extra time with close friends, family and taking care of themselves.

I don't truly understand the value of the organization.

Ecosystems of entrepreneurs are essential to their success.

My understanding is that Founder dinners are especially targeted to tech companies and product companies. My startup company fits neither category. I haven't attended as I haven't felt that my business is welcome.

Need more like this in NEO.

You're putting a spotlight on the community in an unbiased positive way.

Really it is not valuable to me (or at least has not been so).

It fills a need for companies under $1m finding their footing.

Besides being in the facebook group I haven't actively participated. Paying to go to networking dinners isn't something I see as value for a startup. As for the other resources I haven't tried to get more involved as its been a pretty rough experience dealing with the Cleveland entrepreneurial ecosystem. Its not that I don't think its valuable, I just haven't found value for my company in it.

I appreciate the heart behind this initiative and know the importance of it growing and thriving.