Entrepreneurship Education Consortium Forges New Path Linking Local Colleges, Businesses & Entrepreneurial Resources
Deborah Hoover to Take Helm as Chief Executive Officer
The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC), which has fostered collaboration and entrepreneurial education for local college students since 2007, will become the hub for the collegiate entrepreneurship ecosystem in Northeast Ohio.
Longtime philanthropic leader Deborah D. Hoover will lead the charge as the EEC drives the next level of growth and impact in the region.
The aggressive, widened strategy will focus on expanding collaboration within the youth, collegiate and adult entrepreneurship ecosystem.
EEC as Innovation Hub
“Northeast Ohio has many resources to help entrepreneurs and students develop ideas and become important drivers of the local economy. These resources could be even more impactful if brought together,” said Colette Hart, board president for EEC.
“The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium will serve as the hub that will connect the dots that make up our ecosystem, paving the way for enhanced collaboration, alignment and strategic coordination.”
Hoover's Vision for Northeast Ohio
To lead this initiative, the EEC has hired Deborah Hoover as its new CEO. Hoover will retire as the president and CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation at the end of this month, following a successful 15-year tenure.
Entering her fifth year with EEC, Reka Barabas will continue her work on the leadership team as the chief relationship officer.
“I have enjoyed all facets of my work with Burton D. Morgan Foundation and Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, but the work I loved the most focused on building and growing entrepreneurship programs at colleges and universities across our region,” Hoover said.
“Watching students develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset, helping them expand their potential and figure out how to bring ideas to life has been exciting and rewarding. This opportunity to assist EEC transform into the region’s collegiate hub is a great match for my personal and professional goals as a committed ecosystem builder. Our team looks forward to partnering with other strategic talent initiatives already underway,” she added.
With ongoing support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and through partnerships with its 11 member colleges, JumpStart and the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, the EEC has been successful already. It has helped students launch their own businesses and become valuable and skilled members of the business community.
While Northeast Ohio is nationally recognized for its collegiate entrepreneurship ecosystem, it is time to expand upon those efforts.
To determine the gap between where the region is and where it needs to be, the Burton D. Morgan Foundation engaged Civic Collaboration Consultants and The Osgood Group to conduct surveys of stakeholders.
The findings painted a clear picture of what the consortium should focus on in the future:
“The message was clear that all the pieces and parts already exist, we just need to connect them,” Hoover said. “To bridge these gaps, the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium will engage additional funders, partner with more colleges and forge new connections with the adult entrepreneurship and business communities.”
Among those new efforts will be participation in the newly formed Cleveland Talent Alliance, as well as continuing to work with the Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School, JumpStart, Bounce Innovation Hub in Akron and MAGNET.
Hoover is also on the board of TeamNEO and recently joined its Talent Development Council.