Flashstarts, the Cleveland-based startup accelerator and venture fund announces new partnerships in their Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence (GEIR) program: University of Akron Research Foundation and Baldwin Wallace University. This program is the first in the state of Ohio to provide an alternative visa pathway for talented international entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in Northeast Ohio, and comes with the support of and a partnership with the Global Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Coalition.

“Our goal is to cultivate and recruit successful entrepreneurs to build startups that create jobs and wealth in our region” said Flashstarts CEO, Charles Stack. International entrepreneurs play a key role in creating new, fast-growing companies. According to a recent study done by the National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of the U.S. billion-dollar startups had at least one immigrant founder. With increased scrutiny in visa applications and tightening of immigration policies, Flashstarts has forged ahead with global programming. The Flashstarts GEIR program creates partnerships with local universities to help top talent thrive in the Northeast Ohio region via an alternative visa track for foreign entrepreneurs.

Through a competitive selection process, successful applicants are identified and form a collaborative partnership with one of the participating universities in exchange for a cap-exempt H-1B visa pathway. International entrepreneurs work on campus for 20+ hours per week in support of the school’s mission, while working on their startups for the remaining time.

University of Akron Research Foundation and Baldwin Wallace University are the first two academic institutions partnering with Flashstarts Global EIR consortium. The consortium supports collaborations between universities, private equity, industry and global entrepreneurs. A similar partnership between the University of Massachusetts and global entrepreneurs has sponsored 28 local entrepreneurs whose companies have created

400+ jobs and generated $227 million in private investment since 2014, according to UMASS.

Participating startups will also be given full access to Flashstarts’ mentorship network, the expertise of Flashstarts’ executive team, and the potential for funding from investors.

Global Cleveland, the program’s strategic partner, will provide support for international entrepreneurs to move to Cleveland, and networking within our NEO community. The Flashstarts Global EIR program is also partially supported by the generosity of Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Interested applicants should apply through Flashstarts NEO Global EIR’s website.

About Flashstarts

Flashstarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator, consultancy and venture fund focused on unique and innovative uses of software and technology. Startups will benefit from Flashstarts’ executive team’s deep expertise in HealthIT, SaaS and Enterprise software. Flashstarts’ rigorous 12-week summer accelerator program is powered by rapid cycles of feedback and iteration, customized guidance from dedicated coaches, and an extensive network of top-tier, experienced mentors. For more information, visit www.flashstarts.com or follow @Flashstarts on Twitter.

About the Global EIR Coalition

Global Entrepreneur In Residence (Global EIR) enables the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs to to build their businesses and create jobs in the United States. They partner with universities to connect entrepreneurs with visas and allow them to grow their companies locally through a service commitment to the local community.

About University of Akron Research Foundation

The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) was established in 2001 to promote and support university/industry collaboration and provide effective mechanisms by which University of Akron discoveries and inventions are developed and commercialized. It is UARF’s mission to create wealth in the region through technology commercialization and leveraging networks.

About Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace University is a private university located in Berea, Ohio. BW’s Center for Innovation and Growth prepares tomorrow’s leaders by encouraging creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. BW partners with companies small and large to promote business development in northeast Ohio and assists start-ups in developing business plans for success.