Stark County Pitch Competition

In April, 10 local entrepreneurs shared their creative business ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of judges at JumpStart’s Stark County Pitch Competition held at Deli Ohio in downtown Canton. Each entrepreneur, who either lives or owns a business in Stark County, had 4 minutes to pitch their idea for a chance to win $1,000. Some of the business concepts included traveling art parties, a touchless pen sterilizer, a soul food cafe and co-working spaces.

The winner, Larissa Smith of FishMySpot, took home the $1,000 grand prize for her idea to connect anglers with private landowners for local fishing experiences (think Airbnb for fishing). The other nine finalists each received $250 to grow their businesses in Stark County.

Prior to the pitch competition, all finalists had the opportunity to hone their skills and fine-tune their pitches by working closely with JumpStart’s Innovation District HQ team.

Workforce Menu

Although our county's population is aging and retiring rapidly, your company can help by creating a stronger and healthier talent pipeline. Choose an option from our Workforce Menu , ranging from 5 hours per year to 4 hours per week of support.

My Stark Story: Adrian Culler

It was a combination of his family's artistic skills and entrepreneurial spirit coupled with his hard work and determination that afforded Adrian Culler the opportunity to own a successful minority business in the community he grew up in and loves.
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Integrated Internship Program

As part of Strengthening Stark's talent development initiative, we have been working closely with area high schools, career-tech centers, colleges, chamber of commerces and both regional for-profit and nonprofit businesses to develop strategies to recruit and retain young professionals in our community. The work has resulted in the creation of an integrated internship program for Stark County that provides students with experiential learning opportunities within our array of small, mid and large size businesses across the county.

In our recent video update , hear how area chamber of commerces are connecting with employers in their community to provide them the tools they need to hire and manage interns.
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Contact us at (330) 453-562 8 or if you want to get involved. We would love to chat about how you can play a role in Strengthening Stark County.

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Need a crash course in Strengthening Stark? The Canton Repository has you covered! Visit the Rep's website for a quick and easy to access page with links to every Strengthening Stark story written by the paper since the initial report was published in 2017.