Friday, March 20, 2015


NEXTOhio: A Free Internet Startup Conference 
by Brit Charek

One of the most daunting things about starting your own business is navigating the law, particularly when you begin selling online. Fortunately, as I have learned over the past few years, entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio have a lot of resources at their disposal, and the NEXTOhio Conference plans to collect many of those resources and put them all in the same place.

The conference, which will take place the evening of April 9th at Quaker Station and is completely free of charge, will start with a series of seven TED-like talks from area professionals, and end with a Pitch contest where local startups will compete for a cash prize. After that, there will be free food, a cash bar, and the opportunity to network with other local entrepreneurs.

"The event organized itself," says Annal Vyas, the event organizer, a professor at the SEED Legal Clinic at the University of Akron School of Law. "The heartbeat of Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial spirit is incredibly strong."

I've been working with Professor Vyas and the SEED Legal Clinic for the past year. They've helped me take my inherited passion project, Crafty Mart, from being a simple bi-annual event to a full-fledged nonprofit arts organization.

The conference will be held at Quaker Station near the University of Akron

"We are a population of creators," Vyas continues, speaking of Northeast Ohioans. "I've had so many conversations with so many internet entrepreneurs who want to learn, grow, and network. This Conference emanated from those conversations."

Some of the that will be covered include:

  • How to Start Your Internet Company is You Don't Know Code
  • How to Learn Code and/or Find a Technical Cofounder
  • The Lean LaunchPad Methodology Gaining Traction in Silicon Valley
  • What Angel Investors are Looking for and How to Attract Funding in the Midwest
  • Killer Mistakes that Startups Make
  • Local Resources for Startups

The event is geared towards tech startups, but according to Vyas it will be "worthwhile to countless other demographics investors, designers, programmers, artists, and techies all will benefit!"And most importantly"If you're a fan of free pizza and a cash bar, we have that as well."

NEXTOhio will take place at Quaker Station on April 9th from 5:30-7:30, and the networking will continue until 10:30pm. The event, which is exclusively sponsored by Thompson Hine, is free to the public but advanced registration is required. You can RSVP here.

For more information, visit their beautiful website at

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