Lighthouse Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (LEAP) at LaunchHouse

Lighthouse is the first true high school business accelerator in the nation. Founded by three students in collaboration with LaunchHouse (see above), LEAP is the first program of its kind in the country. Three of its officers and two officers from LaunchHouse discuss what the program offers and how it works. (10 min)

About Shaker LaunchHouse: LaunchHouse is a lean business accelerator located in Shaker Heights, Ohio that fosters entrepreneurial success and job creation through investing cash, hard word, and collaboration with interested like-minded people. Its mission is to create a hub of entrepreneurial innovation for promising startups and to help transform ideas into successful companies. LaunchHouse manages a growing portfolio of innovative startups. It focuses on promising entrepreneurs and ideas that have a high growth potential, and can quickly achieve market validation with a "small" financial outlay. It recruits, supports and coaches these ventures from idea to profitable business. LaunchHouse has provided over $380,000 in investment capital since its inception in 2009. Through development efforts, its community of mentors, connections with interns and a network of investors, these companies were able to raise over $9 million in follow-on funding.

About the LEAP Program: The LightHouse Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (LEAP) hosted by Shaker LaunchHouse is believed to be the first true high school business accelerator in the nation. The LEAP Program is a summer program for students seriously interest in entrepreneurship who wish to build their businesses or start new ones. Find out more at:

About The Presenter:
Mr. Zach Schwartz, Mr. Samir Armania, and Ms. Vibhu Krishna, LightHouse officers & others

About Samir Amrania, Co-Chairman & Chief Administrative Officer - LightHouse Samir doesn't joke around when it comes to entrepreneurship. Growing up in the Cleveland area himself, he hopes to see its many bright and talented high school students turn their ideas into something big – which is why he partnered to found LightHouse. Along with Zach Schwartz (see below) he founded and served as Co-President of his local Future Business Leaders of America chapter (which is how they met!) Previously, Samir has served as a Technical Director for Keller-Williams Realty and Graphic Design Director for Universal Design. He currently attends The Ohio State University on a full-tuition merit scholarship, where you can catch him taking breaks from studying to perform the art of stand-up comedy at Columbus' nightclubs.

About Zach Schwartz, Co-Chairman & CEO – LightHouse Zach was born and raised in Cleveland. He loves his hometown, and is passionate about helping build a community of the best young entrepreneurs and creatives in the area. He currently attends Columbia University, where he sits on the board of CORE (Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs). Previously, he has served as the only undergraduate consultant for Miami-based impact investing firm, Trippplus, and also founded his own college consulting firm. Zach is a published writer and contributes to VICE, Thought Catalog and Rap Genius, among other websites.

About Mr. Dar Caldwell, Director of Entrepreneurship/Partner – LaunchHouse Mr. Caldwell is a co-founder of LaunchHosue, a Cleveland-based business accelerator and collaborative, entrepreneurial co-working space. Located in Shaker Heights, LaunchHouse invests money, mentor-ship, and business development resources into promising entrepreneurs to quickly turn their ideas into start-up companies. In collaboration with the City of Shaker Heights, LaunchHouse transformed a 23,000 square foot abandoned car dealership into a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that is home to over 100 startups and entrepreneurs. Dar is passionate about cultivating strong local and regional support for the entrepreneur community NE Ohio. He serves as a board member for several young professional organizations and start-ups as well as the Cornell Center for Transformative Action, Cornell Club of NEO, Ohio Homecoming, IngenuityFest, and BS Landscape Architecture. Mr. Caldwell is a graduate of Cornell University. He was recently featured in Crain's Cleveland Business "Who's Who: 150 Names to Know in Cleveland which is a list of business leaders and innovators.

About Vibhu Krishna, Managing Director & Chief Creative Officer – LightHouse Vibhu is passionate about medicine, entrepreneurship and education. She is currently pursuing degrees in Spanish and Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University on a full-tuition merit scholarship. She got involved in LightHouse through a series of serendipitous events with the other partners and looks forward to its growth and first year in business, because it promotes education and creativity in the Cleveland area. Some of Vibhu's creative achievements include being published in Vogue and having her story reach #1 on Teen Ink's most-read pieces.

About Bob Means, Chief Learning Officer – LaunchHouse Mr. Means is Chief Learning Officer of LaunchHouse and one of its partners. Previously, he spent 31 years serving our Nation's Veterans by working in the Veterans Health Administration where he served as Chief Learning Officer and founded the VA University. Bob was also Director of Postgraduate Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Bob's passion and life's work has been researching how individuals and groups learn best and building innovative learning/work spaces to accommodate their needs. He remains an active member of the American Society for Training and Development's International Benchmarking Forum. Outside of LH Bob's passions are Family, particularly grandchildren and trying to find a way to simplify the game of golf. One thing you may not know about Bob is that he has two left feet.