Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI)

YBI is the 11th best University affiliated business incubator in the world. With an emphasis on Business to Business software, and now additive manufacturing, the YBI has developed a huge support network and assembled a extensive network of on-site talent that make the YBI and its many companies a successful enterprises. (24 min)

The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) is an internationally recognized program focused on the development of B2B software application companies in the Mahoning Valley. Its success has been well documented by Businessweek, Inc., The Economist, Next City, Entrepreneur, Details, Governing, Salon, the German Financial Times, and the BBC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, ABC and Tokyo Broadcasting.

The Youngstown Business Incubator has generated a buzz about their verifiable track record of success, by leading the Mahoning Valley to compete in the global knowledge economy. The YBI has shifted the perception of our community – in our own and in the eyes of the world – by growing a base of technology companies and entrepreneurs to ensure future jobs for talented regional professionals.

Our 32 portfolio companies operate out of a Youngstown Business Incubator owned four building campus in downtown Youngstown, Ohio. Our campus is also home to a federally funded research and development center, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (

YBI is funded in part by the State of Ohio through the Edison Incubator Program, as well as through the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network.

Link to the Youngstown Business Incubator Website:

About The Presenter:
Mr. Jim Cossler, CEO and Ms. Barb Ewing, COO of the YBI

Mr. Cossler officially is the Chief Executive Officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator, but is better known throughout the country as the organization's Chief Evangelist.

From his position as Senior Vice President for Corporate Services of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jim joined YBI in 1997 as its C.E.O when it was positioned as a traditional, "mixed use" incubator and became the primary architect of its transformation into the nationally known incubator, accelerator and managed technology cluster that YBI is today. His primary role is to serve as a mentor and entrepreneurial expert to YBI's portfolio of companies as well as to build and manage the internal and external relations and networks necessary for their growth and success.

Jim serves on Business and Computer Science Advisory Boards at Kent State University, the University of Akron, Hiram University and Youngstown State University of which he is an alumnus with a major in Philosophic Literature. With a major like that, the whole Chief Evangelist thing starts to make sense.

Ms. Ewing joined the YBI after 8 years working in Congressman Tim Ryan's office in the position of Economic Development Director. Prior to that, she was VP of Public Policy for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she lobbied to bring state and federal funding back to the Mahoning Valley for community development projects. She is pleased to be teamed up again with Jim Cossler, who was her first boss at the Better Business Bureau (and who was still willing to hire her, in spite of having worked with her previously!).

Ms. Ewing's position at YBI will build on all of those professional experiences, as she works to secure funding to expand both the physical campus and operations of the organization, oversees daily operations and continues to build on the collaborative relationship YBI currently enjoys.

A Mahoning Valley native, Ms. Ewing holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University and her Master's Degree from Capella University.