Free entrepreneurship forum slated

Staff report

Northwest State Community College in Archbold celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and the power of small businesses in hosting its 7th Annual Entrepreneurship Forum on Monday, Nov. 9, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Voinovich Auditorium.

The free event is open to all residents of Fulton, Defiance, Henry, Paulding, and Williams counties with a business idea and want moving it forward. A virtual component will be added to this year’s forum for entrepreneurs who prefer to do a virtual presentation. Scheduled panelists include: Defiance County – Lisa Becher, State of Ohio Small Business Development Center advisor, NSCC business faculty, and local business owner; Fulton County – Matt Gilroy, executive director, Economic Development Corporation; Henry County – April Welch, executive director, Economic Development; Paulding County – Tim Copsey, executive director, Economic Development; Williams County – Megan Hausch, executive director, Economic Development; Megan Reichert, director, Innovation, Mercy Health of Toledo.

The forum will also be part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, starting Nov. 16.

The 2020 Entrepreneurship Forum provides budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of experts from the region, and to network with those experts. Two awards of $250 in funding will be awarded to presenters that day to help offset start-up costs, courtesy of Premier Bank and The State Bank and Trust Company. Mercy Health is offering up to $5,000 in services for a selected idea in the tech field.

“Our goal is to always look for opportunities to give students and community members (the help) to open businesses that really drive the economies in those areas,” said Lisa Becher, NSCC business faculty member, State of Ohio Small Business Development Center consultant in northwest Ohio, and local business owner.

Becher has created a “semi-Shark Tank-style” event that helps aspiring business owners by removing barriers to market.

“The Forum has been a wonderful opportunity for any community member or student to come up and network with a business idea they have,” she said. “One of the reasons I put this together was to break down barriers. We want to help, and move your ideas forward.”

Representatives from Premier Bank and The State Bank and Trust Co. will also serve as panelists.

Mercy Health, though its ESP program with the Ohio Third Frontier, is partnering with the Northwest Ohio SBDC for their Entrepreneurship Forum. Mercy is providing the winning technology pitch with $5,000 in services that can build prototypes, conduct market research and analysis, or define regulatory pathways.

Registration is required for the forum. Email Becher at or Space is limited, and a virtual presentation option exists for those who prefer to present remotely. Lunch will be provided. Upon registration, presenters will be provided a template for presentation and free consultation services from the Small Business Development Center.

Additional information is available at Also, look for social media posts using the hashtag #GEW2020.

Staff report