Before starting my internship at the Cleveland Health Tech Corridor (HTC), I knew little about the organization. I had done my research and knew the facts, but still didn’t grasp what the nonprofit was all about. What exactly is a business incubator? How does the HTC geography fit in with the mission of the Corridor? How might I comprehend an area that contains 1600 acres, four academic institutions, four hospitals, and eight incubators and accelerators?
Within days of working with Jeff Epstein, the executive director of the Health Tech Corridor, I understood the mission of the Corridor and how important its work is to revitalizing Cleveland. Now my mission was clear: I had to figure out the best way I could contribute to HTC’s success in eleven short weeks.
When the leaders of BioEnterprise, the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, the Cleveland Foundation, and Midtown Cleveland came together six years ago to figure out how they could utilize assets in the city to attract more companies, they came up with the idea of the Health Tech Corridor. Jeff Epstein joined as the first executive director of HTC two years ago and the pace of progress continues to quicken. Now with more than 170 health-tech and high-tech companies, the HTCs’ buildings are running out of space and it is moving quickly to develop more land. The goal of the nonprofit is to provide space to high-tech and health-tech companies in the HTC and market the Corridor as the vibrant, innovative, community-oriented space it is.
Whether you’re from Cleveland or not, you know Cleveland is on the rise. I have no doubt that one reason for this is the Health-Tech Corridor. Start-ups and long-standing companies alike love being located in the Corridor. It’s the place where top talent wants to be, funding resources are available, rent is reasonably priced, and easy transportation with the Health Line is readily available; it really is the best place to bring high-tech and health-tech companies.
Since joining the HTC in early June, I have learned so much about exciting goings-on in Cleveland. I’ve created company profiles by interviewing interesting CEO’s and founders of companies. I’ve experienced Microsoft’s miraculous Hololens at CWRU’s augmented reality lab. Now, I’m planning tours of the HTC for anchor organizations so they become fully aware of the opportunities being created for Cleveland through the development of the HTC.
The thoughtful structure of the Cleveland Foundation’s Summer Internship Program has helped to make this learning experience especially meaningful. The program’s weekly professional development seminars give me an opportunity to be curious; at our service project, I was able to reflect; at networking events, I have learned more about my fellow interns and their experiences.
As a recent college graduate, I can’t imagine a better transition into the workforce and introduction to the Cleveland nonprofit sector. I get the opportunity to be involved with the Cleveland Foundation, learn about many other nonprofits in the Cleveland area, and represent a unique organization such as the Health Tech Corridor.
Haley Marblestone, a graduate of Allegheny College with a major in Communication Arts, is placed at Health Tech Corridor. Haley plans, coordinates and co-leads tours of the Health Tech Corridor to showcase its assets and amenities. In coordination with HTC Director, she defines goals and objectives for different audiences and stakeholders, targets tour participants and coordinates key site visits.