The board of directors of Bounce, Akron’s Innovation Hub, has announced that Douglas Weintraub has been named its first CEO, effective March 5. Located in the former Global Business Accelerator in downtown Akron, Bounce serves business startups, investors, makers, universities and others.
Weintraub brings more than 30 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in Northeast Ohio. Prior to joining Bounce, Weintraub has been advising various entrepreneurial companies throughout the region. A certified public accountant, active angel investor, serial entrepreneur and mentor, he has helped grow businesses by providing investment opportunities and coaching to more than a dozen companies.
Weintraub is a founding member of JumpStart Inc. and served on many board committees, from its inception to his final role as chairman from 2009 to 2012. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, where he served on advisory boards within the business school and university. He is a lifetime resident of the Akron area, where he lives with his wife, Janis. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.
“After we conducted a nationwide search, Doug stood out as a seasoned professional in the entrepreneurship and innovation space with deep roots in the Akron community,” said Deborah Hoover, Bounce board chair. “He brings the skills, expertise and network to set Bounce on the path to success as Akron’s innovation hub and a key player in the regional ecosystem. The board is thrilled to have Doug at the helm and we look forward to the journey ahead.”
As Bounce’s first CEO, Weintraub will set the strategic vision and culture of the newly formed nonprofit, with a focus on startup-driven growth, supporting university tech transfer and boosting corporate innovation efforts. As CEO, he will help build significant and meaningful relationships with stakeholders including corporations, entrepreneurs, universities, government agencies, startup hubs and investors.
“I look forward to leading the Bounce team as we begin the process of transforming this incredible, historically innovative building into a modern facility that meets the needs of Akron’s and Northeast Ohio’s current and future entrepreneurs,” Weintraub said. “With a newly renovated space and extensive programming, Bounce will be the place for entrepreneurs, business owners and community organizations to gather. The possibilities are endless.”
Hiring a CEO is yet another milestone reached in Bounce’s short history, as it becomes an essential part of growing Akron’s innovation ecosystem.
“Bounce’s mission to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Akron is a foundational element of my strategy to ensure Akron takes its rightful place as one of the great thriving cities of this generation,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “I am pleased to see Bounce’s board select someone of Doug’s caliber and experience to lead this critically important organization. I look forward to partnering with him, the board and our diverse stakeholders to continue our commitment to engaging local talent and supporting small business growth across this community.”
Located at 526 S. Main St., Bounce Innovation Hub is the region’s first open innovation hub serving Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial and innovation community. Bounce encourages open collaboration among diverse groups through unique opportunities, programs and events that engage anyone and everyone with a mind for innovation.