Frequently Asked Questions
How can EDGE potentially help me or my company?
EDGE is focused on driving growth for NE Ohio mid-market companies through peer-to-peer business education for CEOs as well as leaders throughout the company. EDGE caters its programming to leaders wrestling with pressing issues and challenges – creating a confidential learning environment. Great for connecting with successful peers, too.
What types of Northeast Ohio companies benefit by working with EDGE?
1. Companies (any industry) with revenues of $4M – $15+M.
- Scalerator NEO Business Accelerator (6-month free world-class program). For the CEO and key leaders, focusing on Customers, Cash and Capacity. Peer-to-peer learning available to alumni companies, too.
- EDGE Ambassador Program provides a personalized connection for CEOs with seasoned executive leaders to address pressing business issues or to just listen.
2. Companies that export outside NE Ohio (generally revenues $10M – $80+M).
- Catered peer-to-peer educational programming for CEOs, functional leaders (HR, IT, Finance, Operations, Sales & Marketing, Innovation), emerging leaders and rising professionals.
- Also, family-owned businesses (Legacy Group) and regional peer-to-peer groups (i.e. Geauga County).
3. Companies of any size interested in Innovation, validating market opportunities, or gaining access to student talent.
- InnoQuest (an innovation discussion group) visits innovative companies and places around NE Ohio and connects leaders with industry practitioners and other leaders at universities and across industries.
- EDGE Fellows Program engages talented graduate students and mentors to help companies validate market opportunities through valuable primary and secondary market research.
- EDGE assists with connecting companies with university talent and internships as well as coordinating programs like The Commons Innovation Accelerator.
Who can participate from my company?
EDGE offers professional development opportunities for CEOs, functional leaders (HR, IT, Finance, Operations, Sales & Marketing, Innovation), emerging leaders and rising professionals in the early stages of their careers. EDGE offers a la carte programs as well as months long series of multiple sessions.
What do companies value about their involvement with EDGE?
Most commonly EDGE companies value:
- Learning best practices for their CEO and leadership team
- Keeping current / learning nuggets on pressing issues
- Staying connected with other leaders and practitioners
- Learning from non-competing peer companies
- Being in the company of successful leaders
- Having a resource for bouncing ideas
- Gaining easy access to industry practitioners
- Social connection and engagement.
- Effectively addressing the challenge of being “alone at the top.”
How is EDGE different from other non-profit organizations?
EDGE is a self-sufficient, member-driven non-profit that develops and delivers programs based on its customers’ needs. It does not rely on federal, state or community funds that can dictate how an organization is able serve its customers.
How is EDGE different from other executive education providers?
- While many organizations only cater to the CEO, EDGE develops its programming for CEOs and their entire organization – from functional leaders (HR, IT, Finance, Operations, Sales & Marketing) to emerging c-level leaders to rising professionals who are in the earlier part of their careers.
- EDGE works across all industries (manufacturing, service, distribution) and helps companies explore innovation, internships and business development.
- EDGE only serves Northeast Ohio. Our local network of contacts is very deep; we are able to provide concierge-like service to our members. Looking for an introduction? Searching for a certain type of employee or service provider? Chances are EDGE can help.
Is there a way to join an EDGE program to test it out?
Yes. EDGE invites professionals to participate as guests in a variety of areas. Contact Doug Suna, COO (Doug@edgef.org), to explore options.
Is there a cost to participate?
EDGE offers many ways for companies to get involved:
- No cost offerings like the Scalerator NEO or Ambassador Programs
- Associate Membership (where a company participates in one program). such as the Scalerator, Legacy or Innovation Peer Groups.
- Full Membership – where leaders throughout a company have the opportunity to participate in many different EDGE programs.
Why choose EDGE vs. other organizations?
- EDGE delivers great value for CEOs looking to grow and improve their company as well as provides valuable opportunities for leaders throughout the organization to develop and thrive.
- Because EDGE operates exclusively in Northeast Ohio, it has as deep a set of contacts in the region as anyone and has access to leading practitioners.
- Therefore, EDGE can provide concierge-like service to member companies and a personalized approach specifically designed for leaders of the region’s mid-market companies.
- EDGE provides a confidential forum for learning and connecting. Almost all EDGE sessions are closed to outside professional service organizations.
What’s happening with COVID and the need to practice social distancing?
Like other organizations, EDGE has changed how it conducts meetings – with a combination of virtual and in-person. In-person sessions are small, conducted either outdoors or in a space where social distancing can be observed, and adhere to policies developed on how to operate safely.
The need for community and learning from others is greater than it has ever been. Members share very difficult issues, like navigating PPP loans, handling workforce and family challenges, workplace safety, and employee testing. EDGE feels that the use of video conferencing is a best practice to maintain the same feeling of connectedness that comes from in-person gatherings and strives to make the sessions interactive and engaging (rather than simply talking at their audience).
If I am a student, how can I get involved?
EDGE is committed to connecting students and businesses through meaningful experiential learning opportunities – to provide value to Northeast Ohio companies as well as to develop future talent.
- Summer EDGE Fellows Program – For graduate and promising undergraduate seniors interested in new business development and consulting.
- The Commons – For undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional students interested in innovation and professional development.
- Students are often invited to participate in ongoing EDGE programming as guests.
- Interested? Contact Chris Keller, Director, at Chris@edgef.org.
Can I help mentor students or other business leaders?
There are several ways for professionals to help mentor students or business leaders:
- Summer EDGE Fellows Program – graduate students validate new business opportunities for area companies.
- The Commons Innovation Accelerator – work with students helping companies explore innovation ideas.
- EDGE Ambassador Program – C-level mentors help advise other CEOs.
- EDGE Advisory Board – Help guide EDGE staff in fulfilling its mission.
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To reach someone at EDGE, visit Contact Us.