Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Serial Entrepreneurs and the Regional Economy

March 17, 2017 @ 7:30 am - 8:50 am

Event Recap:

The Center for Free Enterprise held their eleventh consecutive sold out event, and we appreciate the invaluable sponsorship of Key Private Bank, particularly Greg Keegan.

A remarkable panel, moderated by Ben Calkins, consisted of Ron Copfer, Sam Gerace and Gene Groys. The panel has started respectively 15, 7, and 2 businesses and shed light on their success to the audience.

Ron Copfer is the Founder and Chairman at Heureka Software, Sam Gerace is the CEO of LaunchVector, and Gene Groys is the founder of CareIntel and Onshift. With this remarkably successful panel the event raised a lively discussion about the ups and downs of investing in businesses and the panel shared the importance of working with highly skilled and experienced professionals when for example entering into relationships with investors.

Also, the panel told the audience that right now is a great time to start a business in NEO, but said raising capital remains a challenge in a region where much of the wealth generated decades ago is managed conservatively.

Overall, it was an excellent event that gave great insight in investing in businesses in today’s market and left the audience with some great tips and advice.

Here are some key takeaways from the panel:

  • The local entrepreneurial ecosystem suffers from a relative paucity of successful exits.
  • It is important for entrepreneurs to perform due diligence on their prospective investors and not just vice versa.
  • Our regional ecosystem has come a very long way over the past 15 years.


Original Event Post:

SPRING AHEAD with The Center for Free Enterprise: REGISTER NOW while seats are still available! Our January Event was our BIGGEST EVER.

Have you ever wondered how serial entrepreneurs create a valuable business? And wondered how those businesses impact our regional economy? Ron Copfer, Sam Gerace and Gene Groys, very successful enterpreneurs all, will discuss their businesses, their impact and look into the future. You will also have the opportunity to meet other investors, business owners, senior managers and professionals who have similar interests to your own.

This event is sponsored by Key Private Bank (Greg Keegan and Ken Greaney), The Calkins Law Firm and Red Hawk Associates

A special word about Key Private Bank: KPB is a leading provider of wealth management solutions and advice to more than 24,000 high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth clients, including wealth advisory, investment management, trust administration, customized credit, family office and private banking services. 

Join these experts below and get insights to these topics and more along with Q & A at the Cleveland Racquet Club. Check in and complimentary breakfast starts at 730a, Panel starts at 750a. This event is complimentary and by invitation only.

The Program includes:

Ron Copfer: Founder of Heureka Software, Ron is a pioneer and veteran of the new economy and a serial entrepreneur. Ron has founded or co-founded 15 technology firms in his career. Most recent ventures prior to Heureka were focused in the legal services and eDiscovery space. 

In 1993, Ron’s first startup began when he was asked to beta test something called the “Mosaic Browser” for a guy named Marc Andreesen (!) and several other students at the University of Illinois. Soon thereafter, he and his team built the first commercial website (!) between Chicago and New York. Ron is a pioneer of the digital economy, leading the design and development of on-line configurators, electronic catalog, digital asset and document management systems as well as digital marketing strategies. He has worked on information systems projects for many firms including Parker-Hannifin, Eaton, Omnova and the Cleveland Clinic. 

In 2005, Ron spun off FathomSEO, which eventually became the 13th largest eMarketing firm in the US. In 2012, he assumed the operations of what is now Heureka Software, an enterprise big data platform company in the Information Governance segment. Ron currently sits on the advisory board of the Masters of Engineering Management at Case Western and on the advisory board of DigitalC. He is past President of NEOSA.

Samuel Gerace: Sam is a successful five-time entrepreneur.  He is the founding CEO of LaunchVector™, and was the founding Chief Executive Officer of four prior companies: Veritix® (acquired by AEG), a sports and live-entertainment SaaS platform company processing over $1 billion in commerce transactions annually; Be Free® (Nasdaq:BFRE), a digital marketing and sales SaaS platform company processing over $2 billion in commerce transactions annually; PCXIS®, Inc. a public utility marketing software company; and PCX Consulting, Inc., a systems development firm serving heavy industry.  Sam has raised over $2M in angel capital, $76M in venture capital/private equity, and over $200M in the public markets.

Sam chairs the board of Minds Matter of Cleveland and serves on the boards of Boxcast, Ohio Venture Association and Hawken School.  He is a former Director of ValueClick (NASDAQ:VCLK) and Be Free (NASDAQ:BFRE).  Sam is currently an entrepreneurial mentor with Jumpstart, Inc., Flash Starts, and the Hawken Entrepreneurial Studies Program.  He holds an A.B. in Biochemistry from Harvard University and an EMBA from CWRU Weatherhead.

Gene Groys: Gene is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at the Youngstown Business Incubator.  He has also served as the CEO of Carelntel, which created a technology to manage the continuity of a patient’s clinical data as they transitions across different care environments. Gene was also the founder of OnShift, a JumpStart portfolio company that today has grown to over 50 employees and provides staffing and labor management software to long-term care and senior living providers across the U.S.

Gene has worked hand-in-hand with hundreds of healthcare providers, helping them achieve financial, operational and clinical goals as part of their overall staffing and patient management initiatives. His work experience spans leadership positions at both startups and Fortune 500 organizations, in the areas of customer implementation and services, mobile computing and product management. Gene has also presented at numerous industry conferences, is a member of the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) Quality Commission and serves on the board of the Ohio Person-Centered Care Coalition (OPCCC).

Moderator: Ben Calkins leads The Calkins Law Firm. He is co-founder of the Center. 

Program Host: David Brown founded Red Hawk Associates, an M&A advisory firm, in 1998. He is co-founder of the Center.

730a Continental Breakfast

750a Program

850a Adjourn


 Are there ID requirements to enter the event?

Pre registered guests only, please, due to space limitations.

 Is my registration/ticket transferrable?


 Do I need to print and bring my paper event ticket?


 Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact David Brown at [email protected] or 216/245-7879.

 How do I contact the professionals at Key Private Bank? 

For more information about Key Private Bank’s services, please contact Greg Keegan (440/995-2112) or Ken Greaney (440/995-2107). 


March 17, 2017
7:30 am - 8:50 am
Event Category: