Economic Gardening Program Seeks Six Stage Two Growth Companies to Participate in Free Scale-up Program

CLEVELAND – MidTown Cleveland, Inc. is kicking off its second year of Economic Gardening®, an economic development program, in partnership with the City of Cleveland and supported by funding from the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development.

Economic Gardening® is a strategy used to develop existing, growing local businesses rather than using attraction methods to source companies outside the region. The tool focuses primarily on second stage growth firms. Developed in Colorado as an economic development initiative, it focuses on second stage growth companies because they are the ones with access to the fewest focused strategic or technical resources that will enable them to scale up.

Three companies participated in the program during its pilot year, 2017-2018. Lisa Reed, founder and CEO of Garden of Flavor, a manufacturer of cold-pressed organic juices, completed the program earlier this year. Reed received an overview of the juicing industry and trends, access to scientific studies about juicing benefits, a demographic snapshot of her customers, and keyword and social media strategies as deliverables from the Edward Lowe Foundation’s National Strategic Research Team. As a result of access to that data, Reed was able to revamp her approaches and implement strategies that would have otherwise cost her thousands of dollars to obtain. Reed expects to double Garden of Flavor’s revenue to $6.5M in 2018, up from $3.2M in 2017. Full case study

Six spots remain in the pilot class for companies who meet the following qualifications:

  • For-profit company headquartered and operating in the City of Cleveland for the past two (2) years
  • Annual revenue between $1M-$50M
  • Employ 10-100 full-time, W-2 employees
  • Growth in employment and/or revenue during three (3) of the past five (5) years
  • Provide products/services beyond the local area to regional, national, or global markets

Executives of participating companies gain access to a team of strategic researchers who can help their company with strategic market research, qualified sales leads, marketing, social media insights, and more—at no cost.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but the first deadline is Saturday, September 15, 2018. Two more deadlines follow on Thursday, November 15, 2018, and Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

Interested companies can explore the program requirements and application process through the live web portal. For more information, please contact Economic Gardening Program Administrator and MidTown Cleveland, Inc., staff: Gelise Littlejohn at


About MidTown Cleveland, Inc.:

MidTown Cleveland, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit economic and community development corporation that serves a two-square mile on Cleveland’s east side. Supported by area businesses, institutions and individual stakeholders, MidTown Cleveland, Inc., leverages its diverse assets to develop a dynamic neighborhood that unites the city’s downtown and innovation districts.