ASPIRE 2017 can help you on your entrepreneurial path

Entrepreneurs tend to always be thinking about the next step in business.

When a plan comes together and leads to a successful outcome, there is pride at what has been accomplished. They look back at what worked and didn’t work in order to understand what they can take away from the experience. Then it’s quickly on to the next task where a new plan of action will take shape.

For a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s that journey, and the ups and downs along the way, that fuels their spirit and drives their passion.

On May 18, many of the region’s finest entrepreneurs, investors and dealmakers will gather at Renaissance Cleveland Hotel to share that passion with the attendees of ASPIRE 2017, presented by Fifth Third Bank.

ASPIRE is a chance to gain expertise and valuable perspective on buying and selling businesses, raising capital and conducting successful liquidity events. The daylong experience will feature dynamic keynote speakers such as Edward F. Crawford, chairman and CEO at ParkOhio Holdings Corp., and Steven J. Demetriou, chairman and CEO at Jacobs.

Panel discussions throughout the day will explore the mechanics of dealmaking and offer the opportunity to learn from some of the men and women who make business happen in the Cleveland area.

One of Northeast Ohio’s finest entrepreneurs, William E. Conway, director and chairman emeritus at Fairmount Santrol, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his numerous accomplishments over the years.

ASPIRE represents a tremendous opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs. They can gain first-hand knowledge from those who have seen it all on how to turn challenges into opportunities and enable your business to reach its full potential.

Continuous learning is not just for young and up-and-coming leaders, however. Even the most successful entrepreneurs recognize the value of honing their skills through ongoing education.

The first ASPIRE Conference debuted last year to a sold-out crowd and attendees walked away from the event with all kinds of useful lessons to take back to their respective companies. Business leaders were able to network with peers and perhaps lay the groundwork for their next big deal. They valued the opportunity to meet with other people and engage in face-to-face conversations.

Many of the leaders we’ve spoken with over the years in Smart Business have shared that it was a casual conversation or an informal meeting that led to the start of their own company. Entrepreneurs are forward thinkers who are always prepared to get to work on the next great idea. You never know when that idea or opportunity will present itself and what it could lead to.

Don’t miss out on this unique occasion to hone your skills and put yourself in the best position to maximize the value of your company with some of the brightest business minds in Cleveland.

Make your plans to attend ASPIRE 2017 today by contacting Meredith Rankin at (440) 250-7023, [email protected] or visiting

Fred Koury is president and CEO at Smart Business Network Inc.