Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor gains first full-time director in Jeff Epstein

To some Greater Clevelanders, the MidTown Corridor may be merely a gap between downtown and University Circle, but what Jeff Epstein sees is an area ripe for development.

Helping foster that development is one of Epstein’s goals as the first full-time director of the Health-Tech Corridor, which encompasses MidTown, as well as eight other Cleveland neighborhoods; four hospitals, including University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic; four academic centers; eight business incubators; and 123 high-tech companies.

Four years old

Created in 2010 by the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, MidTown Cleveland and BioEnterprise, the Health-Tech Corridor covers 1,600 acres of land targeted at businesses involved in the biomedical, health care or technology fields. Funding for Epstein’s position comes from a Cleveland Foundation grant to MidTown for staffing, management, marketing and planning in the Health-Tech Corridor.

“It is a dynamic location for business to grow,” Epstein says. “We have all these great ingredients here.”

Epstein joined the corridor organization in August after seven years at The Coral Co. where he most recently served as the vice president of development. He says his work experience will help him build and maintain partnerships necessary for the corridor’s growth.

“My overarching goal is to create jobs and help grow business,” Epstein says.

Under that, his priorities are developing and implementing a marketing plan to tell the story to local, regional, state and national companies; focus on development projects to create appropriate space in the corridor; and lastly to create momentum and positive energy, which piques the interest of businesses looking to locate in the corridor.

Maintaining enthusiasm

“Cleveland has momentum. We want to be part of all the exciting growth,” Epstein says referring to attention given to the region by the likes of Lebron James, the Republican National Convention and award-winning hospitals. “We need to make sure we are leveraging all those positive stories to maintain enthusiasm and traffic to the corridor.”

One of the first challenges in all of this is making the corridor stand out when facing competition from Northeast Ohio suburbs, as well as other metropolitan areas in Ohio and across the nation, Epstein says.

He says there are many reasons a business should want to locate in the corridor including the proximity to two world-class hospitals, Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College.

“I need to bang the drum, coordinate all the players so we are all moving in the same direction,” Epstein says. That is where his experience in development at the Coral Co. and market research and polling in Washington before that give him an upper hand. Epstein is familiar with working in the cross sectors between nonprofit organizations, municipalities and businesses.

“I’m focused on doing the best job I can to grow the corridor,” he says. “There’s tremendous potential here and more to come.”

How to reach: Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor, (216) 391-5080 or www.healthtechcorridor.com