About Us

We Partner with Startups to Support Their Growth

The Great Lakes Innovation & Development Enterprise (GLIDE) is a regional innovation center, business hub, and incubator space offering comprehensive services and support to technology-focused startups based in Northeast Ohio. We are located on campus at Lorain County Community College (LCCC), helping the business leaders of tomorrow experience entrepreneurism and support growing technology businesses.

GLIDE was established in 2001 as a partnership between the Lorain County Commissioners, the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, and Lorain County Community College — a unique combination of the private sector, government, and higher education. Our goal has been and always will be to stimulate economic and job growth in Lorain County and the broader Northeast Ohio region to make our community competitive in the fast-developing global technological economy.

What We Do for Entrepreneurs and the Community

More resources are available for entrepreneurs and innovators in the Northeast Ohio region than ever before. To maximize this opportunity for our region, we seek to support these unique individuals and connect them with everything they need to launch successful commercial enterprises. Our offerings include:

  • Extensive business support services and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs
  • An amenity-rich incubator space where startup founders can collaborate
  • Access to numerous resources such as business guidance and sales support
  • The ability to pursue funding from Innovation Fund and other avenues
  • Access to qualified LCCC student interns looking to build experience

GLIDE Ohio building

Meet the GLIDE Ohio Team

Jim Walborn, Director

As the director of GLIDE, Jim is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing of all GLIDE activities. Jim’s responsibilities include managing support services for entrepreneurs, including first-level assessments, a comprehensive resource network, and providing business advisory services to companies.

Jim was Co-Founder of Banyan Technology, North America’s leading innovator of live carrier and API connectivity for transportation management. At Banyan, Jim served as CEO and CCO of a high-growth software as a service (SaaS) model company.

A native of Northeast Ohio, Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ashland University. He has been very active in the non-profit community serving on many boards including Leadership Lorain County, Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCCA), and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Russ Donda, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Currently serving as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) for medical device and biosensor technologies at GLIDE and JumpStart, Russell Donda has more than 25 years of management experience at both executive and entrepreneurial levels.

As an EIR, he helps company founders assess the commercial feasibility of their technology. With that feasibility confirmed, he assists in creating and implementing their development plan and ushers them through the local seed funds.

Among other projects, Russ was the founding CEO and chairman of the board for ViewRay Incorporated, a company developing a novel form of radiation therapy. It was subsequently venture funded by Aisling Capital, Fidelity Biosciences, Kearny Venture Partners, OrbiMed Advisors, and Siemens Venture Capital (SVC) GmbH. Russ was a founding member of and co-chair of investment review for the Emergent Growth Fund, LLC, an angel investment fund focused on technology businesses. Additionally, he was a founding manager of and spearheaded business development for the allograft implant company, Regeneration Technologies, a privately held, for-profit spinout of The University of Florida Orthopedic Tissue Bank which went public.

Julie Thompson, Operations Coordinator

Julie Thompson serves as the operations coordinator for GLIDE, where she leverages years of experience in multiple industries including software, non-profit, government, education, and more. Prior to joining GLIDE, Julie served in administrative and operations roles for other Northeast Ohio organizations.