The Incubator at MAGNET has created a new service—an onsite, product-focused Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) and named Tom Lix, founder and Chairman of Cleveland Whiskey, to serve as its first EIR. The EIR is a seasoned, “been there, done that” coach and mentor for current Incubator tenants and will also serve a resource for prospective entrepreneurs throughout Northeast Ohio.
The Incubator at MAGNET helps entrepreneurs and new companies with high growth potential focused on producing engineered products. As EIR, Lix will provide subject matter expertise on product entrepreneurship, offering assistance on designing, engineering and commercializing technology in an engineered product or process. The EIR will be chosen from the Incubator’s roster of later-stage market-successful tenants with a new EIR being named every few years to take advantage of the expertise of the Incubator’s most dynamic tenants.
“Tom Lix is a serial entrepreneur and been the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Lake Erie College as well as an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Lake Erie. He was the founder and president of two different software start-ups, both resulting in acquisition,” said MAGNET Director of Entrepreneurial Services Dave Crain.
For the past four years, Lix’s latest company, Cleveland Whiskey LLC, has been a tenant at The Incubator at MAGNET. In that time, with MAGNET assistance, he has developed his product and taken it to market with sales now occurring in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and New Hampshire.
Lix has also been president of Yankelovich Partners where he consulted for leading food, hospitality and entertainment companies including Proctor & Gamble, PepsiCo, American Airlines, Federal Express and HBO.
“We’re certain Tom can offer invaluable insights into product development and commercialization processes from the point of view of the entrepreneur and hope that the region’s entrepreneurs will take advantage of the deep knowledge Tom has acquired over years of successful entrepreneurship,” said Crain.