YOUNGSTOWN, OH: Jim Cossler, former CEO now Huntington National Bank Entrepreneur in Residence at the Youngstown Business Incubator has announced his retirement, effective January 2021.
Jim’s history with the incubator dates back over two decades. Cossler first joined the Incubator in 1998 in the role of CEO after leaving the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. When Cossler joined the Incubator, it was positioned as a traditional “mixed use” incubator, but instead of CEO, Jim acted as the primary architect for the incubator’s future. It was under Jim’s leadership that the incubator transformed into the nationally known software incubator, accelerator, and managed technology cluster that YBI is today.
In May 2017, Jim stepped down from his role as YBI’s CEO to devote himself to his passion, coaching startup companies. It was this transition that moved Barb Ewing from COO to CEO, and Jim from CEO to Huntington National Bank Entrepreneur in Residence. As an Entrepreneur in Residence, Jim’s primary role is to serve as an in-house mentor and entrepreneurial expert to YBI’s portfolio of companies, as well as to build and manage the internal and external relations and networks necessary for their growth and success.
Throughout his tenure, Jim also made it a point to make outreach to colleges and students a priority. Jim is passionate, as well, about instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in our next generation of young people. Additionally, Jim has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Technology Evangelists in Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and has also been recognized as one of the 100 most influential business leaders in Northeast Ohio by both Inside Business magazine and Crain’s Cleveland Business.
As for future plans, Cossler says he intends to embrace retirement, but not 100%. “I’m not totally done just yet”, said Cossler. While he intends to slow down and enjoy more time traveling with his wife, Christine, and spoiling his two rescue dogs, Ani and Mr. Watson, he doesn’t intend to fully retire. “I want to stay active and I want to do something new.” Cossler doesn’t know exactly what that is just yet, but he does intend to stay involved in the startup community.
“Leaving YBI was a tough decision to make.”, said Cossler. “It was the ultimate dream job. And I love all that we have so significantly contributed, in so many important ways, to our community. But, I can walk away knowing that work will go on. And, I’m confident, with the amazing team in place there, they will be taking it to even higher levels. Just watch.”