Johnathan Holifield is co-founder of ScaleUp Partners, a nationally networked consultancy specializing in blending economic inclusion and competitiveness and building community systems to improve the productivity of underserved Americans in the Innovation Economy.
Prior to founding ScaleUp Partners, Johnathan was founding Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech, where he won support for regional innovation development strategy shift to address opportunities for underserved communities and authored the Ohio Board of Regents Statewide Report on Inclusive Competitiveness. Earlier in his career, Johnathan gained extensive experience in regional and innovation-based economic development with the Cincinnati USA Chamber of Commerce, as its founding Vice President of New Economy Enterprise, and CincyTech, where he was founding Executive Director. He has also held chief executive positions with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Cleveland Urban League.
Johnathan has advanced the cause of economic inclusion and competitiveness throughout the U.S., delivering speeches and workshops from the White House to Silicon Valley and Detroit to Jackson, MS. He also has written extensively on these matters, authoring the upcoming book, The Future Economy and Inclusive Competitiveness® and co-authoring the groundbreaking Economic Development Journal article, Inclusive Clusters: Embedding Inclusiveness in Cluster Policy and Practice.
Johnathan’s accomplishments include, raising over $40 million, leveraged to create networks of more than $250 million of early-stage risk capital, significantly increasing investment options for entrepreneurs; creating Ohio’s first information technology public school, which became a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School; and securing a $5 million appropriation to develop and implement Ohio’s first statewide STEM education and entrepreneurship program.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, where he was elected football team captain, and a M.Ed. and J.D. from University of Cincinnati. Johnathan is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Tau Boulé and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and a former player with the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.