Share on Google+

Hollywood star turns to Akron for advice on launching a new business

11/22/2011

University students share business ideas with actor/entrepreneur Corbin Bernsen, center.


Actor, producer and director Corbin Bernsen of "L.A. Law" fame developed an affinity for Akron last summer during the filming of his feature film directorial debut, the Akron Soap Box Derby-inspired "25 Hill." He's now putting that affection for the city to work – literally.

"I am dedicated to bringing opportunities to Akron," Bernsen said before a gathering of local investors at a Nov. 17 ARCHAngels (Akron Regional Change Angels) meeting at The University of Akron's Martin University Center. Assuring the audience that "25 Hill" represents his first, not final, scene in Akron, Bernsen hopes to launch Powsumer Inc., an Akron-based website platform for consumer-driven retail pricing. He envisions an Akron startup business developed through collaboration with UA students and the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) and its ARCHAngels partner organization.

UA expertise sought for next 'stage'

About the ARCHAngel Network

The ARCHAngel (Akron Regional CHange Angel) Network is a regional forum for introducing investors to market-driven, technology-based investment opportunities within Northeast Ohio and particularly within the greater Akron area.

The network, made possible through the sponsorship of the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF), brings together promising technology companies and Angel investors with a particular focus on businesses that leverage the region's strengths in health care, information technologies, polymers and other advanced materials.

"The opportunity to work with the University was extremely exciting," said Bernsen, known for his role as "L.A. Law" divorce attorney Arnie Becker and currently seen on the USA Network hit show "Psych." Bernsen met with UA College of Business Administration students earlier in the day and after the investor meeting to share his business plan and potentially engage their expertise in the coming months and years.

Drawing from UA and UARF resources, Bernsen hopes to advance his early-stage business, designed to empower "packs" of consumers, through bulk buying, to lower prices from suppliers for trending products. Powsumer also alerts suppliers of product to demand with real-time market, product and pricing trends.

"Akron can be an example," Bernsen said. "When you believe in yourself as a community, you reinvest yourself in your community. I am absolutely dedicated to this."

According to UA law student Andrew Maas, a UARF project manager spearheading the company launch, Powsumer has strong potential for creating area jobs and retaining local talent.

"Powsumer is Akron-based and will draw on students and professionals in Akron to help bring the company to the forefront of consumer-driven, online pricing," Maas said. "We hope to prove that you do not need to be in Silicon Valley to launch and establish a meaningful, Web-based startup company."


Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.