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First GCVA Breakfast Club of 2016

kevin-mackey-gcva-breakfast-clubThe GCVA kicked off the new year with their first Breakfast Club of 2016. Three solid companies, Atumsoft, Sow Organic and Fanbloom, pitched to an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and fans of #StartupCincy at Braxton Brewery.

It was also the first Breakfast Club for the organization’s new leadership team – Kevin Mackey, GCVA President and Cintrifuse Startup Advocate, Brad Kirn, GCVA Vice President and Business Development at Astronomer and Samuel Frith, GCVA Vice President and Investment Analyst at CincyTech.

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Under this new leadership, the GCVA has pivoted their mission. After sensing the need of Cincinnati’s startups for advice, funding and general support, the organization intends to design its programs explicitly for early-stage companies to fill these gaps in #StartupCincy’s ecosystem.  Overall, the GCVA intends to be an open door – helping to bring people into the startup community. And this event was a perfect example of the organization’s new focus while maintaining their long-standing community values.

Vance VanDrake really set up this organization and the new leadership team for success and created a structure that allows us to focus on events with high-quality content in socially unassuming atmospheres
-Kevin Mackey, GCVA President

“GCVA’s brand has been around since 1985. Our events have evolved based on the needs of the ecosystem at a given time,” said Kevin Mackey, GCVA President, “Vance VanDrake really set up this organization and the new leadership team for success and created a structure that allows us to focus on events with high-quality content in socially unassuming atmospheres”

The success of this morning’s event is a testament to the organization’s rich history and a validation of its future goals. For instance, today’s Breakfast Club saw a marked increase in registration with over 160 people signing up for the event. They also saw an increase in the number of startup founders participating with over 60% of registrants identifying
as entrepreneurs.

The event’s venue was also a reflection of the GCVA’s refocused mission. In the past, morning events were held at Northwest Mutual building in Norwood. Moving forward, the organization intends to change event locations to include startup-friendly environments. Braxton Brewery being a perfect example of a startup friendly venue with an entire section of their brewery dedicated as space for entrepreneurs to work – complete with ridiculously fast WiFi and their own coffee roast. They also might be the only bar in the world that opens at 8:00 AM.

GVCA-logoAnd finally, the GVCA reinforced it’s new focus with the unveiling of their new logo. For the first time in the GCVA’s history, their logo depicts the entire tri-state region and a target that signifies their intention to draw more people into #StartupCincy.

2016 will be a critical year for #StartupCincy and the GCVA’s efforts to try new things puts them in a great position to help the community. Watch out for their “Startup Finance 101” sessions as well as a pitch competition in September which will award the winning tech startup with $25,000.

 

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