Already a month in and 2017 is proving to be full tilt. And really – where else do we go after a year like last?
Techstars’ FounderCon proved to be a major strikepoint for the region, bringing national attention to our efforts and spotlighting StartupCincy in a unique and very positive way. I’ll never forget the reaction to Marc Pritchard’s (Procter & Gamble, Chief Brand Building Officer) question during his opening night remarks, “How many of you is this your first time to Cincinnati?” Over 75% of the audience raised their hands, which caught even Marc off-guard. But just take a look at this video Techstars produced and this one by our partners at JobsOhio and you’ll see how well our ecosystem showed up.
We’re going to capitalize on that momentum with a continued relationship with Techstars that you can read about here. It’s great to be partnered with such a strong team!
All Healthy Ecosystems Need Capital
2016 seemed to be the year of impressive fund-raising stats – CincyTech raising its largest fund and Everything But The House doing pretty well for itself closing out a notable Series B. Assurex’s exit really capped off a monumental year.
We rolled out new StartupCincy brand assets with the help of SpiceFire and lead into FounderCon with some compelling examples of what it means to be an entrepreneur here. You can see all of the videos at StartupCincy.com/about.
Like a Storm-Chaser…
Also, let’s not forget that in July we launched a venture-building studio – Spry Labs. In less than six months it’s well on its way to running headlong into solving sticky problems most people run FROM.
Through a Data Jam we produced on behalf of/with Humana, we were able to attract a startup from Washington, D.C. who may not have won the competition, but has already pivoted based on feedback from the event. They’re now looking at a whole new vertical and application for their platform.
Plus, Humana was able to source multiple solutions – so everyone’s happy!
No Rest for the Weary
Here’s just a sampling of what to look forward to in 2017 and beyond.
Econ Dev on Both Sides of the River
To start – let’s talk more numbers. How about 1.49 billion? That’s how much money Amazon announced they’ll invest into the Greater Cincinnati region as they build a new HQ for their Prime Air initiative at CVG.
Northern Kentucky isn’t messing around. UpTech just celebrated its fifth demo day on February 9 with nine stellar startups. Covington’s Innovation Alley is buzzing. And, every day it seems like we’ve got a new reason to river hop – there’s activity on both sides!
And as far as that airport goes, we already have Astronomer pumping their tech into CVG’s customer service platform. Just imagine the regional impact of $1.3 billion pumped into this already thriving ecosystem.
Look for Cintrifuse to continue its efforts moving up the funnel as far as corporate innovation goes making it easier for our BigCo partners to innovate by working with startups.
It begins with problem definition and thinking through how to incorporate outside innovation. Our first Innovation Brief Workshop is right around the corner and will help us source technologies for Innovation Xchange – our signature event June 22 bringing both sides of our tech-based economy together (supply = startups, demand = BigCos) and activating our active network of BigCos, entrepreneurs and VC firms from across this country.
For an insider’s view, pick up Dave Knox’s new book – Predicting the Turn. This veteran brand builder and co-founder of The Brandery does a great job of explaining the nuances of corporate innovation using colorful, easy-to-digest, real world examples.
StartupCincy is lucky to have a brain like Dave’s here helping build our ecosystem and his voice is valued beyond the 275 loop. Note: registration to Innovation Xchange gets you a copy!
Mark Your Calendars
Speaking of #StartupCincy, make sure you write down these dates – Oct. 9-13, 2017 will be StartupWeek Cincinnati (or StartupCincyWeek as we’ll call it) This is a beast of an event and we’re thrilled to bring it to you. You can sign up here to be notified when things solidify.
It’s no coincidence this event will overlap with: Procter & Gamble’s Alumni conference, the Cintrifuse Annual Meeting, Brandery Demo Day, Brandemonium and Blink. There will be A LOT going – a perfect excuse to pull in folks from outside of the region and let them in to what we’re cooking up.
So, hold on tight, this year is going to be epic and I hope you’re going to be a big part of it!
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