Launching Startups in the Midwest is Becoming the Norm, No Longer A Trend

The Coasts are no longer the exclusive launching pad for brilliant startups, nor are the nation’s baking capitals the only home for FinTech founders. In the fourth installment of the FinTech Frontier virtual event series, the discussion centered on how FinTech startups are launching in the Midwest with great success.

The FinTech Frontier is the future-focused partnership between Cincinnati-based, industry-leading financial services corporations and Fintech-focused entrepreneurs, powered by Cintrifuse, Cincinnati’s startup catalyst. Western & Southern Financial Group and Fifth Third Bank are the founding partners.


Featured Panelists

Elizabeth Caven, Managing Director at gener8tor



Kyle Beatty, Principal at American Family Ventures



Justin Hendrix, Vice President, Senior Manager, Innovation at Fifth Third Bank



Sara Phillips, Strategic Partnerships & Investments, Innovation Strategy at Great American Insurance



The panelists agree that Cincinnati is well suited as a great option to launch a startup for a number of reasons. Justin Hendrix of Fifth Third Bank reminded the group that there are a handful of Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the Queen City who are interested and supportive of innovation and supporting the start-up ecosystem, including: Western & Southern Financial, Great American Insurance Group, Fifth Third Bank, P&G and Scripps. Also, Cincinnati is home to a number of top universities for access to top talent; and is a centralized location for about 50 percent of the U.S. population.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, large companies and startups are culturally embracing a remote-first model for their employees — the idea of working from home for any company from anywhere.

This cultural shift can benefit startups in two major ways:

  1. Finding talent: While it can be a struggle to find the right talent, companies can now find the right talent anywhere. However, there is still value to an in-person interaction, so the panelists agreed a mix of the two should be considered.
  2. Raising capital: After putting a halt on travel, the pandemic has made raising funds outside of a startup’s birthplace easier. Investors don’t feel the need to jump on a plane. Instead, a virtual meeting may suffice for a presentation.


Be on the lookout for new startups to pop up right here in and the Midwest.


We are excited to see what new FinTech Innovations will made advancements right here in Cincinnati.

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