Accomplishments are often dwarfed by our dreams. Which makes sense – dreams are big ambitious
things that turn into reality only after years of work and dedication. Dreams are also a source of frustration, especially in a community of individuals that want to move fast and grow quick.
It’s good to dream big and have anxiety around the disconnect between our goals and our accomplishments. But if we don’t take a little time now and again to assess what we’ve accomplished, our dreams will crush us. That’s what UpTech‘s fourth Demo Day allowed us to do. It showed us the immense progress 8 quality companies have made in the span of 5 months. More than that though, it showed us the significant progress #StartupCincy has made.
One of the biggest advances we’ve seen since UpTech’s last Demo Day is that the Ohio River is becoming more narrow. Last year UpTech held its Demo Day at NKU’s College of Informatics. Which is a beautiful venue and a course of study unlike any other in the nation. And we saw many Cincinnatians in attendance and #StartupCincy had a presence. But the gulf between NKY and Cincy was still there.
Last night, however, we saw 84.51 hosting UpTech’s Demo Day in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Andrew Hawkings, Regional President of BB&T, speaking about the importance of entrepreneurship for both Kentucky and Cincinnati (we also had an interesting lesson in economics and empathy via the movie Straight Outta Compton) and mentors from both sides of the river introducing their mentees.
The other big thing that UpTech’s Demo Day showcased was just how much #StartupCincy has
grown. Both in terms of numbers and engagement. This year UpTech’s Demo Day was completely sold out and saw 350 people in attendance. And the social media impact was more than impressive – so much so we even received a Google Alert last night that #UT4demoday was a trending topic.
Is the cooperation between Cincy and NKY perfect? No, but significant strides have been made and bridges between the two communities have been built (pun intended). Last night was a testament to the fact that Cincinnati is stronger with its NKY brothers and sisters and vice versa. As our ecosystem moves forward and continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to continue to foster those relationships and work towards narrowing the river that seems to separate us more than it should.
And this is not to diminish the accomplishment of the companies that pitched last night. All of which were impressive and you can see a little bit of their presentations in the deck below.
As we kickoff the new year and welcome new companies into our accelerators and celebrate their graduation, we have to remember that anyone brave enough to choose an entrepreneurial journey should be welcomed in our our community and in our city. That anyone with the intestinal fortitude to embrace uncertainty should be exalted and praised. That anyone who has big, ambitious dreams for the future be congratulated for their recent accomplishments.
So from everyone at Cintrifuse and #StartupCincy – congratulations to UpTech for putting together a top-notch accelerator program and to all the recent graduates for creating amazing companies!