Cincinnati startups have never had it so good. This region has been building a constant stream of new support for new businesses, both those that have the potential for hig growth (Growth Businesses) and those that will stay smaller, but can provide a nice living for the founders and employees (Lifestyle Businesses).

In the .. years since The Brandery was launched, our region has grown to >>> business accelerators. Some of them are in their first year.

What is an accelerator?

Which accelerators are the right ones for you?

If you:

  • are a white male: Hillman, Mortar and are just for minority and women entrepreneurs, and Aviatra Accelerators is just for women; but the rest are open to all races and genders
  • Have an idea but haven’t launched the business yet (no customers): the Founders Institute is specifically for you; it does not accept businesses that have customers.
  • Are a “tech company”, i.e. you are selling a tech product, or you’re using technology as your unique advantage:Most accelerators will consider you;

Have high-growth potential: investors, and the accelerators, distinguish between ‘growth companies’ that have high enough growth potential to provide outside investors with a venture-capital level of return (30% per year, +/-), and ‘lifestyle companies’ that make enough money to provide the founders with a good lifestyle, but not enough to pay outside investors venture-capital returns.

Traditionally (which in the startup world means ‘until last year’) only tech companies were considered ‘growth companies’, but as online sales have exploded and have enabled product companies to reach the global market quickly, businesses making physical products are being considered too. The Brandery has led the way here, accepting ‘digitally native’ businesses that sell physical products through digital (online) channels.

Do you need outside funding?

several of the accelerators provide an equity investment to each company in the class, as part of their growth-strategy. The specifics can change each year at each accelerator. Here are some examples as of Summer/Fall 2017:

The Hillman accelerator for women and minority entrepreneurs invests $100,000 in each startup in its program.

In The Brandery’s program, each startup receives a $50,000 grant to help cover expenses for the duration of the program, along with free services and help from several industry businesses.

The Uptech accelerator invests $50,000 in each startup in its program.

Each startup in the Ocean accelerator program receives an investment of $50,000 from Ocean Capital.