third Demo Day Oct. 3, a packed house at Great American Ball Park looked forward to a home run, but not from the field below.
The stadium's Champions Club had been transformed into a space where founders of 11 startups paced, shook hands and smiled as they prepared to offer their practiced pitches that they knew could net them millions in investment dollars.
This year, there were more than twice as many applicants for the seed-stage startup accelerator in Over-the-Rhine as both of its earlier years, combined, according to Brandery General Manager Mike Bott.
Only 10 percent of those applicants were local, Bott says. The companies selected for the intensive four-month session in Cincinnati hailed from Seattle and Brooklyn, from Cleveland and San Francisco. One local business, REPP
, made the final cut.
As its name implies, The Brandery focuses mostly on consumer products and services. Its strength is in its location and its expertise: the branding giants of Cincinnati help make The Brandery attractive to entrepreneurs from around the world. The latest startup session included plenty of mobile and social applications.
An example? The first startup to present on Demo Day: CrowdHall
Crowdhall, a free social platform, collects questions and ideas from a single crowd and helps the members of an audience organize and prioritize them democratically. Matthew Dooley, founder and CEO of Cincinnati's dooley media
, made a bold prediction about this startup, which has already created "crowd halls" with NYU prof and Earth Institute leader Jeffrey Sachs, Dhani Jones and PG Sittenfeld.
Dooley's tweet: "Impressed with @crowdhall pitch at #brandery2012 #demoday. Will be bought out by Twitter within a year. #boldprediction @brandery @jbkropp."
You've read about this Brandery class in Soapbox for months now, from Sostock
, which planted roots and intends to remain in Cincinnati, to REPP
, the latest big idea from Cincinnatians Michael Bergman, his wife BreeAnna and David Volker, formerly of LPK
(where Bergman also formerly worked).
Find a full list of startups here.
And more coverage of The Brandery on Nibletz
, "the voice of startups everywhere else."
By Elissa Yancey
Follow Elissa on Twitter.