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FORCAM receives New Product Innovation Award for global plant software solution

FORCAM, a technology and consulting company based in downtown Cincinnati, received the 2014 Global Plant Software Solutions New Product Innovation Leadership Award, awarded by global market research from Frost & Sullivan.
 
FORCAM earned the award for its Factory Framework V5 product, which enables an improvement process at all production stages for factories and plants by connecting and analyzing real-time data from many varying machine controls resulting in transparent and reliable performance data.
 
“We have a unique software technology that can monitor factories in a global way,” says FORCAM COO Mohamed Abuali. “If your company has factories in different parts of the globe, our vision is for you to be able to look at the performance of every plant at one time via a single device, such as a cell phone or computer, and easily pick out relevant data on things like speed and quality.”
 
FORCAM is headquartered in Germany, but opened its Cincinnati office in 2012. Frost & Sullivan chose FORCAM for its award partly because the company exemplifies the concept of Industry 4.0.
 
“Industry 4.0 is a concept that acknowledges that we have entered a new (fourth) industrial revolution,” Abuali says. “The first revolution was around manufacturing, then assembly line, then automation. Industry 4.0 presents the idea of Cyber Physical Produciton Systems. It means that any device, any factory could be mirrored in the IT world.”
 
Currently, companies like BMW and Daimler, as well as others in the aerospace and medical technology fields, have adopted FORCAM’s Factory Framework solution. Looking to the future, Abuali hopes to build a client base in other industry sectors, as well as focus on smaller and midsize manufacturers.
 
“Our solution will be cloud-based by 2015, so small and midsize companies won’t have to buy servers that they can’t afford,” Abuali says.
 
The investment, research and development of Factory Framework was started in 2008, during the recession.
 
“We didn’t stop R&D during the financial crisis,” Abuali says. “We perfected the system in 2013, deployed it at four beta clients, and the system will be ready for U.S. release by the end of this year or early 2015.”
 

Xavier creates framework for student-run businesses

Xavier University’s Williams College of Business will launch a new Student Run Business Program in spring 2015. An informal idea session was held May 1, during which students formed groups and began brainstorming and presenting ideas, including a professional apparel store tailored to students, a food pick-up/ delivery service and a shuttle service.
 
A team of advisors will work closely with the students to help them craft a viable business plan and provide general coaching/mentoring. The advisors will select the best developed ideas this fall for program funding, and by the end of spring, Xavier’s program will include two to three businesses created entirely by student ideas, teamwork, planning and execution.
 
“Our focus at the college of business is on experiential learning,” says Brian Till, dean of the Williams College of Business. “I’ve studied similar programs at universities around that country, and in every case I’ve looked into, the students say that it is the single most valuable experience they had while at university.”
 
Currently, Student Run Business programs are in place at universities like Georgetown, Harvard, the University of Dayton and Loyola University. Besides supporting unique hands-on learning for students, these programs generate revenue that is often directed toward starting additional new businesses (seed capital) or toward student scholarships. After five years, the program is expected to include four to five student-run businesses generating a total of $100,000-300,000 in revenue each year.
 
“From our standpoint, the increase in entrepreneurial activity and better prepared students will benefit the region,” Till says. “The Cincinnati region has become very interested in supporting entrepreneurship, as well as attracting and retaining talent. This program not only addresses that, but it gives our students a leg up in the field.”
 
Several members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati have signed on to help develop the Student Run Business Program as advisors and mentors, including Xavier graduate and founder of Tixers Alex Burkhart and Mike Bott of the Brandery.  
 

Uptech announces third round program, opens application process

UpTech, Northern Kentucky’s business accelerator program specializing in supporting informatics startups, announced last week that it is now accepting applications for its third funding round—UpTech III. The program begins in September 2014 and applications are currently open through June 9, 2014.
 
The third round program will offer up to $50,000 of investment capital to each company selected for the program—$20,000 up front and an additional $30,000 as agreed-upon milestones are hit. Uptech will also pair each startup with a business mentor and team of professionals, including accounting, banking, legal and sales/marketing partners. UpTech will host the companies in its Covington offices where they will be provided with six months of free office space.
 
“As more and more accelerators are popping up across the country, we feel our program is unique because we’ve really morphed into a customized model to meet individual needs,” says Amanda Greenwell, program manager at Uptech. “We don’t want to adhere to a single template and ask our companies to fit into that. Instead, we work with them on a one-on-one basis and connect them with the resources that are right for them.”
 
Northern Kentucky Tri-ED, the Northern Kentucky ezone, Vision 2015 and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) will continue their support of UpTech throughout the third class.
 
“We’re happy to be able to offer our company direct access to the talent and resources at NKU,” Greenwell says. “Especially for informatics companies, we can offer very specific and unique capabilities.”
 
Uptech’s partnership with NKU allows the Uptech companies to hire NKU students trained in informatics areas like coding, app building and website development and pay for them with a grant provided by Uptech. In some cases, these become the companies’ first hired employees.
 
During the application period, UpTech will host information sessions at its Covington office, as well as webinars, to explain the program and application particulars in greater depth.
 
“We are opening our doors and want to invite the local entrepreneurial ecosystem to see our new space in Covington and learn about what we’re doing,” Greenwell says. “We hope to uncover some new talent for our third round.”
 
To find out more about the information sessions or about Uptech’s third round, visit www.uptechideas.org

Main Library stokes maker culture, offers free access to 3D printer

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County just installed its first 3D printer in the TechCenter at the Main Library. The printer, which uses plastic filament to build objects layer by layer, can print just about any object that can be designed.
 
The printer is just one step in the public library’s efforts to give members access to current technology and develop the maker culture in the region.
 
“We’re planning to have maker spaces, along with 3D printers, at our new Reading and St. Bernard locations; this is a way for us to test the concept out,” says Maelynn Foster Hudson, marketing communications strategist for the library. “As a library, we’ve always been about more than just books—it’s about connecting people with a world of ideas and information.”
 
The printer is located on the second floor of the Main Library’s South building. TechCenter staff will be on hand to assist new and experienced users with their projects. In addition, there are several premade designs that can be downloaded and printed.
 
Websites such as Thingiverse provide design-ready objects for printing. Customers can simply save the custom or selected design on a flash drive, bring it to the Main Library and talk to a TechCenter staff member for assistance with printing it.
 
“Soon, we’ll also offer programming around the use of the 3D printer, such as how to create and patent designs,” Foster Hudson says. “We want people to come in with ideas and we’ll help them to materialize them. That’s why we offer things like computers at all of our branches; it’s about growth, innovation and meeting our customers’ needs.”

SIMEngage to bring national experts in social media and marketing to Memorial Hall

Boot Camp Digital, a local social media and Internet marketing company, has teamed with InfoTrust and BrandHub to put on SIMEngage, a full day event featuring some of the nation’s leading experts in the field. The event will take place May 15 at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine.
 
The event is expected to attract more than 300 of the Cincinnati area’s marketing professionals, including those from big brands, advertising agencies and small businesses, and will provide attendees with information on social media and internet marketing, as well as an opportunity to network.
 
“For marketers, this is a fabulous opportunity to learn about the most relevant and important topics in social media marketing,” says Boot Camp Digital CEO Krista Neher. “This event will cover the most important topics and trends impacting social media marketing today.”
 
The event will feature speakers from companies such as Google, Hubspot, CafePress and more, who will be focusing on five key themes: Creating and Leveraging Killer Content; The Intersection of Search + Social; Generating Publicity through Social Media; Analytics and Future Trends; and Connecting Paid, Earned and Owned.
 
“I speak over 100 times a year, and the reason that I created this event was because I wanted to connect the best, brightest and most interesting speakers in the field with our local community,” Neher says. “I invited the speakers that most inspire me to speak at this event, all of whom are experts in their field, and most of them are bestselling authors. Every time I hear these people I learn something new.”
 
Neher also notes that, compared to previous marketing conferences like D2, SIMEngage is more narrowly focused on social media and internet marketing.
 
“These are the areas that impact marketers most,” Neher says. “Our speakers aren’t the big name executives at big companies who set strategies—they are the actual doers. They are actually implementing online marketing every day. That is what makes this event unique.”
 
Neher hopes that by bringing an event of this caliber to Cincinnati, it will not only engage the community to stay ahead of the curve, but also demonstrate to the speakers from out of town that Cincinnati is indeed a world-class hub of innovation, branding and marketing.
 

OTRimprov announces Cincinnati's first national improv festival

OTRimprov, the improvisational comedy troupe based out of Over-the-Rhine’s Know Theatre, announced last week that in the fall it will put on Cincinnati’s first national improve festival, IF Cincy, September 12-13, 2014.
 
The festival will take place at the Know Theatre and, in addition to shining a light on the improvisational talent here in Cincinnati, it will bring in some of the best talent nationwide from cities like Chicago, New York, Detroit and Louisville, with more acts still to be announced.
 
"We're excited to share the national acts OTRimprov is bringing in," says Tara Pettit, a cast member of OTRimprov and IF Cincy executive producer. "Between those groups, the local troupes doing great work, and Cincinnati natives who have been performing in other cities who are returning for the festival, it will be two nights of really amazing improv.”
 
The IF Cincy festival will take place around the four-year anniversary of the OTRimprov troupe, who joined together as a group of likeminded performers looking for more opportunities to create a scene around improv performance, similar to the culture that has been created by institutions like IO (formerly ImprovOlympic ) and Second City.
 
“We’ve been able to build up a regular schedule of shows, do some private performances and even some company training sessions,” says Kat Smith, OTRimprov co-director. “But what we really want to do is build an audience and a community that are excited about improv in Cincinnati. We want to make improv more visible in this city and do everything we can to support other troupes locally.”
 
Currently, the festival is pushing its Indiegogo campaign, where supporters can donate to help make the festival happen and receive exclusive benefits and rewards in return. Additionally, OTRimprov has been leveraging existing partnerships to create IF Cincy.
 
OTRimprov brought on local actor Kevin Crowley, who studied and performed improv in Chicago for years, often with Second City. After returning to Cincinnati, Crowley has continued teaching and performing improv. He recently opened a training and innovation company, Inspiration Corporation, that teaches the methods of improv to corporations and individuals.
 
The other key partner is the Jackson Street Market, a resource-sharing program run by the Know Theatre.
 
"The Jackson Street Market and Know Theatre have been there since the beginning,” Smith says. “Their impact on our troupe overall has been immeasurable. We wouldn't be planning the festival, or performing as a troupe, without their support."
 

UC offers new accelerated program combining IT and health care

Announced last month and beginning in the fall of 2014, the University of Cincinnati will debut an innovative, accelerated program that combines a bachelor of science in Information Technology, a master’s of science in Health Informatics and five semesters of co-op experience in just five years.
 
In addition to allowing students a quicker, cheaper and more efficient route to graduating at the master’s level, the program also seeks to address specific workforce needs in health care and prepare students to contribute immediately upon graduation.
 
“Health care is transforming before our eyes, and part of what we’re hoping is that we can train more individuals that understand technical and health aspects of the industry at an advanced level,” says Victoria Wangia, associate professor of analytical and diagnostic sciences in UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences and program director of the new health/IT master’s.
 
The new program represents an interdisciplinary partnership between UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences, which houses the master’s degree, and the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, which houses bachelor’s degree in IT.
 
“We make it a priority to understand what the market needs in terms of workforce,” Wangia says. “We need more IT practitioners who really understand health care, not only locally, but nationally. So we thought about ways we could form relationships with existing programs and work collaboratively to address what’s going on in the workforce.”
 
Students will develop expertise in one of three Information Technology tracks: Networking/Systems, Software Application Development or Cybersecurity. In the program’s third year, students will take master’s level classes that introduce the health care landscape, including health care data, laws and analytics. Students will ultimately gain the tools and skills necessary to integrate advanced digital technologies into the field of health care and use electronic data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care delivery.
 
“The accelerated program really takes IT students to another level,” says Hazem Said, head of the School of Information Technology. “This program provides students with the unique set of skills required for this very specialized, well-paying industry.”

Entrepreneurs' Organization launches Accelerator program locally to help budding business owners

The Entrepreneurs’ Organziation (EO), a global business network of 9,500+ business owners in 131 chapters and 40 countries, has launched a program called Accelerator with its Cincinnati chapter. The Accelerator program aims to aid small business owners and founders looking to grow their businesses.
 
Locally, EO has a membership of 51 business owners representing 1,000 employees and $300 million in annual revenue. To become a member of EO, you must be a founder or owner of a business that generates more than $1 million in annual revenue. The Accelerator program reaches out to younger/less developed business, requiring businesses to generate between $250,000 and $1 million in annual revenue.
 
“We’re hoping to reach out to young entrepreneurs, offer educational content and tools for them and really share experiences, not just give advice,” says Dave Ebbesmeyer, communications director for the Cincinnati chapter of EO. “We’re not a networking group, we’re not a chamber. It’s more of a support system of business owners. We’re all very passionate about our region and seeing it grow.”
 
The education content of the Accelerator program focuses on four key areas: strategy, people, money, and sales and marketing. Insights are distilled from different EO members from around the world, gathering information from entrepreneurs in Canada, India, the U.S. and more.
 
“One of the most important things I do as a business owner is interact with other business owners,” Ebbesmeyer says. “EO has events that are locally, regionally, nationally and internationally focused that bring in anyone from Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) to Mark Cuban.”
 
Locally, EO has begun working with organizations like the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association (GCVA) to plug into the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati and offer mentoring services.
 
“EO has been largely a referral based group thus far, but working with GCVA has been great to become more involved with the startup community in Cincinnati,” Ebbesmeyer says.  
 
A maximum of 30 participants will be allowed to participate in the Accelerator program; applications are open online now.

NKU students take home prizes in two entrepreneurial competitions

Josh and Jared Young, a team of brothers and students at Northern Kentucky University, brought home prizes in two separate Kentucky business plan competitions this month.
 
The brothers took second place in the business concept division of Idea State U, presented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development on April 11-12. Earlier in the month, the team won the University of Pikeville Startup Challenge.
 
Idea State U is an annual statewide business plan competition designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship on the college level. The $100,000 in awards makes Idea State U one of the top state-sponsored business plan competitions in the country.
 
The Youngs pitched their idea for Veggie Magic, a spray solution that can be applied to vegetables to block bitter flavors. With the help of faculty advisors, students spent months developing business concepts or formal business plans, which were presented to panels of business experts serving as volunteer judges.
 
“The Young brothers have a very unique product,” says Mandy Lambert, acting commission of business development for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “Not only did they do a good job of demonstrating a need for their product, the judges also liked the team’s concept, the brothers’ knowledge of how to enter the grocery store market and their plan to move the business forward.”
 
“We have been so overwhelmed with the amount of resources that NKU has made available to us,” Jared says. “We could not have won without the support of everyone at the Entrepreneurship Center and the Small Business Development Center. We strongly encourage anyone interested in starting their own venture or interested in being a part of one to take advantage of the resources NKU has to offer because for a new startup they are invaluable.”
 
As winners of the awards, the Youngs will continue to have access to not only NKU’s resources, but others as well.
 
“Our experienced business mentors continue to provide guidance throughout the startup process through programs like the Kentucky Innovation Network,” Lambert says. Winners are also invited to speak at future Idea State U competitions to share insight with college entrepreneurs. 

By Mike Sarason
 

iMAGiNExpo seeks to open doors for entrepreneurs, creatives, inventors

On Saturday, May 17, the Covington branch of the Kenton County Library will host iMAGiNExpo, a free event that spotlights and supports creativity and innovation. iMAGiNExpo is a new collaboration between the NKU Steely Library’s Intellectual Property Awareness Center (IPAC), Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, and Kenton County Public Library.
 
The event, which runs from 1-4 p.m., is intended to give an overview on what it takes to work in a creative field, covering topics like intellectual property rights and basics of business.
 
“We want to bring together some of the most creative and curious minds, young and old, to mingle with entrepreneurs and inventors,” says John Schlipp, associate professor at NKU and librarian at the IPAC. “It is part of our charge as a designated patent resource center to work with the community.”
 
The iMAGiNExpo will also feature a creativity and innovation panel with representatives from the Inventor’s Council of Cincinnati, the Better Business Bureau, NKU’s Virtual Business Center and more.
 
“We want people to be aware of the vast amount of resources we have to offer, most of which are free,” Schlipp says. “This event will show people some of that, but it will also show off how we are growing innovation in the region here.”
 
In addition to the panel, there will be a student creativity exhibit showcasing regional high school students’ digital media presentations. Submissions are based on the students' project-based research, and awards will be given out for the best projects.
 
The program’s partners aim to make iMAGiNExpo an annual event, rotating between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky each year.
 
“Small business is important. We’re seeing a lot of growth in Cincinnati and areas of Covington, like the eZone,” Schlipp says. “But we think there is still a huge opportunity to spur the growth of people creating new things here and filing for more patents. We want to educate our community on how they can be part of that.”

By Mike Sarason
 

Converted West End space becomes new model for fitness: Foundation Fitness

Speak with Patrick Hitches for one minute and you’ll understand that you are talking to a man with vision. Hitches, a Cincinnati native currently splitting time between Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., is a consummate entrepreneur and owner of the newly opened Foundation Fitness located in a converted West End warehouse space.
 
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Hitches has long been a fitness enthusiast (to put it lightly).
 
“Fitness has been in my veins since about 6th grade,” says Hitches. “It’s one thing that’s always stuck with me, it’s been my safe haven.”
 
After earning a degree in nutrition science, Hitches became a personal trainer for many years, working in several locations such as Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C. As time went on, though, he began to hear more and more good things about his hometown.
 
“I’ve got a great setup in D.C., but hearing about the shift going on in Cincinnati really inspired me to go back to my roots and be a part of what’s happening here,” Hitches says.
 
About a year ago, he began exploring the option of finding a space for a gym in Cincinnati.
 
“Within 10 minutes of looking online, I found a warehouse space that caught my attention,” Hitches says. “That week, I flew out to take a look at it, and six months later Foundation Fitness had its soft opening.”
 
Foundation Fitness is not your average gym, nor is it trying to be. Hitches feels strongly that most chain gyms are set up on a sales model that benefits more from members not coming to the gym and has only a bottom line in mind, rather than members' actual health goals.
 
“What gyms really should be is a place where you’re able to execute your fitness training, have access to knowledge that can get you to the point you want to be at, find that perfect blend where body, spirit and mind all collide and create the best possible version of you,” Hitches says.
 
To that end, Hitches has set up his gym on an invitation/recommendation basis only, preferring to bootstrap his business, grow slowly and bring in only people who are serious about their fitness goals.
 
“My opinion is that the industry shift should be towards small pockets of little communities, training together,” Hitches says. “That’s what we’re building at Foundation Fitness. 

By Mike Sarason
 

Such and Such celebrates three years of design and fabrication, grows with new facility

Such and Such founders Zach Darmanian-Harris and Alex Aeschbury have quite a bit to be proud of. This month, their Over-the-Rhine-based design and fabrication studio celebrates three years in business, six months in its new 10,000-square-foot shop and a partnership with local PR/design firm PB+J that has helped grow the business considerably. Still, the founders have their sites set even higher for the rest of 2014 and into the future.
 
Darmanian-Harries and Aeschbury, both graduates of the University of Cincinnati’s Industrial Design program at DAAP, decided to join forces while both working on their senior thesis using rapid prototyping technology to create custom products.
 
“After we graduated, it took us about a year to figure out how to get the funding we needed to get started,” says Darmanian-Harris. “Meeting Chris Heckman (of Losantiville Design Collective) really helped us get going.”
 
After meeting Heckman, Such and Such moved into Losantiville’s Main Street shop for two and a half years. But as Such and Such’s production needs increased, they began to look for alternatives.
 
“Once we needed to grow, it just wasn’t right for us anymore at Losantiville,” Aeshbury says. “We didn’t want to monopolize their space, but we needed more equipment and employees.”
 
So near the end of 2013, Such and Such moved its fabrication shop to a warehouse space located on the border of OTR and the West End owned by Carl Solway, whose Carl Solway Art Gallery is right next door.
 
“Carl initially came to us with a project for New York artist Peter Halley,” Darmanian-Harris says. “That ended up leading to us getting this huge workspace, which has been great.”
 
Such and Such has spent the last few months getting the new space running, hiring two new employees and further deepening its relationship with PB+J. While Aeschbury spends most of his time at the shop, Darmanian-Harris works primarily out of PB+J’s Main Street office, interfacing with clients and overseeing the business side.
 
“We just work really well together,” Aeschbury says of the relationship with PB+J. “Together, we have the ability to holistically design PR campaigns and/or brand identities, bring them into a physical space and give customers something super competitively priced.”
 
After working on projects for the Contemporary Arts Center, Procter & Gamble, Miami University and more, in 2014 Such and Such will launch its own line of furniture in addition to its client work. 

By Mike Sarason
 

Crossroads community providing fertile ground for entrepreneurs with Unpolished, Ocean Accelerator

Crossroads Church, already known as one of the biggest and most influential churches in the Cincinnati area, has begun to make more of an impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in 2014. 
 
Previously, Soapbox reported about the Unpolished initiative, which began in June 2013 as a grassroots group of Crossroads members gathering together to “encourage, educate and engage aspiring entrepreneurs.”
 
Since then the group has hosted a handful of events, which have attracted anywhere from several hundred to several thousand people, held office hours to provide members with free legal, marketing and tech advice, and begun offering “coworking” days at Crossroads for entrepreneurs to work side by side and learn from one another.
 
Now, some of the same people spearheading Unpolished are starting a new, high-tech accelerator called Ocean. Tim Metzner of Differential, Chad Reynolds of Baterii and Tim Brunk of Cladwell have come together as the leadership team of the project.
 
“From a high level, what we’re trying to do is more than just throw companies toward exit,” Brunk says. “We want to build a company that comes along with great founders, trains them how to build great businesses.”
 
Brunk, Metzner and Reynolds, all founders of their respective companies, have promised that Ocean will be unique among other accelerators in the region.
 
“We have this bond because of our faith and because we’ve been participating in Unpolished together,” Brunk says. “The group allows us to have conversations that we couldn’t have in other groups.”
 
The launch date for Ocean is tentatively set for January 2015, with applications for the first class opening late summer/early fall of this year. In addition to the faith-based component, Ocean’s accelerator format will be different in that it is a six-month program, with Demo Day—the day that the accelerator’s companies present to investors—arriving in the middle of the program, as opposed to at the end.
 
“Our philosophy is that a rising tide lifts all boats,” Brunk says. “I hope that in the longterm, this accelerator can contribute to that rising tide by pumping more successful companies into the Cincinnati ecyosystem.”
 
By Mike Sarason
 

Impulcity builds Cincinnati buzz

Impulcity, the online service that connects users with events and venues in their city, has quickly and not-so-quietly built a buzz in Cincinnati.
 
After graduating in late 2012 from the Brandery, Impulcity was originally launched in February 2013 as a nationwide app that was more of an event aggregator. Alhough it racked up 150,000 users nationwide and was even featured on the Today Show, CEO and founder Hunter Hammonds eventually decided to scrap the model and start from scratch.
 
“When we launched, we just thought about building something cool, we didn’t think about process-driven things,” Hammonds says. “It was too much. Now we’re really trying to keep things as simple as possible.”
 
The current model of the platform has both an app and a website, but has scaled back to only include Cincinnati, with Louisville and Washington D.C. soon to follow. 
 
“The main idea is that it shouldn’t be time consuming to find something to do that interests you,” Hammonds says. “We’ve spent time looking up and cataloguing the hidden treasures here so you don’t have to.”
 
In addition, Impulcity has recently been publishing more and more content of its own, which has been making the round on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Recent articles like “The 13 Best Brunches in Cincinnati,” “19 Things You Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners About Cincinnati” and “The 10 Best Cocktails in OTR” have gone viral in the Cincinnati area.
 
“We’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to talk to our audience,” Hammonds syas. “We want to continue building that trust; that’s how we’ll continue to grow.”
 
So far, Impulcity’s decision to pivot seems to be paying off; less than a month into the relaunch of the site, traffic on Impulcity’s site is well above projections, Hammonds says.
 
To sign up for the app for free, visit www.impulcity.com.

By Mike Sarason
 

Xavier partners with Colombian firm to offer Spanish project-management certificate

Xavier Leadership Center (XLC) will expand its project-management reach globally, partnering with Casmena, an executive education firm headquartered in Bogota, Colombia. Casmena itself is an international organization that provides executive education to corporations in a variety of industries, including automotive, IT, banking, education and production.
 
For the first time, Xavier Leadership Center will certify an industry-driven and internationally recognized project-management certificate series in Spanish outside the United States. Casmena, in partnership with XLC, will initially offer two project-management programs, Introduction to Project Management and Project Controlling and Earned Value, beginning in April 2014.
 
“From Xavier’s perspective, the partnership demonstrates XLC’s ability to support our clients globally and consistently, by overseeing the quality of the training by building a global network,” says Bruce Miller, director of the XLC. “For Casmena, the partnership instantly raises the visibility and credibility of their training programs in Colombia by having a recognized U.S.-based university partner.”
 
Casmena had been looking for a distinguished U.S. university to endorse and certify its programs.
 
“Xavier was selected due to our responsiveness, the flexibility in our proposed partnership model, and the Williams College of Business’ ranking/reputation in international business (currently No. 19 for 2014-2015 by U.S. News and World Report),” Miller says.
 
With this partnership underway, Xavier hopes to expand its reach both regionally and internationally.
 
“Our relationship with Casmena allows XLC to ensure the delivery of high-quality and high-impact project-management programs endorsed by Xavier internationally,” Miller says. “We anticipate replicating this model in support of our global clients with a growing portfolio of offerings.”
 
By Mike Sarason

 
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