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ANDalyze analyzes water contaminants through portable unit


Pipeline H2O, a new water technology accelerator program based at The Hamilton Mill, welcomed its first class last week. The eight cohort members represent local and national companies, including Champaign, Ill.,-based ANDalyze.

“ANDalyze is always on the lookout for ways to build awareness of its technology and meet new customers and water industry VIPs,” says Marty Dugan, the company's chief marketing officer. “We found the application submission invitation online and thought Pipeline looked like something ANDalyze was a great fit for.”

The company grew from technology developed in the chemistry labs at the University of Illinois. Using DNA enzymes, ANDalyze devices can detect and measure water contaminants with portable testing units.

“Existing field test kits are notoriously inaccurate and difficult to use," Dugan says. "You really need to be a trained chemist to use the old-style kits. ANDalyze products are used by water quality professionals in a variety of industries, including municipal drinking water, industrial water processes, environmental water, mining and laboratory testing. The value to these customers is the speed and accuracy of the measurement of testing water on site and the cost savings as compared to testing in a laboratory.”

The U.S. EPA provided a testing and validation report for the portable meters and its sensors in 2014. Since then, ANDalyze has sold 200 meters and more than 100,000 sensors. They're hoping Pipeline will help them grow their existing product, as well as roll out a new product.

“In 2017, we will launch an automated system that can test for two metals concurrently and send test data through a network to warn cities and towns of unacceptable levels of heavy metals in their drinking water,” Dugan says. “Trials are taking place in school systems around the country.”
 
The automated system would be installed at a specific site and run water tests on a set schedule. The results of the tests would be reported through a computer network to the system owner, allowing for consistent monitoring of water safety.
 
“Small companies like ANDalyze always struggle to get noticed,” Dugan says. “We are hoping to learn ways to better use our limited resources to get exposure to customers and strategic partner companies from the Pipeline H2O experience. We are confident that after customers try our product, it will become an integral part of their water quality operations to identify heavy metals in their drinking water supply network and in school buildings.”
 
ANDalyze is also hoping Pipeline’s “region as lab” philosophy will help them find a partner municipality or industrial customer to test their new product.
 
“We hope to understand better the needs of the water utility market,” Dugan says. “We are also looking for insight on how to develop partnerships with larger water technology companies who may be interested in ANDalyze products to sell in their sales channels.”

Read last week's profile of Searen, another Pipeline cohort member, here.
 

UC to host three-day innovation event in March


Starting Thursday, March 2, University of Cincinnati will host a three-day NEXTLIVESHERE: Social Change Innovation Summit. The event, which is the second of its kind to date, will bring together more than 200 local and national thought leaders using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to gain a deeper understanding of the power of "backbone organizations" — groups that drive cross-sector, creative partnerships for collective impact.

NEXTLIVESHERE is unique among conferences. Instead of using the platform to simply disseminate information, the summit pools the collective knowledge of participants to showcase talents, align goals, spark imagination and shape social change.

The conference will break attendees into small groups to better understand what is working and what the contributing problems are in each community and organization. The revelations from these mini sessions will help discover new ways of thinking and involving people, then using those discoveries to design practical actions.

UC’s position in the community places it firmly as a unifier, able to engage existing partners and recruit new ones from a broad spectrum of innovators from the fields of business, industry, philanthropy and community organizations to solve pressing and complex social problems.

Community participants will include representatives from the United Way, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, P&G, Green Umbrella, Success by 6, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Skyward and Cincinnati Public Schools.

A $250,000 National Science Foundation Includes grant will help cover registration and meal costs for participants. Attendees will also receive free parking. For out of town attendees, a two-night stay at the hotel will also be provided.

For more information and to see the full three-day schedule, visit cech.uc.edu or call 513-556-5745. To request an NLH application, email Kaitlyn.Johnson@uc.edu.

2017 Neighborhood Summit will feature how-to workshops that prompt big ideas


Greater Cincinnati's distinctive neighborhoods are growing at a remarkable pace, and it's thanks in part to events like the upcoming Neighborhood Summit.

The 15th annual Neighborhood Summit, which will take place March 11 at Xavier's Cintas Center, is presented by Invest in Neighborhoods, in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, the Community Building Institute, LISC and the CDC Association of Greater Cincinnati.

The event attracts hundreds of community leaders and volunteers, city officials and nonprofit professionals for a day of discussions focused on helping groups work more effectively to improve the quality of life across Greater Cincinnati. The summit also features grants and awards for community members whose projects and efforts are making a difference or bringing a neighborhood together in a new way.
 
Last year’s Neighborhood Summit drew more than 600 attendees, with the theme of “Making Your Place” that highlighted community gardens, arts festivals, neighborhood beautification projects and other placemaking initiatives.
 
According to Summit chair Elizabeth Bartley, event planners send out a community survey each year in late summer to gauge what is topically important. A steering committee made up of various Cincinnati leaders then compiles that feedback into guideposts for selecting speakers and sessions.
 
“Like everything else, the Summit evolves and changes to fit what’s going on in our city,” Bartley says. “When it was first started, many neighborhoods simply did not know how the city worked and what was available to them.”
 
Bartley says the Summit has evolved to feature a series of how-to workshops where participants can learn about everything from grantwriting and applying for city services to getting insurance. Breakout sessions are subdivided into seven key areas: health, housing, economy, transportation, education, infrastructure and safety. Click here for more information on this year’s workshops.
 
“Anyone can join in at any time to any topic, roll up their sleeves and work in small groups toward brainstorming ideas and identifying actions that can be taken, whether large or small,” Bartley says.
 
Bartley thinks that level of knowledge sharing among leaders is what makes the Summit impactful. “I have heard many exclamations of, ‘I didn’t know you were doing that! What a great idea!’ and that’s the spark that builds collaboration,” she says.

The Summit is free to attend, however registration is encouraged. Click here to RSVP. Anyone wishing to attend the kickoff dinner Friday, March 10 can purchase tickets here
 
Vendor tables are available to non-profits, city departments, and community organizations for $135.
 

Searen develops new technology to remove waste and pollutants from water


Searen is no stranger to the #StartupCincy scene. A graduate of OCEAN’s inaugural class, Searen is now joining the first cohort of the Pipeline H2O water-tech accelerator program based at The Hamilton Mill.

“The OCEAN experience was amazing,” says Emmanuel Briquet, Searen's president and co-founder. “In addition to the extremely inspiring classes, they helped us to build Searen's spiritual identity. Since then, we’ve been busy building the business. Now with Pipeline, we’ll find the best path to market, plus make connections with other startups in our sector.”
 
Searen’s origins go back to when Briquet was stymied by the constant need to remove algae and other pollutants from the water at the fish farm he operated.
 
“In the wild, the density of fish is low and the ecosystem auto regulates itself as water flows,” Briquet says. “In a fish farm, they eat, breathe and excrete in the same water. So you have to keep the water clean so they can thrive.
 
His solution to the problem of waste removal and re-oxygenation evolved into VAL, or the Vacuum AirLift. This technology developed by Searen provides low-energy, low-maintenance water treatment. The device uses vacuums and air pressure to remove particles and toxins from water. There are no filters, no moving parts and no chemicals.
 
“The VAL is a brand new technology, and is one of the rare cases when a more advanced technology is simpler than any of its predecessors,” Briquet says. “Our purely physical and multifunctional technology harnesses the power of nature, making obsolete the use of chemicals, replacing complicated tools, simplifying industrial processes and saving both energy and cost.”
 
The system is ideal for the fish farm and microalgae industries because with one device, users can circulate water, remove particles and carbon dioxide while adding oxygen back into the water.
 
“The VAL has different modes for different applications,” Briquet explains. “The slow mode is used for particle extraction and can process up to two million gallons a day. The fast mode provides gas stripping and insertion and can handle up to seven million gallons a day. These are both mono-tube systems. In the future with a multi-tube system, we believe we will be able to treat 100 million gallons a day.”
 
Briquet, along with co-founder and CFO John Brooks and investor Tom Andrews, developed a multi-pronged approach to advancing the company.
 
“Our first focus is on getting VAL into aquaculture throughout North America,” Bruiquet says. “As a former owner of a fish farming company, I know the concerns and I also know I have the solutions.”
 
Searen’s second area of development is cultivating relationships with companies in the Cincinnati region that rely on significant water usage for their business.
 
“If we come across an industry that has a need that we may be able to fulfill, we will work to develop a solution or to partner with another company to integrate our equipment into their solution,” Briquet says.
 
Searen has partnered with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati on a trial project with the VAL at their test beds. They are also collaborating with WEL Enterprise, another Pipeline member, on the treatment of brewery wastewater.

“As an entrepreneur, I’m trying to push the limits,” Briquet says. “We are focusing on what we know we can achieve.
 

Brand builders Dooley Media launch Show & Tell marketing series


In this digital age, it seems that everyone uses social media — but very few use it well. For owners of a brand, especially, the endless catalog of social media practices and faux pas can fast become overwhelming.
 
That’s the issue local marketing gurus at Dooley Media hope to tackle with their new Show & Tell event series, which is designed to showcase the people and projects in Cincinnati that are using social media to effectively tell their brand's story.
 
The series format features three timed topics fielded by five Cincinnati thought leaders — as well as complimentary refreshments. Planners say that going forward, crowd participation will be a major focus, with planned topics that include visual storytelling, community building and customer acquisition.
 
"Social media is still considered pretty new for a lot of companies," says Dooley Media spokesperson Autumn Heisler. "We organized Show & Tell to get back to the roots of researching in a more collaborative space. That’s what social media is all about. We think it’s still best done face to face, and we want to bring together people who have lots of experience sharing ideas in an organic way."
 
The first event in the series took place last December at Cintrifuse's Union Hall and featured an open forum and panel made up of members of marketing teams for Crossroads Church, Rhinegeist and Procter & Gamble.
 
Panelist Jeremy K Smith from P&G kicked off the last session by describing a social media marketing "fail" that got a lot of negative attention last year.
 
“Red Lobster got a shout-out in Beyonce’s newest album, and everyone thought they’d respond to it right away,” Smith explained. “But they waited and came out with a cheesy joke, which led to an unsuccessful social media opportunity. Don’t be a cornball and don’t try too hard. Always be authentic with the content you’re publishing.”
 
Heisler says the idea outcome for the Show & Tell series is sharing resources and best practices. "If people who are smaller entrepreneurs or startups are feeling like, 'Oh, I can’t participate in social media because I’m not a copywriter or I’m not a graphic designer,' then we want them to know there are a lot of ways they can create content that matters to the people they’re trying to reach. The hope is that this series will empower them to take risks and create some different new things."
 
Show & Tell continues from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Union Hall, with speakers Levi Bethune from local fashion startup Cladwell, Christina Duccilli from Rookwood Pottery and others. General admission is $20; student tickets are available for $10. Click here to RSVP.
 

People's Liberty marks Valentine's Day with storefront launch and public brainstorming session


Today, People's Liberty launched a new storefront space, called the D.O.I.T.: The Department of Implementing Things, and invited the community to share resources, connections and brainpower with others.

The idea was to showcase the relationships and partnerships that make Cincinnati great. The launch goes beyond the projects and people who have benefited from People's Liberty funds in the past to include residents, entrepreneurs and the Greater Cincinnati public at large.

The purpose of the event was two-fold: organizers invited local residents and entrepreneurs to celebrate the new storefront and offered an opportunity for residents to share ideas, ask questions and connect with resources available through People’s Liberty’s powerful network of givers.

D.O.I.T. will also help People's Liberty reach further than just its grantees and fellows. For example, the nonprofit plans to launch a magazine later this year that will showcase the people who are moving Cincinnati forward. Those people don't have to be former grantees, and in most cases, won't be. 

The storefront is also a way for People's Liberty to continue activating a space along Elm Street. It used to house the Play Library, and now, it will be up to the community to decide what it will be used for. 
 
 

P&G brings new focus to its brands with entrepreneurial retail shop in OTR


One of the unique aspects of Cincinnati’s startup ecosystem is the deep involvement of big companies in mentoring, developing and supporting new companies. P&G’s Tide division has taken that commitment to a new level with the opening of Preneur, its new retail space on Walnut Street in Over-the-Rhine that will sell products developed or manufactured by local entrepreneurs.

“While it is unusual, it makes sense,” says store manager Stephanie Bohanon. “P&G is a company started by entrepreneurs in Cincinnati. Now a department of that company is celebrating the very essence of innovation in Cincinnati through small businesses. Tide benefits by displaying some of its newer products to sell and receive feedback as well.”
 
Preneur will feature regional small businesses and entrepreneurs that are looking for a space to showcase and sell their products. The store also boasts a commissioned graffiti piece by Max Thomas of the Midwest artist collective Often Seen Rarely Spoken.
 
Ten local businesses are currently featured at Preneur:
  • Arkadiance is an integrated skin care collection that includes traditional lotions and creams, as well as nutraceuticals and teas.
  • Craftastically Made is an Etsy shop that creates fashion items, including hair accessories and baby items.
  • Funky Artsy uses natural stones in one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
  • Handzy designs colorful stationery items, including greeting cards, art prints, invitations and gift wrap.
  • Jumper Threads rebooted the basic men’s undershirt with a comfortable, well-made and fitted design.
  • Kaya Leather features unisex leather bracelets, cuffs and earrings, featuring unique stained colors and patterns.
  • Koch Sporting Goods offers a range of sports apparel, specifically an FC Cincinnati line.
  • Native Brand produces casual clothing with Cincinnati-centric themes.
  • Rhinomed developed nasal technology products to improve athletic performance and reduce snoring.
  • Urban Blooms is a social enterprise that produces living wall features that make an artistic statement while improving indoor air quality.
The products currently for sale at Preneur are an eclectic mix. Going forward, the store intends to keep a wide range of goods but is considering organizing the featured businesses around themes.
 
“We will be rotating our partners on a one- to two-month basis, with potential to come back at a later time,” says Bohanon. “Moving forward, I'm reaching out to different companies to partner with us.”
 
In addition to the guest companies, Tide is also featuring some of its new products at Preneur, including Tide Studio detergents. The product line is formulated to clean specific fabrics including denim, activewear, prints and delicates.
 
“These are concentrated formulas for your one-off pieces that need a little extra attention,” says Bohanon. “One cap full per piece does the job. We also have mytide.com, where you can log on, take a survey and create your own bottle of Tide detergent. Questions range from fabric type to boosters, to custom scent and labeling the bottle as well. The detergent is then shipped to your house.”
 
Preneur, located at 1333 Walnut, is open Tuesday-Sunday.
 

Hyperloop UC team advances in final round of SpaceX competition


University of Cincinnati students were on one of 29 teams to compete in the Official SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The competition was held on Jan. 29 in Hawthorne, Cali., just outside of the SpaceX headquarters.
 
The team ultimately ran out of time, along with 25 other finalists, to pass final testing to be approved for the mile-long Hypertube Competition. Only three teams managed to pass all final approval testing: Delft University from the Netherlands, Technical University from Munich and M.I.T.
 
"It is great to reach so far in the competition," says Hyperloop UC president Dhaval Shiyani. "When we started the project, we never imagined to get the phenomenal support and attention that we have gotten. That keeps us motivated to achieve more and pushes us to make our supporters and the community proud."

The team was placed in the top half of the competition based on scoring and will continue to refine the design and go forward.

"The company at the competition was an icing on the cake," Shiyani continues. "When people from such esteemed backgrounds praise your work, it is definitely a morale booster. We exchanged ideas on what the Hyperloop can be and we hope to keep doing that moving forward. The competition was a great celebration in how great technology can work toward improving human lives."
 
The Hyperloop UC team is in the process of examining the information it has collected thus far in Competition I, and preparing an entry for Competition II this summer.

"We will keep working toward refining our prototype and bringing a strong design to Competition II," Shiyani says. "The team is excited about our future prospects and the experiences of Competition I will go a long way to streamline our Competition II design."
 
In 2013, renowned engineer and inventor Elon Musk introduced the concept for a high-speed transport unit that would connect cities within a 900-mile radius in a matter of minutes — using this technology, the trip from Cincinnati to Chicago, for example, could be made in just 30 minutes.
 
The Hyperloop soon gained attention from technology manufacturer SpaceX, and the resulting competition drew applicants from more than 1,200 universities, high schools and companies around the world.
 
Due to overwhelming interest, Musk has announced that there will be numerous Hyperloop competitions.
 
The competitions are designed to engage the world’s foremost engineering talent to create a mode of everyday transportation that is safer, faster, cheaper, more convenient, more sustainable and less susceptible to weather than today’s options.

"Hyperloop is closer to reality than anyone would imagine," Shiyani says. "The SpaceX competition generated a lot of attention around the idea and it only goes to highlight that a lot of smart people are working actively toward making Hyperloop a reality."
 

Nonprofits to pitch goals and strategies to the public at SVP's Fast Pitch


On March 1, 10 area nonprofits will compete for $30,000 in award money at Social Venture Partners’ fourth annual Fast Pitch competition. Much like startup pitch nights and Demo Days, the event will pit the organizations against each other in three-minute presentations.

You can read about last year's winners here.
 
SVP is part of an international network of 3,500 partners that invest their time, talent and grant money in innovative ways to help strengthen local nonprofits. The organization’s goal is to enable its investees to make the region a stronger and more vibrant community.
 
The event helps the public learn about different nonprofits and what the innovative work they’re doing in the community. The Fast Pitch program begins with 25 local nonprofits, which were chosen from a total of 45 applicants. After three and a half weeks of practicing their pitches, the nonprofits competed in the semi-finals, and 10 nonprofits were left standing.
 
Those 10 groups have been working on their pitches with D. Lynn Meyers, the Cincinnati Ensemble Theatre’s producing artistic director, and Jay Shatz, an Emmy-award winning report.
 
The nonprofits that will present at the Fast Pitch finals at Duke Energy Convention Center are:
 
Adopt-a-Class, Price Hill: A group mentoring experience that connects businesses and civic groups with students, inspiring a corporate culture of teamwork and philanthropy while giving hope and a vision of what is possible for the youth of the future
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Over-the-Rhine: Each year, its education program sees 50,000 students from 200 schools in three states.
Cincinnati Union Cooperative, OTR: Partners with individuals and organizations to create worker-owned businesses that sustain families and communities.
Circle Tail, Pleasant Plain, Ohio: Provides service and hearing dogs for people with disabilities, at no cost.
Crayons to Computers, Norwood: Serves the educational and imaginative needs of kids in Greater Cincinnati by providing donated items from businesses and the community to teachers for use in their classrooms.
Drug Free Clubs of America, Glendale: A voluntary program where high school students, with parental permission, submit to voluntary drug testing.
Faith Community Pharmacy, Florence: Provides necessary medications and pharmaceutical care to those who are unable to pay for it.
Per Scholas, OTR: Opens doors to technology careers for people from often-overlooked communities.
Women’s Crisis Center Green Dot, Northern Kentucky: Focused on preventing power-based personal violence.
Wordplay Cincinnati, Northside: A community of experts, artists, volunteers and donors who strive to equip K-12th graders with learning programs that focus on reading, writing and communicating.
 
Since its inception, the Fast Pitch finals has grown from 100 attendees to 550 last year; this year, they expect about 750 people to come. With that growth, there will be something new at this year’s event: the audience will get to vote for an Audience Choice Award.  
 
Tickets are $45-60 and can be purchased online; doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the event starts at 6:30 p.m. There will be a cash bar, small bites and an after-party for everyone who attends.
 

84.51 to host Women in Analytics storytelling workshop on Feb. 2


When it comes to effective storytelling, how do you decide what information is indispensable and what can be discarded as irrelevant? How do you hone your message for maximum impact?
 
Female analytics professionals from consumer-insights giant 84.51 will explore these questions and more during their Women in Analytics event on Thursday at their offices at Fifth and Race streets downtown.
 
Women in Analytics was created by the Advertising Research Foundation with a particular focus on supporting women in the traditionally male-dominated field of analytics. The event is expected to draw more than 100 attendees locally and regionally — both men and women in the field of analytics — and will feature expert speakers and an interactive workshop.

"There is a significant community of professionals in the area of analytics in our region, but no major organized event to bring this group together," says 84.51's VP of Insights Sandy Stieger. "84.51 and the ARF brainstormed on potential topics that would be meaningful to potential attendees. Storytelling is a theme that is fairly broad, but in terms of analytics, is vital to understanding how to telegraph an impactful narrative using data insights."
 
The focus of the event is on storytelling, with the agenda as follows:
  • 1 to 1:30 p.m. — Arrival & Registration, followed by opening remarks
  • 1:40 to 2:10 p.m. — Keynote: How Do You Craft a Story?
    Learn key pointers on how to consolidate research materials and craft a “sticky” story from WatersonGarner LLC's co-founder Katie Waterson.
  • 2:10 to 3 p.m. — Storytellers in Action
    Industry leaders Angie Ficek (Twitter), Michelle Tower (Procter & Gamble) and Julie Pahutski (Empower MediaMarketing) will share storytelling successes and their key learning moments.
  • 3:20 to 3:40 p.m. — Storyteller Panel
    Best practices and specific takeaways from those on the front lines. (Brand relationship expert Elle Morris will moderate.)
  • 3:40 – 4 p.m. — Table Discussions
    Small, moderated groups will explore how to apply insights learned to your next presentation.
  • 4 – 4:20 p.m. — Speed Round
    Table moderators will synthesize and report back on discussions.
The event will close with a cocktail reception and networking opportunity.
    
To learn more about ARF's Women in Analytics event, click here.
 

Pipeline H2O announces first class of water tech companies


Pipeline H2O, the region’s first water technology accelerator program, recently announced the members of its first cohort, which will begin work in February at The Hamilton Mill.
 
“We received 66 applications from 14 countries on five continents,” says Rahul Bawa, board chairman of Pipeline H2O and The Hamilton Mill. “Our selection committee chose companies where we could really make an impact and that represented a cross section of the water technology sector.”
 
The eight members of the inaugural cohort are:
  • Champaign, Ill.-based, ANDalyze, which offers products for testing heavy metal levels in water using DNA technology.
  • AguaClara — from Cornell University — provides gravity-driven, large-scale surface water treatment technologies to underserved communities.
  • Hamilton's own kW River Hydroelectric, which is working to further develop and commercialize the Williams Cross-Flow Turbine. 
  • PowerTech Water out of Lexington offers a new low-cost low-waste water treatment technology that removes salts, minerals and toxic metals.
  • Searen uses sustainable technologies to create water treatment solutions right here in Greater Cincinnati.
  • Slipstream ZLD from Albuquerque manufactures a crystallization system that eliminates wastewater for low-volume manufacturing facilities and metal finishing shops.
  • Waterstep, which is based in Louisville, developed a rapid-response mini-water treatment plant that can be used in disasters and for system safety redundancies.
  • WEL Enterprise, also from Hamilton, created a platform that handles both treatment and reclamation of wastewater. It can currently be seen in action at Municiple Brew Works.
The members of the first Pipeline class are all well beyond the ideation stage, with either functioning prototypes or pilot projects. The program, which runs from February-May, includes an intensive week each month that mixes curriculum from the Village Capital model and project-specific field work. The remaining weeks of each month will be devoted to mentoring, homework and continuing to test and improve products.
 
“The city-as-lab model at The Hamilton Mill has grown to the region-as-lab thanks to support from city and county municipalities,” Bawa says. “Pipeline participants will access pilots, customers and revenue, while leveraging local expertise in the water sector. We will adapt the Mill’s concierge-level mentoring to create a targeted experience that fits the needs of each member of the class. We are still building a mentor network with help from The Brandery, Cintrifuse and Confluence.”
 
Regulation of water technology is one area where all cohort members are seeking guidance. The complicated interactions of federal, state and local regulations can be daunting for a startup wanting to enter the water sector.
 
“We are fortunate the EPA has a water research and development facility in Cincinnati,” Bawa says. “The state and federal EPA staff and our partners at Confluence will help the class understand the specific categories of water technology regulation and how to navigate the process.”
 
Pipeline’s first cohort will be featured in a pitch competition during the first week of the program, as part of the OVALS Water Technologies: The Wave of the Future program at the University of Cincinnati on Feb. 16. The two-day conference will feature presentations by University and industry experts, and is organized by Indiana University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University, UC, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. For those unable to attend the OVALS pitch competition, Pipeline’s end-of-program Demo Day in May will be open to the public.
 
“The projects in development by our first Pipeline class can make a real difference in the world,” Bawa says. “Our region has the expertise to be a leader in the water technology sector.”
 

UpTech to host Demo Day for fifth cohort on Feb. 9


A GPS for your health. Pothole data and workplace incident reports used to improve safety nationwide. Efficient alternatives to printing on physical paper.

What do these things have in common?
 
They’re all startups in the fifth year of UpTech’s Accelerator program — and all will showcase their businesses via pitch format to an audience of community partners, investors and startup enthusiasts on Feb. 9.
 
Each year, UpTech selects up to 10 startups for the six-month Accelerator program, where the curriculum is driven by intensive entrepreneurship education, one-on-one mentoring, up to $50,000 in seed capital and access to best business model development methods, customer acquisition strategies, project management principles and product development practices.
 
The 2017 StartupCincy Demo Day will be hosted at 84.51° on the fifth floor. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the demos begin at 6 p.m. A reception showcasing local food vendors and breweries will follow the pitch event, where attendees can network with UpTech companies.
 
This year’s Demo Day features nine data-driven startups from all around the world. Demo Day is their opportunity to share their vision for the future with the public.
 
Healthcast
Founders: Glenn Lawyer, Tobias Theobald, Tariq Khaleeq
Provides technology that can help you see how bad a cold or flu will get and when you’ll be better. It also provides personalized, clinically validated guidance to get you back on your feet.
 
iReportSource
Founders: Christi Brown, Brad Brown
Gives companies the ability to simplify and streamline entire safety programs and data collection by gathering all incident reports the same way, every time, regardless of when and where. Allows for insight to data analytics, risk identification and cost drivers all in one place.
 
Papr
Founders: Josh Israel, Devin Serago, Aayush Kothari, Amardeep Kaur
A solution that provides businesses an efficient alternative to printing on physical paper.
 
ROAD-AID
Founder: James Bridgers
A road data analytics company that captures and productizes collected road data for a wide range of customers. One of its first data products focuses on pothole data that is being tailored for governments, drivers and insurers.
 
Rescoper
Founders: Robert Clark, Shane Young
Project management software with artificial intelligence that makes your team more productive. Provides context to your work and allows for maximization of time and to-do lists.
 
Shogooru
Founder: Elias Jureidini, Arlette Saliba, Amy Tatielle Marticorena, Rodrigo Tagle, Jose Blanco, Sebastian Soffia, Dante Maldonado
A discovery and streaming platform for podcasts and radio stations that allows producers to highlight content within their shows and for listeners to find and interact with it.
 
SOCIAL/ARCADE
Founders: Mariano DiMurro, Zafer Balbous
An online drag-and-drop template service for launching branded apps, quizzes and games that is aimed at creative agencies, digital marketing agencies and SMEs.
 
SuppleMENTAL
Founders: Tim Mielke, Greg Buns, Nick Moore
A mobile app for the nutritional supplement industry to help consumers make better-informed decisions when purchasing supplements
 
TheMonetizr
Founders: Andris Merkulovs, Marins Bratuskins, Reinis Skorovs
Helps game developers monetize their mobile games by turning design assets into branded merchandise, providing high returns and automation.
 
Demo Day is already sold out, but if you're interested in attending, you can add your name to a waiting list here.
 

Bunbury founder launches event management tool for organizers


Cincinnati event planners will soon have access to a new organization tool from Bill Donabedian, the creator of popular local festivals like Bunbury Music Festival, Buckle Up, MidPoint Music Festival and the PNC Summer Music Series.
 
In 2015, Donabedian and partner Olivier Fischer founded DiaZam LLC, a company that specializes in event-management software. The result is DiaZam.com, a cloud-based tool for creating, organizing and managing layouts for large-scale events.
 
"DiaZam was designed by an event planner (me) for event planners," Donabedian says. "It doesn’t matter if it’s a small food truck festival on a city block or a huge music festival in a city park, DiaZam makes designing a layout fast and easy. Event layouts change over time and DiaZam also helps manage that process."
 
Donabedian and Fischer tweaked their software model for 18 months before testing it at last year’s Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic and Bunbury.
 
“I developed a technology for Bill years ago for the MidPoint Music Festival,” Fischer says. “I was able to leverage that same technology to help solve his problem with event layouts. Now users can do layouts using their web browser — no technical or design skills needed — and there is no need for expensive or complex software like Illustrator or CAD.”

The pair explains that since buying and learning programs like Adobe Illustrator and CAD can be daunting for the average person, a major selling point of DiaZam is that it works in any web browser and is intuitive to use. The tool also tracks everything about every object in the layout, so event layouts are always up to date.

"When we say it's fast and easy, we mean it," Donabedian says.
 

Cincinnati makerspace offerings expand to meet creative demand


Earlier this month, Soapbox introduced readers to the city’s newest crop of co-working spots — places where independent professionals can meet, network and swap ideas. Typically, such spaces are designed to mimic traditional office life — with amenities like fast internet and teleconferencing — but a wholly different set of so-called makerspaces caters to artists, mechanics, chemists, brewers and a wide range of other hands-on professions.
 
Know of another great makerspace? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list. 
 
Boone County Makerspace
7056 Burlington Pk., Burlington, KY
Located within Boone County High School, it is the result of a partnership between Leadership Northern Kentucky, the Brainy Bots & Junior Brainy Bots and Boone County Schools.

Hellmann Creative Center
321 12th St., Covington
The Center for Great Neighborhoods' headquarters offers opportunities for residents to gather and work on creating placemaking endeavors with the goal of improving the neighborhood.

Hilltop Glass Creations
1592 Compton Rd., Mt. Healthy
Offers opportunities for community members and visitors alike to gather, take classes, learn something new and be creative.

Hive13
2929 Spring Grove Ave., Northside
Provides an open framework for hackers of all stripes to exchange ideas, skills and information. Hive13 encourages its creatives to learn from each other as well as teach.
 
Main Library Makerspace
800 Vine St., Downtown
A place where creative people can gather, create, invent and learn using 3D printers, audio and visual equipment, laser cutters and engravers, sewing machines, cameras and other hardware and software tools.
 
The Manufactory
12055 Mosteller Rd., Sharonville
A 17,000-square-foot, membership-only workshop for makers, artisans, engineers, inventors, prototype builders, crafters, stage and prop builders, DIY-ers, restorers, entrepreneurs and repair technicians.
 
Shotgun Row artist collective
Orchard Street, Covington
Five rehabilitated houses offer space for artists-in-residence, which means the shotgun-style houses have studio or retail space toward the front and residential toward the back. Shotgun Row is owned and operated by Covington’s Center for Great Neighborhoods.
 
Xavier University Library Makerspace
3800 Victory Pkwy., Avondale
Open to all students, faculty and staff to explore their creativity, access disruptive technologies like 3D printers and scanners, use tools for constructing projects and imagine solutions to problems with real-world applications.
 

Founder Institute Cincinnati will graduate its first class on Feb. 1


Founder Institute, the newest cultivator of entrepreneurship on the StartupCincy scene, graduates its first local cohort with a public showcase on Feb. 1.
 
“We are graduating top level talent for the entrepreneurial ecosystem here,” says Michael Hiles, founder of Intellig8 and one of the directors of Founder Institute Cincinnati. “We worked hard to be very inclusive, and a third of our graduates are minority-led businesses.”
 
Founder Institute recruits entrepreneurs that are working on the ideation stage of their company or product for a rigorous 14-week program that's designed to challenge the viability of ideas and the resilience of the founders. The first Cincinnati cohort will graduate nine founders from eight companies — two members of the class had similar ideas and decided to join forces to create one company.
 
  • Brad Birck: Virtual Lens will use a virtual/augmented reality application for consumer experiences, including virtual property showings for real estate agents and their clients.
  • Doron Katriel: The Holistic Experience will produce WetDryes, a two-sided toilet paper that is moist on one side and dry on the other.
  • John Bentley and Sam Malik: MeeLance provides a platform to match freelance professionals with clients based on skills and work style. Once matched, the system will support the relationship from proposal submission to product delivery.
  • Keliyah Yisrael: Boonbee will create an engaging social platform for giving monetary gifts for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions.
  • Lawrence Jones: Just Hire Me is a staffing platform for teenagers who are available for light chores, small projects and day work. It then matches them with the business and individuals who are looking to hire.
  • Matthew Thomas: Fiero gamifies the career discovery process for college students, using their strengths, weaknesses and motivators to help them explore professional options.
  • Steve French: Invest Your Faith helps Christians find companies that match their beliefs so they can have piece of mind about their investments and earn a competitive rate of return.
  • Yogesh Kadiyala: Gyftsense utilizes social profiles and interests to recommend the perfect gift for any occasion.
“We expect to see our graduates active in the StartupCincy ecosystem,” Hiles says. “Some are considering applying to other accelerator programs, while others are already meeting with angel investors. We are very focused on building community and support among the cohort. They will also stay engaged with Founder Institute and we hope some will attend FounderX, the global Founder Institute alumni conference.”
 
The Graduate Showcase is open to anyone, and Founder Institute Cincinnati is hoping to draw a crowd that includes those who are interested in startups and entrepreneurship, service providers, other founders and investors. Each founder will present their company to the audience in a pitch-style program.

During the event, Founder Institute Cincinnati will also provide an overview of its program, which is currently recruiting for the spring cohort with early admission ending March 5 and final applications due by April 2. The application fee is waived for anyone who attends the Graduate Showcase. The second class will run from April 19-July 19, and a fall cohort will be offered as well.
 
Registration is required for the Graduate Showcase. The event, held at Cintrifuse, begins with networking at 6:30 p.m. followed by the pitches.
 
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