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Cincinnati In The News

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Lisnr developed a data-over-audio tech that has widespread applications


Founded in 2012, local startup Lisnr developed a data-over-audio technology in 2014 that could replace Bluetooth, NCR and QR code scanning.

Smart Tone doesn't need an internet connection to work, but the speakers that are "talking" to each other have to be in close proximity to one another. Lisnr's co-founder and CEO Rodney Williams says that his program has a lot of practical implications — Smart Tone was beta tested by ticketing companies, airlines, transportation companies, theaters, retailers, banks, mobile wallet providers, real estate companies and security firms.

Jaguar/Land Rover is now using it to personalize car settings by "talking" to the driver's smartphone. Lisnr also just landed the world's largest ticketing company as a customer, and Smart Tone has gone live in several locations around the globe. 

Lisnr isn't a one-trick pony: Locally, it has teamed up with the Contemporary Arts Center for an interactive museum experience that runs through June 18.

To read more about Smart Tone and Lisnr, click here.

International movie filmed locally at center stage at Cannes Film Festival


"The Killing of a Sacred Deer," which was filmed in Cincinnati last year and stars Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, is being screened at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

The film is in the running for the festival's most prestigious award, the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), along with 19 other films.

Cannes began on May 15 and runs until May 28; "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" will be screened on May 22 at the festival. Its anticipated international release date is November.

Read more about the Cannes Film Festival.

Sit back, relax and take a vacation right in your own backyard


A staycation is the perfect way to take a break from it all without leaving the familiarity of a city you already know. Plus, you have the freedom to explore things you might not have the chance to during your busy, everyday life.

Travel site Reward Expert recently published a list on its top 10 best cities for staycations, and Cincinnati made the list.

Reward Expert compared 100 of the largest cities in the U.S. and evaluated them based on 29 data points, which were broken into three categories: recreation, food and entertainment and rest and relaxation.

We already know that Cincinnati has a well-established dining scene (i.e. Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine) and a burgeoning arts scene. But did you know that the Queen City has the most nature parks per capita and the second most public pools per capita?

See the other top 10 cities for staycations here.

Cincinnati ranks in the top 150 best large cities to start a business


Cincinnati is known for its startup scene and constant flow of new, small business openings. But how does it rank when stacked up against other large U.S. cities?

WalletHub recently conducted a study that looked at 18 key metrics, ranging from five-year business survival rates to office-space affordability in 150 of the country's largest cities.

Cincinnati came in at no. 105 overall, and no. 126 in Business Environment, no. 56 in Access to Resources and no. 53 in Business Cost.

And when comparing Best Cities vs. Worst Cities in the category Lowest Availability of Human Capital, Cincinnati came in at no. 148.

To read more about how WalletHub determined its findings, click here.

Epicurious considers Jungle Jim's one of the best grocery stores in the country


Epicurious put together a list of the 21 best grocery stores in the United States, and although obvious chains like HEB, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods made the list, so did local fav Jungle Jim's.

It's the place to go for hard-to-find international foods, with over 180,000 different products from all over the world. Of course, Jungle Jim's has your typical deli, butcher counter and bakery, but nestled among those grocery store must-haves is a cheese section that's to-die-for and a huge produce section that pays homage to Jungle Jim's start as a produce stand. 

The middle of the store is devoted to a wide range of hot sauces and salsas, and the bar is the perfect place to grab a beer to enjoy while you shop. (Or you can pick from the over 4,000 local and craft beers to take home with you.)


You should probably spend a few hours or a whole day at one of the two locations (Fairfield and Eastgate) because there's no way you're going to see it all if you just run in to grab a gallon of milk.

See the other grocery stores that made the list here.

Three local restaurants have the best brunch in the country


It's a well-known fact that weekends are for brunching. Three area restaurants — Grand Finale, Market Street Grille and Taste of Belgium — made OpenTable's list of top 100 brunch spots in the country.
  • Open since 1975, Grand Finale Creperie Steakery in the Historic Village of Glendale specializes in steaks, chicken, seafood, pasta, crepes, salads and desserts. Its brunch has won awards and the restaurant itself has been recognized by Cincinnati Magazine for Best Desserts and Cincy Business for Best Brunch.
  • Harrison's Market Street Grille isn't somewhere most people think of when they think 'best brunch,' but according to OpenTable users, that should change. The menu focuses on using simple but real ingredients and creating home-cooked dishes. Its bourbon menu is extensive and includes Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace, plus it has Guinness on tap.
  • Taste of Belgium owner Jean-Francois Flechet is from Belgium, and he knows how to do waffles right. TOB started out at Findlay Market and has grown to six locations— five in Cincinnati and one in Columbus. The brunch menu features waffles and crepes, plus a plethora of sandwiches and salads. And if you can't make it for brunch, swing by for lunch, dinner or to take a dessert or bag of waffles home with you.
See if your favorite place to brunch in a different city made the list. 

 

Cintrifuse serves as model to spur Pittsburgh business collaboration


Pittsburgh-based business professional Kit Needham relied on advice from Cintrifuse's Eric Weismann in creating an awards ceremony to encourage interaction between corporations and startups.

The ceremony took place last week and honored Giant Eagle grocers for its utilization of human resource and management apps created by Pittsburgh startups.

“Even though we may not want to admit it during football season, we’re fighting the same fight,” Weissman says of the burgeoning Cincinnati-Pittsburgh entrepreneurial connection.

Needham took a cue from a Cintrifuse model that has influenced at least $97.6 million in investment, all through the creation of a syndicate “fund of funds” containing approximately $57 million. This syndicate fund invests in other pools around the U.S., which then invest in Cincinnati startups. 

Click here to read the full Pittsburgh Gazette story.

People's Liberty grantees featured on national podcast


This week's episode of the popular Plural of You podcast featured two local People's Liberty grantees and authors of The Neighborhood Playbook.

The podcast described Joe Nikol and Kevin Wright as two Cincinnati-based planners who "wrote a field manual...to guide developers and residents alike toward a common development model, which they divided into five steps or 'plays.'”

"What I’ve learned from Kevin and Joe is that community development doesn’t have to be this enormous, out-of-reach process that we sometimes imagine it to be," says the podcast host. "There are certainly caveats, and we have to be willing to let go of our own ideas and compromise sometimes to see them grow. At least we have the steps now to get out and start something new."

Click here for the full-length Plural of You episode.

 

Hotel Covington named one of the best new hotels in the South


Hotel Covington opened just last fall, but it's already gaining national attention — it was recently named one of the best hotels in the American South by CNN.

In the early 1900s, John Roberts Coppin built Coppin's Department Store (1910-1977) in downtown Covington. City Hall used the building from 1990-2014, when it moved out to make way for Aparium Hotel Group and The Salyers Group to develop their 114-room hotel concept.

The building underwent a $22 million renovation, and also houses a restaurant, Coppin's, that serves up classic American comfort food. The restaurant recently opened a walk-up window for late-night customers.

Check out the other eight hotels that made CNN's list.

Cincinnati is one of the world's most competitive cities


Cincinnati is growing at a rapid rate, and not just in the number of breweries that call the city home. Site Selection Magazine released its report on the World's Most Competitive Cities, and the Queen City finished in the top five of all North American cities in seven of the nine categories. 

Cincinnati ranked no. 3 in electronics and food and beverage; no. 4 in both automotive and chemicals and plastics; and no. 5 in aerospace, business and financial services, and machinery, equipment and construction.

These rankings mean that the Greater Cincinnati market is highly competitive when it comes to bringing new businesses and companies to town. 

To see where other world cities finished, click here.

 

Zoo's Painted Dog Valley receives important sustainability recognition


Painted Dog Valley at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has achieved the International Living Future Institute's Living Building Challenge petal certification.

This certification is the world's most rigorous performance standard for buildings and recognizes spaces that help the environment.

The LBC praised Painted Dog Valley for being made with long-lasting materials, fostering a sense of community and immersing visitors in the beauty of the African savannah.

Cincinnati Zoo is known as the greenest zoo in the country, and is committed to maintaining the highest standard of sustainability in its building projects. In 2006, the Education Center received LEED silver certification and was the first of its kind in the city. Since then, the zoo has received LEED certification on each of its new building projects (Historic Vine Street Village, the Pavilion, the gift shop, Cat Canyon, the shipping/receiving building and Africa Phase 3).

Read more about the zoo's new certification here.

 

Queen City is the third best city for young professionals


According to technology company Move Buddha, Cincinnati is the third best city for young professionals.

Move Buddha looked at several factors when evaluating cities, including the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment, the number of bars per square mile, the percentage of the population between the ages of 20-30, the average age of residents and the unemployment rate.

Here are the statistics for Cincinnati:
  • Average rent: $630 (one-bedroom)
  • Bars per square mile: 12
  • Percent of population ages 20-30: 19%
  • Average age: 32.7
  • Unemployment rate: 4.1%
Are you a YP looking for a new city? Check out the full list here.

How can smart cities make money for the community?


Jon Salisbury, co-founder of Nexigen and creator of the smartLINK network, is one of the driving forces behind making Greater Cincinnati the first "smart" region in the country.

In this video from TechRepublic, Salisbury talks about how smart cities can create revenue and become self-sustaining based on looking for projects that add value, cut costs or create profit.

Salisbury gives examples like linkNYC, another kiosk company, that was able to sustain itself because of money being dumped into it but that he says is an ultimate failure because the city couldn't support it. However, linkNYC has been a learning experience for all involved.

On the other hand, Copenhagen has a smart city data exchange that works like the stock market, where data is put out there and customers can purchase that data. The companies selling the data receives a cut, and the city of Copenhagen gets a portion of that as well and has become self-sustaining.

 

Around-the-clock care has helped baby Fiona reach 200 pounds


Fiona the premature baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has stolen millions of hearts from around the world. Since her early birth in February, she's taken huge strides, due in large part to the around-the-clock care she's receiving from her care team at the zoo.

Fiona is predicted to be fully reunited with her parents early this summer, and will be at Hippo Cove with them shortly after.

In this piece from USA Today, her 25-person care team talks about what it's like to take care of a 200-pound hippo. (That's right, Fiona is up to 200 pounds and continues to grow!)

Five new must-see attractions coming to Cincy this summer


There are a number of new things coming to Cincinnati this summer, and the Indianapolis Star, via the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network, has rounded up five of those attractions
 


 
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