One is a soccer dad tired of suffering on the sidelines. Another is a savvy entrepreneur with a plan to help professionals who have said “yes” to one too many find a safe and convenient way home. Still another is a mom inspired by healthy living.
This year’s Cincinnati Innovates
winners encompass an impressive range of ideas and strategies to improve quality of life and health.
Rick Pescovitz of Under-the-weather.com
won one of the top awards, the $25,000 CPG Strategies Award, for his all-purpose tent built to fit soccer chairs and protect fans from extreme weather. The other $25,000 winner, Brooke Griffin of Skinny Mom
, has built a network of more than 70 mom-bloggers around the world. She won investment help from CincyTech
Another winner, Jon Amster of 321RIDE.com
, received a $5,000 Taft Legal/Patent Award for his innovative approach to his membership-based designated driver service already used by the Cincinnati Reds and Dunhumby USA.
In its third year, the Cincinnati Innovates competition awarded $100,000 in funding and in-kind services to entrepreneurs representing 12 business ideas. Since its inception, the competition has sparked millions of dollars of investments in companies with local connections.
More than 200 entries vied for support this year, with awards given in a variety of categories. Commercialization award winners were selected by their sponsors (CincyTech, LPK) with help from a team of judges; in-kind services awards were chosen by sponsors with help from judges; community choice award winners were chosen by the public.
Browse this year’s innovative entries here
By Elissa Yancey
Follow Elissa on Twitter.