Great ideas surface at Soapbox's "Sink or Swim" speaker series

Last week, readers and leaders gathered for Sink? Or Swim!, a Soapbox speaker series event that explored the entrepreneurial climate in Covington, one of the region’s fastest growing business communities.

NKY Innovation Network co-hosted the event at the group’s Russell Street headquarters, in what has recently been dubbed “Innovation Alley” because of the growing number of incubators and tech startups that now call the area home.

The free event featured business “pitches” by some of Covington’s most active leaders.

Nancy Aichholz, who heads up Aviatra Accelerators (formerly known as Bad Girl Ventures), presented her idea for a city-wide parking solution in Covington, while Jim Guthrie of Hub & Weber architectural firm shared a concept for a foodie collective designed to support immigrant populations and other newcomers to Greater Cincinnati.

The NKY Innovation Network’s Casey Barach rounded out the presentation with a pitch for online lottery and gaming that would theoretically fund college education for area students.

Attendees then used online data collection software designed by Wyzerr — a fast-growing tech startup currently housed at the NKY Innovation Network — to vote for their favorite pitch.

The event was part of Soapbox’s On the Ground: Covington embedded journalism series, which will wrap up later this month. Click here to read about the people, places and projects the series has covered thus far.

publisher Patrice Watson welcomed the crowd, while On the Ground lead writer Liz McEwan emceed. Food and drinks were provided by The Delish Dish/Made by Mavis and Second Sight Spirits, respectively.

The Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to underwrite Soapbox’s On the Ground: Covington series. The Northern Kentucky Fund believes that highlighting the successes and challenges in our community fosters effective dialog and action, creating communities where everyone can thrive. Other On the Ground partners include The Center for Great Neighborhoods, which is working collaboratively toward community transformation with series sponsor Place Matters partners LISC and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Data and analysis is provided by The Economics Center.

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Read more articles by Hannah Purnell.

Hannah Purnell is a lifelong Northern Kentuckian who writes extensively about regional issues related to arts and culture, politics and economic development.