IDEALAB reMaking Industry: A look back at the event

The 2019 edition of Soapbox Cincinnati’s brainstorm workshop, IDEALAB, happened on May 9 with visionaries from here and afar presenting fresh ideas, and with connections being made among like-minded entrepreneurs, artisans, and community-minded leaders.

IDEALAB: reMaking Industry attracted an audience of people interested in improving the urban core by remaking an old-school industry — manufacturing — and retooling it with a new purpose of creating and nurturing jobs and businesses and sustaining urban communities.

The event, held at the Xavier Center for Innovation, attracted community activists, economic development leaders, investors, students, artists, craftsmen, and social entrepreneurs.

It was the third in the IDEALAB Cincinnati series, following 2016’s IDEALAB: People Power, which focused on cutting-edge philanthropy; and 2017’s IDEALAB: Movement Makers, which explored how the movement concept is being used to tackle big problems around community building and awareness.

The IDEALAB lineup included thought leaders from Detroit, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati, as well as new data from a survey conducted by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance that yielded insights into the markets, customers, and plans for growth of small manufacturers in six cities, including Cincinnati. 


The event ended with a question-and-answer with Adam Kenney of Pittsburgh’s Bridgeway Capital, Dan Carmody of Detroit’s Eastern Market Corp., Lee Wellington of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, Alex Bandar of Columbus’ Idea Foundry, Rich Kiley @CoMadeCincy, Peggy Zink @CincinnatiWorks, and Dan Meyer of Cincinnati’s #NehemiahManufacturing.

IDEALAB reMaking Industry was made possible with support from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, People’s Liberty, and Issue Media Group.

And many thanks for assistance from our friends at CoMade, Xavier Center for Innovation, Findlay Market Corporation, Listermann Brewing, Urban Manufacturing Alliance, #startupcincy, Comfort Catering, and Prestige AV & Creative Service. 

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Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.