It’s official: Cincinnati’s thriving startup ecosystem will host more than 1,000 like-minded entrepreneurs and innovation leaders from around the world this Fall to check us out for a weekend.
CEO Wendy Lea gathered this morning with Mayor John Cranley and Reds COO Phil Castellini to welcome John Hill of Techstars
to Cintrifuse’s still-new Union Hall HQ to announce that the city will host the Boulder-based accelerator’s annual FounderCon in October.
Techstars is an “early seed stage accelerator” with an international network of accelerators and entrepreneurship heavy-hitters as well as Techstars Ventures, which invests in startups and has an established relationship with Cintrifuse
Hill, the company’s Network Catalyst, explained that FounderCon is a signature event for Techstars, providing a crucial forum for their alumni, mentors and network to connect with each other and the rest of the entrepreneurial world every year.
He also pointed out that, as Cincinnati joins cities like Boston, Chicago, Austin and Boulder in hosting the event, the honor is a testament to the vibrant and hardworking startup and tech scene here.
“You’re already to the point where we can raise it to a different level,” Hill said, “and that’s why we’re in this room right now.”
“I’m here to tell you dreams do come true,” Lea said.
The Cintrfuse CEO had been working for months with the local startup ecosystem, larger companies like Procter & Gamble and Kroger and city officials to bring FounderCon to Cincinnati. They sought advice from the Reds as hosts of the area’s most recent large national event, the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
Excitement for FounderCon among audience members at today’s announcement event neared that for the sporting event. Cincinnati entrepreneurs like Amanda Grossman, who’s been involved in the Cincinnati innovation scene for years but left P&G last year to start Gamejoule
, see FounderCon as a great opportunity to put the city’s startups on the map.
“This means being more connected to the startup community nationally,” she said, explaining that many startups may question whether Cincinnati is the right environment for them, but events like these show that the city isn’t isolated from national trends.
FounderCon, scheduled for Oct. 18-20, is expected to attract more than 800 founders of tech-based startups who are alumni of the Techstars global accelerator network. They’ll be joined by 300-plus corporate innovation leaders looking to source ideas and learn from them.
“We want to hold the biggest un-conference we can,” Hill said. “We want to do a conference no one has ever seen before, and we think Cincinnati is the playground to do that in.”