UC partners with four Southwest Ohio colleges on innovative entrepreneurship accelerator

The University of Cincinnati and four other Southwest Ohio universities have entered into a partnership meant to increase the resources available to the region’s early-stage startup companies.

Wright State University, Xavier University, the University of Dayton, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will all have access to The University of Cincinnati’s Venture Lab pre-accelerator program at its 1819 Innovation Hub.


That agreement means that entrepreneurs who formed startups to commercialize intellectual property at each of those colleges will have opportunities to connect to the additional talent and funding they need to launch their businesses.


“This relationship will allow our students to continue to generate new ideas and innovations together to solve complex problems,” says Michael Graham, president of Xavier University.

UC’s seven-week Venture Lab program connects startup founders with talent and entrepreneurial expertise in the hopes of speeding up the process of getting ideas to the marketplace. The Venture Lab is designed to provide a track for future startups to get off the ground and succeed.

More than a dozen Venture Lab graduate startups have attracted funding. Since July 2019, Venture Lab has connected companies with more than $1.4 million in funding from grants and UC investments.

“Universities are the strongest generators of startups,” says UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams. “As a unified group, we can attract even more prosperity to this region and move at the speed that the knowledge economy demands.”

Named after the year of UC’s founding, and located in the budding Innovation Corridor near the university, the 1819 Hub is meant to be a center of work and connection for entrepreneurs who have opportunities to collaborate with established businesses.

Its Venture Lab is designed to focus university resources on assisting potential entrepreneurs and startup teams on campus, partly through the seven-week pre-accelerator program.

“This program is available for faculty, staff, and students, and can help these budding entrepreneurs better understand the potential opportunities for start-ups and future commercialization,” says Wright State University President Susan Edwards.

According to Adams, other colleges and universities in the region are welcome to consider joining the startup program. “It only strengthens our city and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he says.
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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.