Tech and business go hand-in-hand at Nitro! bootcamp

A caffeinated buzz filled Union Hall that morning. Saturday saw the reignited launch of NITRO! Bootcamp with groups of innovative small-business owners and tech experts sharing insights. The goal of NITRO is simple: equip small businesses with the technology tools they need and guide them onto a path to $1M in revenue or more.

The day started with a discussion on AI featuring Cintrifuse CEO, Pete Blackshaw. “We shouldn’t be afraid of AI. We’re learning to use it and harness it in everyday ways.” He shared an ai-generated video of his photo rapping about using the tool ethically. Owners then went to their choice of training session in three different 60-minute blocks throughout the day with a break for a working lunch.

Keynote Speaker, John Fittro of Fifth Third Bank, led founders and their teams through the changing details of funding. Two workshops, led by Rebeca Arbona of BrandTrue on storytelling and Chris Brock & Zach Peter on, rounded out the day before closing with networking.

From practical applications like Quickbooks and WiX to the more imaginative Canva and expansive AI, owners were eager to learn how these tools could support them in meeting their goals. For some, they were trying to diversify their services. Others were hoping to add locations and gain an edge.

Maurice Coffey, P&G Executive in Residence at Cintrifuse, was “super thankful for everyone’s support in making the NITRO Kickoff an in-person success again.”

Pete Blackshaw shares how community is at the heart of the startup ecosystem.

Each training session was led by qualified experts and were personalized for every group. Highlights include building nearly 60 customer service bots for over 30 minority small businesses, sharing the history of AI in three minutes, and learning how to create eye-catching images in Canva that break the scroll. Also, every NITRO! small business owner qualified for up to a year of pre-paid software and licenses.

These technologies are truly game-changing.

Amari Samya, owner of SelfieCincy, volunteered for an in-person demonstration of The workshop facilitator, Christopher Brock, used this tool to scan her business’ website and rewrite the copy with SEO-tailored keywords. He then sent the revised copy to her. The process took about 5 minutes.

NITRO! Bootcamp held its kickoff event on Saturday, November 18. Soapbox Cincinnati will be following small-business owners who use the technology shared to advance their business in the months ahead.
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Read more articles by Miyah Byrd.

Miyah Byrd is a storyteller and advocate based in Ohio. Her work has been featured in KIIONA Magazine, Forge, Human Parts, and ThriveGlobal. She is a former educator whose interests include food insecurity, green energy, and the self-sufficiency of the Black community.