Episode #45: Cincinnati’s Tech Scene

Recording The UrbanCincy Podcast #45On the 45th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, I’m joined by Alex Bowman and Chris Moore to discuss the technology scene in Cincinnati.

We discuss the role of organizations like CincyTech and Cintrifuse, efforts like QCMerge and HackCincy, and physical coworking spaces and hackerspaces play a role in developing our local tech community. Alex explains how a strong urban core is critical to attracting and retaining the talent startups need, and Chris talks about Gaslight‘s move from Blue Ash to Downtown Cincinnati.

I ask whether tech companies should become involved with local political issues, in response to Chris Moore’s Open Letter to Cincinnati City Council published in December 2013, and we discuss the need for more regional thinking instead of a downtown-vs.-neighborhoods approach.

Photo by Chris Moore.

Local Companies to Showcase Custom-Made Products at Cincy Startup Store in Over-the-Rhine

Cincy Simple SpaceLocal startups will host a one-day product exhibition this Saturday from 10am to 10pm at 16 E. Thirteenth Street in Over-the-Rhine.

The event, called Cincy Startup Store, will take place inside a newly opened pop-up hub called Simple Space, which was funded through an Indiegogo campaign and is envisioned as a destination for short-term popups.

Kapture, an original backer of the Simple Space Indiegogo campaign, will join six other local startups for the event. Organizers hope it will be able to bring startups with tangible products together to sell their items inside the unique brick-and-mortar space not typical for many startups that focus on Internet sales.

Cincy Startup Store will also provide last-minute holiday shoppers with an opportunity to complete their shopping, while also supporting the local economy and small business startups.

In addition to Kapture and their audio-recording wristbands, PlusBlue will be selling custom-engraved mobile battery packs; Frameri will offer glasses with interchangeable frames and lenses, Artfully Disheveled will have their ties, bowties and pocket squares; Petbrosia with their custom-designed pet food; Beluga Shave Co. will be selling their single-blade razors; and GoSun Stove will be showcasing their portable solar cookers.

Organizers say that they are excited to have the small storefront space turned into a showcase of these products born in Cincinnati by Cincinnati companies. Backers of the event include Cintrifuse, CincyTech, The Brandery and HCDC.

Will Wendy Lea take Cintrifuse to the level of launching high-growth companies?

Cintrifuse tapped a high-profile Silicon Valley exec to fill its CEO role the other month, and now they’re looking to see how they can grow the two-year-old startup incubator into something that starts churning out big successes. So, which of their member startup companies will be the first to make it big and produce hundreds of jobs locally? More from The Enquirer:

So the pieces are in place for Lea, who has built companies from the ground up and is hardly intimated by the huge expectations. She shares them. The new CEO won’t be happy with Cintrifuse simply being a force in the region or state. Lea expects Cintrifuse to deliver on its local promise while taking on a national profile.

“I have a real sense of urgency to build on the foundation that’s been created. (The business community) had a vision, they assembled a team, they’ve got these assets together,” she said.

“And now I need it to go a lot faster and be a lot stronger and more visible. Cintrifuse has a structure and it’s very organized. We should be able to go fast.”