Hometown Pride

“The inhabitants of Cincinnati are proud of their city as one of the most interesting in America: and with good reason.” – Charles Dickens

Is your hometown the place you were born?  Where you grew up? Or where you live?  For me, I always talk about being an “adopted son” in Cincinnati.  Its my hometown and where I’ve now spent nearly half of my life.

I bring this up because the last few weeks have been one of hometown pride.  On a small scale, our new class started at The Brandery, which means 20+ entrepreneurs that are moving to town and becoming part of #StartupCincy.  They are moving into our new Branderyhaus apartments and becoming part of the community in Over-The-Rhine.  And if we do our job right, they will want to make Cincinnati their home well past Demo Day in October.

But the hometown pride I talk about took part on a much larger national scale this past week as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game came to town for the first time since 1988.  To say the city has changed dramatically since the MidSummer Classic last came through the Queen City would be an understatement.  A good reminder of that change came on Tuesday morning when the team from REDI Cincinnati invited me to do a short talk.  REDI is our regional economic development initiative and they were hosting a group of Site Selectors in town for the All Star Game (ie the consultants that help companies decide where to relocate / open new offices).  We spent the morning at the 3CDC offices talking about the Public-Private Partnerships that have led to not only the revitalization of our OTR neighborhood but has also served as a catalyst for #StartupCincy.  During one presentation, the team from 3CDC showed the before and after photos of their work in Over The Rhine.  You could literally hear gasps from some of the audience when they saw the change.

I spend most of my time across the Midwest in cities like Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis and others.  The common thing about all of them is that they are filled with entrepreneurs who spend each day fighting the good fight to help their community reach it’s potential.  The past week was one of those where we got to see the hard work pay off and others saw first hand why we have the hometown pride that we do here in Cincinnati.

Why Pebble Time and Kickstarter are a new model for launching a product

When the Pebble Time smart watch launched on Kickstarter this week, it quickly set the record as fastest campaign to raise $1 million in just 30 minutes.  Entrepreneur and blogger Jason Calacanis summarized it best with his tweet: So the pebble … [Continue reading]

Travel is an opportunity to nurture your network

2015 is shaping up to be one of those years where I am spending more time than I'd like as a patron of Delta Airlines and Starwood Hotels.  In fact, as I write this I am in the Delta Sky Club at LaGuardia in the middle of trips to New York City and … [Continue reading]

How To Stand Out When Applying To The Brandery

Did you know that getting into a top tier startup accelerator is actually statistically more difficult than getting into Harvard? For its Class of 2018, Harvard accepted around 5.9% of their 34,000 applicants. In 2014, The Brandery accepted half that … [Continue reading]

Never Stop Fighting ‘Til The Fight Is Done

Hanging on my office wall is one of my favorite prints that I bought a few years ago in Chicago.  It is a quote from the movie The Untouchables that reads: "Never Stop Fighting 'Til The Fight Is Done" That quote has come up in at least three … [Continue reading]