CincyTech in the Headlines

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Sunday Business section cover photo featured CincyTech president and CEO Bob Coy and managing director Mike Venerable in the downtown office of fast-growing portfolio company Zipscene. The headline: “CincyTech’s economic impact just beginning.”

The article includes this quote from Silicon Valley Bank managing director John Hoesley, speaking of Cincinnati’s emergence as a seed stage investment hub: “Cincinnati is the market that’s probably been most surprising to me. It has really come up fast.”

Read the full article here.

Steve Case Reflects on Cincinnati + Midwest Startup Tour

Steve Case’s thoughts after visiting startup scenes in Cincinnati and three other midwest cities on his recent Rise of the Rest tour. This jumps out: “My prediction is that that by the end of 2015, for the first time ever, more venture capital will be invested east of the Mississippi than in Silicon Valley.” Read the full op-ed here.

Disney chooses Choremonster

The role of chores as a household tension trigger was not lost on Walt Disney. Some memorable Disney movie scenes have revolved around chores– think Snow White singing “Whistle While You Work,” and the pre-glass slippered Cinderella’s thankless existence of scrubbing and cleaning while her evil stepsisters had all the fun.

Fast forward to 2014: the value of Choremonster, a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun, is clearly evident to the folks at Disney. They chose Choremonster as one of 11 startups in the Disney Accelerator’s inaugural class.

The 15-week immersive program gives startups access to mentorship from top Disney executives and up to $120,000 in investment capital.

Read the full release here.

Lisnr Closes Series A Round

Lisnr, whose technology uses inaudible sound beacons to push content to a smartphone, has closed a $3.5 million dollar Series A round of financing. Boston-based Progress Ventures led the new investment, with participation from Jump Capital, CincyTech, Serra Ventures and Texas-based Mercury Fund.

The Wall Street Journal reported the news. Read the full article here

West Coast VC Blogger Praises Cincinnati Startup Scene

Upfront Ventures‘ partner Mark Suster recently visited Cincinnati, and raved about the entrepreneurial tech scene in his influential blog Both Sides of the Table.

In the post, Suster mentioned CincyTech by name:

“On my trip to Cincinnati I was giving my standard speech about the need to pool capital on my first morning in town. I was pulled aside after my speech and told that a group had already done this with much success. CincyTech is a local early-stage public private funding entity that pools together capital from local high-net-worth individuals with local community money who want not only returns on capital but also local jobs and innovation. If that isn’t the original definition of “angel” money I don’t know what is. It’s worth having a quick read of the first few paragraphs of their annual report.

CincyTech today has $28.5 million under management across three funds. We have invested $17.3 million in 46 companies and we have helped those companies raise an additional $215 million from venture capital funds and individual investors.

These companies employ 417 people at an average wage of $71,000, and their rate of job creation is accelerating as they move into their growth stage.

One measure of CincyTech’s overall impact is that in 2013, its portfolio companies represent 80% of total seed and early stage capital invested in Southwest Ohio.

This includes AssureX Health that has raised $71 million including capital from Sequoia.
As big wins happen in regional markets this capital often gets “recycled” back into the startup community in the form of angel funding for other startups. As you have more exits in your startup community and more second-time entrepreneurs the growth of a local startup community becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Read the full post here.

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