Get involved 

Cincinnati’s startup community is growing and expanding as more and more people take up the StartupCincy banner. And some who have joined the movement aren’t entrepreneurs or investors - they are people like you - supporters of vision, progress and the city we call home. 

Starting a business is tough and those brave enough to take on the task need all the help and support they can get. Thriving startup ecosystems need buy-in from the community. And not just dollars, they need buy-in from people like you. People who see the value in attracting talent and supporting innovation to build a new type of economy right here in the Queen City.

We're glad you're on-board. Ready to take the next step? Join us at one of our events or read a bit more about what StartupCincy has to offer below. 

University Programs

  • Altman Internship Program – The nationally ranked Institute for Entrepreneurship at Miami University sources top student talent for hands-on summer internships in early-stage growth companies across StartupCincy. At the end of the summer, companies receive a cost-sharing reimbursement for the intern’s pay.

  • Bearcat Launchpad – The Bearcat Launchpad is an opportunity for all undergraduate students to come together at the University of Cincinnati and work on interdisciplinary teams to turn an idea into a viable business concept.

  • INKUBATOR – The INKUBATOR aims to increase the competitive advantage for NKU students by providing them with education, mentoring, financing, facilities, and other related resources necessary for a successful entrepreneurial startup process.

  • Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship – Nationally recognized entrepreneurship education bringing talent to StartupCincy through internships, client consulting projects, new venture creation, and a student-run venture fund which invests in business started by Miami alumni for up to ten years after graduation. Whether you're a startup looking for talent, a BigCo interested in working with a class to solve a business problem, or simply an alum looking to coach and mentor our students, we have multiple opportunities to engage with StartupCincy.

  • NKU Center for Applied Informatics – the CAI supports entrepreneurs and innovation via our nationally recognized virtual co-op program. We recruit and project-manage students from across all disciplines of Informatics to work on cutting-edge projects such as websites, mobile apps, data analytics or visualizations, promotional videos, IOT solutions or MVP prototypes.

  • UCRI – University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI) serves to connect UC experts to industry partners, facilitate commercialization of research and enhance cooperative and experiential learning experiences for UC students.

  • X-LAB – The X-LAB competition is an entrepreneur competition where driven entrepreneurs compete for the opportunity to have Xavier University faculty, students, and executive mentors help them get prepared to launch a business.

Economic Development

  • REDI – Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is the first point-of-contact if you’re interested in starting, locating or expanding your business in our three-state, 15-county region.

  • Kentucky Innovation Network – The Kentucky Innovation Network is a network of business leaders and mentors that encourage relationships, grow companies new and existing, and create jobs.

  • Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed – Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed is a non-profit economic development organization serving Northern Kentucky.

Associations/Other Stakeholders

  • ArtWorks CO.STARTERS – ArtWorks CO.STARTERS (formerly SpringBoard) is a nine-week business development program that helps aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs examine assumptions and turn business ideas into action.

  • Cintrifuse – Cintrifuse is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) partnership that exists to build a sustainable tech-based economy for the Greater Cincinnati region. Our purpose is to advocate for entrepreneurs leading high-growth tech startups– attracting, inspiring, and supporting them on their journey. Through the construction and maintenance of an Active Network of BigCos, universities, investors and startups, we are turning Cincinnati into the premier destination for startups ad innovation in the Midwest.

  • The Circuit – The Circuit provides education, networking opportunities, an online sales channel, advocacy to government, and access to early-stage capital for its members and the entire IT community in our region.

  • Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) – Financing: small business loans, small business solutions, Veteran’s loans, construction loans.

  • Flywheel- Social Enterprise Hub – Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub works alongside nonprofits to design sustainable enterprises and community leaders to create an ecosystem where they will thrive. Resources include the social accelerator Elevator.

  • GCVA – The Greater Cincinnati Venture Association was founded in 1985 to connect entrepreneurs and investors through monthly meetings.

  • Innov8 for Health – Innov8 for Health is a community-based innovation program that identifies, incentivizes, and supports the creation and acceleration of innovative health solutions.

  • MORTAR – MORTAR’s mission is to enable under-served entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed; creating opportunities to build communities through entrepreneurship. By targeting underserved and redeveloping communities, we’re offering these non-traditional entrepreneurs the opportunity to use their inherent talents to not just make a dollar, but to positively participate in the rise of Cincinnati. Mortar also offers Brick, a pop-up shop for entrepreneurs on Vine Street.

  • SBDC – Cincinnati – The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Urban League in Cincinnati provides comprehensive business management and education services. Free, confidential, in-depth, one-on-one counseling and low- or no-cost training.

  • SBDC – @NKU for NKY – The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Northern Kentucky at Northern Kentucky University provides one-on-one consultations at no cost to existing and potential entrepreneurs in Northern Kentucky.

  • SCORE – It’s free! It’s unlimited! SCORE provides you with expertise that will start you on the right path towards your business goals.

  • Square1 – SQUARE1 is an entrepreneur education and business accelerator services company that provides resources to a broad range of individuals interested in turning ideas and research into business startups.

  • Women’s Business Center of Greater Cincinnati – Business technical assistance: small business development, one-on-one business counseling, notary services, access to small loans through ECDI.