When someone says “tech hub,” which cities come to mind? Chances are, you thought of San Francisco, New York, Austin or Seattle. Possibly Portland and Los Angeles. Ohio, however – particularly Cincinnati – doesn’t initially strike many as a center for innovation.
But don’t be fooled – Ohio is, after all, the birthplace of aviation, and has a strong innovative tradition. Indeed, there are great reasons for developers and entrepreneurs to set up shop in Cincinnati, right in the heart of the Heartland.
1. Robust entrepreneurial and investment ecosystems
Cincinnati is home to The Brandery, one of the country’s top accelerator programs. The Brandery’s birthed many successful startups, like ChoreMonster (which incentivizes household chores for kids) and Roadtrippers (a road trip planning app). CincyTech provides seed funding for local startups, and big companies like Procter & Gamble actively participate in startup accelerator and mentorship programs.
2. Community support
ChoreMonster and Roadtrippers, like other Brandery alumni, have stayed in Cincinnati, instead of moving to bigger tech hubs like New York or Silicon Valley. Why? Because the local community actively supports Cincinnati startups.
3. Demand for tech services
Uber has recently arrived in Cincinnati, and they credited an urban revival and flourishing tech scene – both drivers of demand – as factors for their arrival. They’re already active in Columbus, and are also expanding to Cleveland soon. Ohioans, it seems, are very tech savvy!
4. Access to brand marketers
Cincinnati is home to Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and other brand marketers that can not only facilitate market research, but also become (big) customers themselves, giving local startups a leading edge in those critical early stages.
5. Hackathons are taking off
Reflecting Cincinnati’s tech upswing, hackathons have started to spring up, from HackCincy to RevolutionUC. And let’s not forget AngelHack – coming to Cincinnati on May 3rd. Hackathons offer great opportunities for developers and entrepreneurs, including cash prizes, mentorships, and exposure to potential investors.
All the way out here in San Francisco, we’ve noticed how excited Cincinnati’s been for our hackathon. And we’re just as excited to head over there and meet all the brilliant, driven and creative minds who will, no doubt, build some truly incredible solutions.
If you’re a developer, designer, or entrepreneur in Cincinnati, sign up here and join us – we look forward to meeting you and seeing what your tech scene is capable of. And if what we’ve seen so far is any indication, we know we’ll be impressed!