Startup meets BigCo – the Confluence of Innovation in Cincinnati S14 Ep9

Kym McNicholas, syndicated host for The Innovators Network, stands in for Phil on today’s Killer Innovations podcast.

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When civic and business leaders have a meeting of the minds, amazing things can happen.  Cincinnati is home to several major corporations and health care organizations. The demand is high for tech innovation.  This midwestern city has created a unique approach to draw in the best talent.  Cintrifuse is the confluence of innovation in Cincinnati.

tech innovation

Cintrifuse exists through public private partnership.  Its purpose is threefold. It’s a startup accelerator and venture capital fund.   It’s also the go to source for large companies seeking innovative solutions to their tech problems.  CEO Wendy Lea comes to Cincinnati from Silicon Valley as an expert in digital innovation.

West Coast to Midwest

Arriving in the Cincinnati area, it surprised Wendy to find six major healthcare systems in the region.  In addition, there are 140 major companies including Proctor & Gamble that call this area home.  The local government sought economic growth.  The need for cutting edge tech innovation and economic growth brought all these players together.  The perspective from the various communities is distinct from what Wendy’s observed in Silicon Valley.  These communities work closely together to tackle regional issues. Their collaborative effort formed Cintrifuse.  

Startup versus BigCo

Contrary to what one might think, this is not a face off between startup and big companies.  Large companies seek to draw the entrepreneurs, ideas and talent. They are the customers to the startups product or service offering.  

Growing the Startup Community

Wendy has seen Cintrifuse’s portfolio of startups grow 40% year over year.  What started with eleven startups on the Cintrifuse books has grown to 470 startups in the region.  Some startups that come through Cintrifuse’s doors are located within the Cincinnati area. Others located elsewhere benefit from Cintrifuse venture capital funds.  The benefits are mutual. The relationships developed allow Cintrifuse to connect startups with large companies seeking tech innovation.

To learn more about Cintrifuse, check out cintrifuse.com.

Check out The Innovators Network where you can listen to podcasts with Kym McNicholas on Innovation and Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney.


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3 thoughts on “Startup meets BigCo – the Confluence of Innovation in Cincinnati S14 Ep9

  1. It doesn’t just seem “incestuous.” It IS incestuous. That’s the way Cincinnati operates. Only things that the local elite wants are allowed to happen. They simply won’t allow anything that doesn’t serve their interests to develop. Any suggestion of competition is shut down. Cintrifuse is meant to serve the interests of Cincinnati’s elite, not startups. It’s why Cincinnati will never create new successful businesses.