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The Brandery selects its inaugural class

Today we are excited to announce the selection of our five inaugural participants in The Brandery. They are:


  • BrainRack

  • DCreations

  • Giftiki

  • TurboBOTZ

  • VenturePax

The turnout in applications was amazing with 40% of applications coming from outside Greater Cincinnati…including 15 different states!  Needless to say, getting down to our final 5 was just a little difficult.

These companies are going to have a jam packed schedule over the next 3 months.  We’ll be updating you on their progress, including some great videos.  And for anyone that happens to be in Cincinnati, please stop by and pay us a visit at Longworth Hall.

See the full press release below:

The Brandery chooses its first class



Startup accelerator launches with five firms; starts Aug. 30

CINCINNATI (Aug. 19, 2010) – The Brandery has sorted through more than 70 applications from 15 states to choose its five participants in Class 1 of its consumer marketing startup accelerator program.

The 12-week program has accepted:


  • Brainrack, founded by Senay Semere, Pepjin de Visscher and Matthew Veryser of Dayton. Brainrack is a crowd-sourcing tool for organizations and for students to use while engaging in open innovation.

  • DCreations, founded by Darcy Crociata of Mason. The company has created an application called Facebook EasyBook that creates photo/journal/scrapbooks taken from your Facebook statuses, mobile uploads, photo albums, etc., to help capture important memories that could otherwise be fleeting.

  • Giftiki, founded by Justin Stanislaw and Bryan Jowers of Houston. Giftiki allows users to conveniently give small gifts digitally to friends and family.

  • turboBOTZ, founded by Vincent Chou and Pratap Sherquill of Chicago. turboBOTZ is a service that allows video gamers to manage their game libraries as well as to buy, sell and trade video games, all within a single online site.

  • VenturePax, founded by Danny Stull of West Chester. VenturePax is a Web-based source of information-sharing on outdoor adventures, travel and vacation planning with strong interactivity and family oriented locations.

The companies based outside of Southwest Ohio are relocating for the program.

David Knox, co-founder of the Brandery, said 40 percent of the applications came from outside the region. “That’s a strong testament to Cincinnati’s reputation for consumer marketing and entrepreneurs’ desire to learn in this environment,” he said.

Knox and J.B. Kropp teamed up to launch The Brandery, a nonprofit organization that will package funding, mentoring and partnerships around local entrepreneurs to help grow consumer marketing businesses here.

The program will begin Aug. 30 and will include a structured curriculum that includes seed investment, industry leader mentors and access to top talent in the industry. It will be located at Longworth Hall in downtown Cincinnati.

More than 30 mentors will participate, ranging from local experts such as Bob Gilbreath, Bridge Worldwide’s chief marketing strategist and Pete Blackshaw, executive vice-president of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services to high-profile entrepreneurs such as Wendy Lea, CEO of Silicon Valley startup Get Satisfaction. (Click here for a full list: http://brandery.org/mentors/)

Each company will receive a $20,000 grant in exchange for equity in the company. As part of their participation, each company also will receive brand identity guidance from leading agencies including LPK, Resource Interactive, Barefoot Proximity, Empower MediaMarketing and Ample.

The $20,000 company grants will come from CincyTech, a public-private venture development group that invests in high-tech startup companies.  CincyTech is using its Imagining Grant funds, which are aimed at growing companies to the point where they are investable.

In addition to CincyTech and the five creative agencies, support is coming from the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation, Queen City Angels, River Cities Capital and Xavier University’s Williams College of Business. In addition, in-kind support has come from Taft Stettinius and Hollister, Frost Brown Todd, Seek Research, River City Furniture, Towne Properties, 7/79 Ltd., and profitability.net.

Big week for The Brandery

Things are moving a mile a minute at The Brandery this week so I wanted to share some of our latest updates.

First and foremost, the deadline for applications is tonight at midnight.  We have an amazing group of companies that have applied thus far, with people coming from 9 different states including Texas, California and Georgia.

Second, we have officially signed a lease for our new home in Longworth Hall.  We are really excited about the space and it should be a great home for our entrepreneurs over the next 3 months.   We’ll be posting pictures as we move in over the coming days.

Finally, today we received some unexpected media coverage from MediaPost’s Online Media Daily.  This is one of the most widely read newsletters by the Brand and Digital Marketing community so we were excited to see that coverage.

Things are busy as ever here at The Brandery but we cant wait for August 30th to roll around as our companies move in.  Thanks as always for the support.