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More Updates: REPP, Crowdhall, OffTrack Planet

When we said more updates to come next week, what we really meant was more updates to come this week! Check out this info on what REPP, Crowdhall and OffTrack Planet have been up to:

REPP (Co-founders Michael Bergman, Breeanna Bergman, David Volker, Stephen Hartz and Adam Daniel) is growing a strong Beta list (sign up now at www.myrepp.com). They plan on an open Beta release in late January/early February. They are overhauling their current site with a new design and updating features to include ID verification, picture verification and a comprehensive criminal background check at different levels of service. Beta version is free, so sign up now to reserve a spot!

Crowdhall (Co-founders Austin Hackett, Jordan Menzel and Nick Weintge) will launch a targeted site in late January to highlight elected official at the federal, state and local level who use the tool to engage citizens. The team is excited to count Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Cantor amongst future users. Similar to REPP, they are expanding site applications, improving the Q&A experience and allowing for better user customization.

OffTrack Planet (Co-Founders Freddie Pivosky and Anna Starostinetskaya) hired a Cincinnati based CTO who is rebuilding their web site to allow for a stronger user experience. They plan to launch their private Beta in February 2013. The team secured bridge funding and is waiting for their Beta release to continue discussions with investors about next round financing.

BUT, that’s not all. Stay tuned for more updates  on the other Brandery 2012 grads as the year comes to a close!

Updates on 2012 Brandery grads: Ontract, SocialThreader, Andtix

Since Demo Day in October, Brandery grads have been moving and shaking the startup world. Here’s a few tidbits on what Ontract, Social Threader and Andtix have been up to:

Ontract (Co-founders Julian Miller and Matt Duch) CHANGED IT’S NAME to “Learnmetrics.” After being highlighted in TechCrunch, the team launched their private beta to over 200 applicants and the founders were named Entrepreneurship Teaching Fellows at Miami University.

Social Threader (Co-founders Vinay Murthy and Vikram Venkataraghavan) launched it’s first major national brand customization with Bush Beans and will soon be seen on others. Social Threader expanded their team to include 3 Advisors and 2 Sales Representatives after receiving funding from Angels.

Andtix (Co-founders Kurt Pettit and Caroline Barni) finalized its MVP/Beta and, according to Kurt, a detail perfectionist, "the app looks sick!”. They did Useability/QA testing with 20+ random testers and plan to do an open Beta test starting on January 15th. They have secured multiple partnerships and are excited to see where their relationship with the Clevland Cavaliers group sales office takes their product.

More company updates to come next week. Stay tuned!

Some Accelerator History

Accelerators are now a staple in the tech startup scene. Want to know where it all started and what the ecosystem looks like now? Below outlines some key dates and statistics from the big accelerator programs. stats pulled from ">http://www.seed-db.com/accelerators

 2005: Y Combinator was founded in Silicon Valley by Paul Graham. They have graduated over 466 companies and the average raise is $2,072,978 per company. Some of Y Combinators notable graduate companies include Airbnb, Dropbox, OMGPOP, and Reddit.

2006: Modeled off Y Combinator, Techstars was founded in Boulder, CO by David Cohen, Brad Feld, David Brown, and Jared Polis. Over the next 8 years, Techstars expands it’s programming to include accelerators in Boston, Seattle, NYC and San Antonio. Techstars Boulder (the first TechStars) has graduated 65 companies with an average raise of $1,715,846 per company.

2007: To kickstart the entrepreneurial scene in Europre, Seedcamp founded in London. In total seedcamp has graudated 72 companies with an average raise of $634,156 per company. Seedcamp has stepped forward as the “international accelerator” program and mentored companies from over 35 countries.

2010: As one of the first thematically based accelerators, Brandery founded in Cincinnati, OH with an emphasis on utilizing the marketing and branding talent of the region to accelerate startups. The co-founders included JB Kropp, Rob McDonald, Dave Knox and Brian Radke. The Brandery has graduated 26 companies with an average raise of $442,307 per company.

January 2011: As a way to bring together the accelerator programs across the country, Tech Stars launched the Global Accelerator Network in conjunction with Obama’s Startup America Partnership, linking 22 accelerator programs internationally. The GAN network has expanded to over 50 accelerators

May 2011/August 2012: DFJ Mercury, Tech Cocktail, The Kauffman Fellows and the Kellog School of Business ranked accelerators based off a variety of quantiative and qualitative program results. In their two studies, the aforementioned programs ranked in the Top 15, as well as i/o ventures, Kicklabs, Excelerate, AngelPad San Fran, AngelPad LA, 500 startups, DreamIt Ventures, NYC Seedstart, and Accelerator. Out of the 15 programs, only Excelerate Labs (Chicago) and The Brandery are midwest based programs.

Do you like sports?

Or if you don’t like sports… Startup Grind Cincinnati welcomes TAREK KAMIL, founder of WhatIfSports.com to The Brandery on Thursday, January 10th.

Tarek Kamil is an entrepreneurial sports enthusiast who built WhatIfsports.com, recognized as the Internet’s leader in sposrts simulation technology, games and content. Tarek took the idea of WhatIf Sports and grew it to over 500,000 members in five years. He developed partnerships with a handful of the largest names in sposrts like ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB, NHL and the NBA. In 2005, WhatIfSports was acquired by Fox Interactive Media.

Tarek is currently the Executive Director of Online Strategies for InfoMotion Sports Technologies, building interactive online communities around sports. He is also a partner with Oakmont Holding, a seed and early stage Internet-based venture capital firm that actively participates in mentoring early stage entrepreneurs in software, social media and e-commerce.


Please join us for the second ever, Cincinnati Startup Grind!


Reserve your ticket now: http://startupgrindtarek.eventbrite.com


iPhone Discounts and an App for Roadtrips

Best Buy is offering great deals on iPhone, and you can take your iPhone savings and accessorize the device with a case from Evouni. A last-minute hotel booking service now lets you gift a stay or two. Borrow books from friends, no matter what E-reading device you have, with this new cloud-based library. And before you take your holiday road trip you’ll want to download this app.

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NYC Demo Day

Brandery companies were moving and shaking NYC on Tuesday night— where 8 of our recent graduates pitched to over 35 investors. We hosted our pitch event in Softbank Capital’s fantastic, new building and got to see great presentations, garner strong interest.

Tons of conversations. Lots of great traction. We love to see our companies making moves forward and setting up second conversations with people who can help them dig into their product, analyze it’s worth and respond accordingly—whether through capital, mentorship, advice, a partnership or something else.

Huge THANKS to Joe Medved of Softbank Capital (also a Brandery mentor!) for letting us use Softbank’s space and helping with the event logistics.


 …AND nobody went hungry thanks to the generous sponsorship of Datapipe. We appreciate you!!!


Social Media: Discover your Authenticity

How do you learn social media techniques? How can you project a uniform brand image to the community? How can social media help you grow your business, expand your constituency and establish yourself as an expert in your field?

Be Authentic. Let that company culture shine through and share things that you find interesting, informative and linked to your company message.


Tatiana Parent, co-founder of Roadtrippers, learned social media through trial-and-error. She didn’t have experience, but she practiced, analyzed results, made changes where necessary and strove to be authentic in all her communications.

Roadtrippers is now the fastest growing newly launched travel startup in the country. They count over 100,000 trips planned, released an iphone app in November and total thousands of followers on twitter and facebook.

Roadtrippers: “Discover your America”


Come learn more about Tatiana’s strategies at her talk about “Social Media for Startups” on Wednesday, December 5th at 5:30pm.


Register NOW or forever lose followers.