Demo Day 2012

3 months. 11 companies. Countless hours spent developing, designing, pivoting, re-developing, re-designing, and transforming ideas into reality. And it all comes down to this: Demo Day 2012.

On October 3rd, The Brandery will present its third class of startups. Each of the eleven companies will have approximately 6 minutes to pitch their business in front of an audience of hundreds of investors and venture capitalists looking to fund the next big thing. Attendees from across the country are flocking to Cincinnati for the big day, eager to see firsthand what new innovations are emerging out of Cincinnati, the Brand Hub of America.

The Brandery would like to thank sponsors Cintrifuse and Ernst & Young for making Demo Day possible; ExactTarget, CincyTech and Taft for making Brand Fusion and the Investor Dinner possible. Also, special thanks to our keynote speaker, Tim O’Shaughnessy, founder and CEO of Living Social.


Happy Oktoberfest!!!

Looking out onto Vine Street, more and more people have traded their shorts and flip flops for jeans and sweaters.  Some of them carry a coffee in hand, probably a pumpkin latte.  There is a briskness in the air and the leaves have ever so slightly begun changing color.  Yes, fall has arrived in OTR.  And that can only mean one thing: OKTOBERFEST!


That’s right Zinzinnati, it’s finally here!  Oktoberfest takes place this weekend, September 22-23, and the Over-the-Rhine Brewery District Group and The Christian Moerlein Brewing Company (one of The Brandery’s very own partners!) have an exciting weekend in store.  Events include the Hudepohl 14-K Brewery Run which will travel by many historic breweries, tours of the historic German neighborhoods, collections of commemorative steins and historic brewery memorabilia on display at the Moerlein Brewery, and a sneak peek at the “Cincinnati Beer Story” documentary.  But if running, tours, antiques, and documentaries aren’t exactly your thing, there will be plenty of good old-fashioned beer drinking, sausage eating, and general merrymaking!


Still not sold on Oktoberfest?  Not sure what to expect?  Check out some of these Oktoberfest FAQs below:


Q: How much fun is it?

A: Barrels of fun will be had!

Barrels of beer will also be had.


Q: But I’m not German…

A: Zis weekend, you are!


Q: What if I don’t like beer?

A: …

eat zauzage instead!


German or not, Oktoberfest is sure to please.  So grab your beer steins and your bekannters (that’s German for “friend”) and come be a part of a true Zinzinnati tradition this weekend.


No, it’s not some ridiculous Swiss Army-style household implement for mopping, dusting, scrubbing, and generally taking care of the house. Instead, ChoreMonster ($Free) is a clever little app that helps parents convince their kids to do their chores. As a parent, you can set up scheduled chores worth certain points, that you can approve once they’re done. As your offspring collect enough points, they can “purchase” different rewards using their points, such as an hour of gaming, a trip to the movies, or a trip to Disney (that’d better be a lot of points).

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AIGA Design Week

In case you haven’t heard, this week is AIGA Design Week in Cincinnati!  From studio tours to mixers to educational sessions given by local designers, Design Week celebrates and showcases Cincinnati’s creativity and passion for design.

Yesterday, The Brandery was proud to host Justine Arreche of EdgeCase.  A self-described print-design and letterpress enthusiast, Justine spoke about her 12 year background in design and what it means to “go digital”.  With experience in a variety of design software, including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, Justine had a lot of insights for both designers and design enthusiasts in general.  Designer, LeAnne Wagner (currently working with 360pager, a Brandery accelerator company) had this to say:

“This is AIGA Cincinnati’s first ever Design Week and we’re very excited to be featuring a strong representation of local talent… We want to establish the chapter as a resource for creatives, and be the place to bring new ideas or ask for a helping hand, whether you’re a student or a seasoned professional, agency or small business owner, AIGA wants to collaborate with you. Design Week is an example of the passion and dedication AIGA Cincinnati has for the local creative community."

Justine’s presentation was just one of many exciting events that are part of Design Week 2012.  The week kicked off with an introduction to AIGA’s new “Design for Good” initiative.  The discussion featured speakers from CoreChange and Green Umbrella and focused on how design and creativity can be used to positively impact the community.  Upcoming events include a digital takeover panel, a roundtable discussion about the potential and challenges digital design and social marketing has to change the way we design, and a downtown studio/agency crawl.

While each of the events is unique, one common thread connects them all: the wealth of passion, creativity, and talent that is so alive and present in our city. Our designers are one of the reasons why Cincinnati has become so widely recognized as a hub of branding, innovation, and design.

Join us in celebrating this week! For the complete listing of Design Weeks events, click here.

Your best pitch

With Demo Day less than a month away, our startups have begun constructing their presentations.  Today, we welcomed Bill Cunningham of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association to speak about presentation skills.  Bill, also known as the “Pitch Doctor”, had some great advice for our companies.  Here’s a rundown of Bill’s tips:


Your audience

  • Know which investors will be there

  • Understand the kinds of companies they typically invest in

  • Identify which ones are worth your time

  • Start talking to them before the big day

Your story

  • Tell your story within the first minute of the presentation

  • Get investors to understand and remember – “DO”

  • Keep it simple!

Your value

  • Use the words “what sets us apart is…”

  • Tell investors about a problem that exists and how you’re solving it

Your competition

  • “No one” is not true

  • Do your research

  • Talk about what you do that they can’t, but also what they do that you can’t…this builds credibility


Your team

  • Talk about the team members you have. Highlight all relevant activities.

  • Talk about what positions/individuals you plan to add to your team and when

Your next steps

  • Know your “Go to market” strategy

  • Outline milestones: “If we get 30 customers by the end of the year, Xbrand will buy our product”

  • End with a “Call to Action” for investors

Aesthetically, avoid busy slides with numbers and graphs…investors are only two numbers: revenue and profit! Work in 3’s. Remember to TELL your story verbally and show images that enhance your story simply and clearly.

Good luck!