8 Reasons to Apply to The Brandery


It’s 2014 and we’ve begun gearing up for another accelerator class. Our fifth class begins June 20th, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome strong startup talent from around the world to Cincinnati. We’re making our own tweaks to the program, including better workshops, more support for alums, and an improved co-working experience.

Why apply?

Should you take your great idea to The Brandery? Maybe. We are not for everyone. But if your startup is a good fit for our program, we can give you a distinct advantage over your competition. Here’s 8 reasons you should apply to our program:

1. You’ll receive unparalleled branding and design assistance.

When you’re accepted to The Brandery, we pair you with one of the world-class design agencies you can find all over Cincinnati. They provide an estimated $25k or more in design assistance to build your brand. Within the first week or two, you’ll have participated in our “Brand in a Day” workshop, where you’ll nail down your identity, including name, logo, brand manifesto, and tagline.

It is by no amount of exaggeration that I say the branding agency we were paired with at The Brandery fundamentally changed the direction of our business. They gave us so much more than just a new logo and name – they helped us redefine our value proposition, which ultimately reshaped our entire product and roadmap. That is one of the reasons we’re here today.

– Ryan Watson, CEO/Co-founder of Sqrl

2. You’ll co-work with the cream of the crop.

Because we receive hundreds and hundreds of applications, you can be sure that the 10 startups selected for our program will be high quality. We never accept startups that will compete with each other, and many times, the startups can leverage each others’ businesses. Being in the same room with 30 other brilliant minds makes The Brandery a breeding ground for creativity, hard work, and friendly competition.

The Brandery does a great job of picking talented entrepreneurs that can learn a lot from one another. Being able to easily pick other people’s brains was extremely helpful for our business."

– Ricky Phung, CEO/Co-founder of Shop Storee

3. You’ll get a team of rockstar mentors.

When you check in to The Brandery on June 20th, we’ll hand you a sheet of paper with 7-9 names on it. That is your unique list of mentors that have volunteered to help you through the process. The mentors we assign to your startup are tailored to your needs; if you need assistance in ecommerce, we’ll pair you with our ecommerce geniuses. We don’t want to name drop, but you can see our full list of mentors here.

All accelerators boast a deep mentor list. The difference is the Brandery’s are deeply engaged, available and ready to lend a hand whenever & wherever your business needs assistance. Any introduction, whether it’s top tier VC’s, corporate executives, branding specialists or technical help are always one email / call away.

– Nick Cromydas, CEO/Co-founder of TapFit

4. Cincinnati, Ohio is a great place to build a business.

Cincinnati boasts the highest per-capita branding professionals in the world with the HQs of Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, Kroger, and other Fortune 500s at your fingertips. The creative and marketing talent is booming, which is perfect for building your brand with us. We’re also cultivating an extremely inviting entrepreneurial ecosystem— it seems like everywhere you look there are professionals that want to help out a co-founder. Pair all that with a reasonable cost of living and fun, livable city, and you’ve perfected the recipe for a startup environment.

One of best attributes of The Brandery is that it’s located in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati community is supportive of startups, and the ability to connect with anyone at any company in town is priceless.

– Michael Bergman, CEO/Co-founder of REPP

5. You’ll pitch at our Demo Day.

Simply stated, we’ll provide you with the opportunity to pitch at events that give you advantage. A lot of startups may be applying to accelerators solely for the access to investors. We have that. Our Demo Day, held at the Aronoff Center for the Arts last year, heralded over 430 investors, mentors, media, and community supporters. In addition to Demo Day, we hold other pitch events, including the Agency Pitch Event, P&G Pitch Event, Chicago Investor Pitch Event, NYC Investor Pitch Event, and Community Pitch Event, with the hopes getting you in front of as many potential investors, partners, and customers as possible.

There are a ton of demo days hosted every year but we can only focus on a select few. We always come to The Brandery’s Demo Day because we know every presentation will show a strong team passionate about building a big business. They truly have a gift for finding the next great company."

– Chris Olsen, Partner at Drive Capital

6. We’ll help you run a business, not just build a product.

From day 1 at The Brandery, you’ll get the tools you need to run a successful startup. Companies that are accepted to the program often have the idea and the passion, and we give you the skills to turn that into a powerful, brand-driven startup.

From connections with decision-makers at potential customers, to agency partnerships that resulted in new customers and the founders helping us close our seed round, The Brandery was instrumental in helping us build a real business.

– Anthony Nicalo, CEO/Co-founder of Donde

7. We’ll help you understand your consumers.

From the beginning, we’ve been focused on the consumer, and we believe you should be, too. You’ll work with expert marketers throughout the program to dig deep into where your company fits into your consumer’s life. We want you to have a comprehensive understanding of who your customer is, where they are, how they think, and how you reach them.

During our Growth Hack Day, we had an incredibly powerful and challenging discussion with Stan Joosten at P&G about how to scale. His expertise in digital marketing and growth hacking allowed us to dive deep into our user acquisition channels and our word-of-mouth referral opportunities.

– Marissa Hu, CEO/Co-founder of Co-Ed Supply

8. Why not?

Our application is relatively straightforward. What do you have to lose? The worst that could happen is we determine your startup isn’t a good fit and you go back to building your business. If you’re ready to take your startup to the next level, go ahead and try it. We can’t wait to meet you.

Still unsure? Attend office hours virtually or in person.

Apply now.