Meet the General Manager: Mike Bott


1. Who are you?
Mike Bott, General Manager of The Brandery.

2. Where did you work before The Brandery?
I worked in brand management at P&G, and before that I worked as a product manager for AOL and for Match.com

3. What are your primary roles at The Brandery?
I do everything from vetting companies, mentoring companies, to changing toilet paper rolls. I also take care of hiring for interns and other employees, and planning events throughout the course of the program.

4. How does your previous work experience influence your management style now?
At P&G, I developed techniques for work plans and goal-setting, but the way I approach things is impacted by my time at AOL or Match.com. The power of having worked in multiples places is that you can form your own ideal based on all types of perspectives and skills. Every organization is very different and The Brandery, especially, has to have a very unique work structure.

5. How would you describe your management philosophy?
My management style is similar to Nelson Mandela’s philosophy, “leading from behind.” What I try to do is get people excited about where we are going. If the end destination is understood, I think you get better results once you just energize them to get after it.

6. What do you most value in an employee?
I value self-starters who have attention to detail and take responsibility for their work. I want an employee to challenge me, so confidence is also a big factor. In this fast-paced environment, nothing can be half-assed.

7. What do you value in an employer?
I look for clear responsibility, a sense of autonomy, and an opportunity to do something meaningful. I also look for how the opportunity is going to help me to learn a skill or develop as a professional.

8. Where do you see The Brandery in the future?
There is some opportunity to do some startup executive classes, like two-week intensive classes, where the teams do not have to give up 6% but will learn a lot to help them build their company. I don’t necessarily think we need to expand to two classes a year or anything; it’s more about doing as much as we can to sharpen the sword in everything we do.

If you have questions for Mike, contact him at mike@brandery.org.

Ideas on Tap: Our Latest Office Project


Steve, our Design Brandtern (Brandery + Intern = Brandtern) is creating visuals for each Brandery grad, incorporating funds that led the companies to success. Inspired by a brewery theme, Steve channelled each company’s brand and their affiliates into a bar – beer taps and all.

Here are a few of his wonderfully completed designs:

We hope to have all 22 of the posters framed and on the wall in the next week and we’ll share the end result on our Instagram.

Questions for Steve? Contact him at steve@brandery.org or visit his personal site, steveorchosky.com.

#Brandery2014 Kicks Off In Just Three Weeks


Recruiting season, application season, reviewing season, and interviewing season flew by this year. It’s already June, and we’ve (after many, many hours of vetting and debating) selected twelve startups for our fifth accelerator class. The program begins on June 25th, but the teams have already started to trickle in. While we would love to share the ideas with you, we can’t just yet!

We promise you’ll hear more about the teams and their startups soon. In the meantime, here’s some stats about the applicants and the incoming class:

  • This was our largest number of applicants in five classes.
  • We had applicants from 58 countries— the most ever.
  • We had applicants from 33 states.
  • Over half of the out of town finalists flew to Cincinnati for their interview. That’s dedication!
  • The 2014 class includes four Ohio companies.
  • The other states represented in the class are California, New York, South Carolina, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Texas, and Illinois. We have one international company, hailing from Argentina.
  • The 2014 class has an average age of 28.
  • The biggest age difference in the class is 24 years, with the youngest founder being 19 and the oldest (wisest) being 43.

Follow the hashtag #Brandery2014 for updates from the companies and for more fun facts from us. If you’d like to help us welcome the teams to Cincinnati, send us a note. We would love your help in convincing them how great Cincinnati is.

Want to get access to the same resources as The Brandery companies? Register for Cincinnati Startup Day on June 14th.