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Company Highlight: Atumate

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With the recent announcement of the Brandery class of 2016, we are excited to feature each company in its own blog post! Each day we’ll post a new blog highlighting one of the startups in this year’s cohort. As we are officially two months out from Demo Day, get to know the names and faces behind the company!

Today we’ll be highlighting Atumate, formerly known as Atumsoft!

Pictured (left to right): CEO, Olivier Lemaitre; CCO, Fontana Carl; CTO, Andrew Carl
(not pictured, VP of Engineering, Brad Conyers)

What does your company do?

At a time when wireless connectivity makes life easier and tasks more efficient in countless ways, most scientific labs are behind the curve. The problem is every machine is an island. It’s commonplace for scientists to operate cutting-edge instruments in not-so-cutting-edge ways. Until now.
Atumate is a turnkey IoT device empowering any scientist to access any instrument from anywhere in wireless range. Thankfully, the time-intensive method of physically walking from instrument to instrument to run operations and collect data is obsolete. Atumsoft gives complete control. Untethers access to data. And frees the scientist to focus on science.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

While looking at accelerators and funding opportunities, the Brandery stood out to us as one of the top startup accelerators in the US, and everything we need for the stage where we are as a company. The pace at which things move and the abundance of networking opportunities are exactly what a quickly growing startup like Atumate needs to succeed.

How did the team come together?

Andrew Carl (co-founder, CTO) and Olivier Lemaitre (co-founder, CEO) were tech-freak friends that were passionate about playing with computer hardware and code. As Andrew was teaching Olivier some innovative new ways to use programming, in addition to their mutual laboratory experience, the idea of connecting outdated labs with IoT started. We added Fontana Carl and Brad Conyers to round out our experience in design and programming to win a local AngelHack Hackathon with the idea. The team then went on to do great in the global AngelHack Competition in San Francisco, taking home the biggest prizes, and finally returned to Cincy to turn their winning idea into a reality.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned at the Brandery, so far?

Branding and understanding how to reach the world is a powerful thing. Using this newfound knowledge, we have learned to tell our story in a better and more compelling way.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

Being a part of the growth of #startupcincy and the community is huge. Everyone loves to help and the interest in what startups are doing is only growing. It is a privilege to be a part of such an active and tight community. And of course, FCC games are great.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

The big aha for us came when working on some code, realizing that any complicated problem can have a simple, elegant solution.

The pictures used in this blog post were captured by Zackariah Cole, visit his website at http://www.zackariahcole.com/.

Company Highlight: Goodwipes

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With the recent announcement of the Brandery class of 2016, we are excited to feature each company in its own blog post! Each day we’ll post a new blog highlighting one of the startups in this year’s cohort. As we are officially two months out from Demo Day, get to know the names and faces behind the company!

Today we’ll be highlighting Goodwipes!

Pictured (left to right): Managing Partner, Charlie Siciak; Brand Catalyst, Maria Guilbault; Managing Partner, Sam Nebel

What does your company do?

In a world that keeps moving faster and faster, Goodwipes allows you to keep up and stay active, without letting your hygiene, comfort, or confidence suffer. Their cool, convenient, and eco-friendly take on wet-wipes seamlessly complements the lifestyles of today’s busy consumers.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

There are two things that put the Brandery above ALL other accelerators for us. 1) A high level of focus and commitment to brand and design, and 2) Being in Cincy, the Brandery and its team have deep roots in CPG.
With Goodwipes living in the CPG space, having access to mentors with relevant experience is king. As far as brand goes…well, brand is everything. Not everyone understands this – YET! Surrounding ourselves with like-minded teams that are bullish on serving their customers with unforgettable experiences that compliment their lifestyle makes for a high-energy and exciting work environment, forcing you to dream bigger than you ever thought you could.

How did the team come together?

The Goodwipes co-founders instantly bonded their freshman year of college at FSU, when they discovered that they were both habitual baby wipe users. When their journey later took Goodwipes to Atlanta, they made the first addition to the team. Working out of a B2C-focused workspace (Switch Yards Downtown Club), they met and brought on Maria Guilbault, better known as Maria G, the hustle bee!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned at the Brandery, so far?

The level of commitment and support from everyone in Cincy cannot be expressed in words – it both surprises and inspires us daily. From the Brandery’s team leaders, to the program’s mentors, you can feel the genuine compassion and willingness to roll-up their sleeves and lend a hand. It’s a really good feeling to know that you have so many people on your side.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

Cincinnati is VERY walkable. This makes meeting people mid-day or running out of the office for a quick snack very easy and enjoyable.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

Being addicted to living life to its fullest, feeling our best when we are busy and on-the-go is a must. We saw an ever-growing white-space in the consumer wipes market, which was failing to keep up with the hygiene demands of active consumers…“aha!” There wasn’t a company taking on the challenge of waking up this incredibly sleepy space. We knew there had to be a better way to stay fresh on-the-go, so we made one.

The pictures used in this blog post were captured by Zackariah Cole, visit his website at http://www.zackariahcole.com/.

Company Highlight: UpShift

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With the recent announcement of the Brandery class of 2016, we are excited to feature each company in its own blog post! Each day we’ll post a new blog highlighting one of the startups in this year’s cohort. As we are officially two months out from Demo Day, get to know the names and faces behind the company!

Today we’ll be highlighting UpShift, formerly known as Pinch!

Pictured (left to right): CEO, Steve Anevski; COO, Alex Pantich and not pictured CTO, Nikola Jordanovski.

What does your company do?

We are attacking one of the biggest problems in our economy and the biggest headache I’ve had over the years as a bar & restaurant owner – the constant struggle of dealing with variable labor demand and availability. Our vision is to make work as easy and reliable as flipping on a light switch. We’ve built a digital platform that allows people to work when they want, where they want and for who they want and businesses to find qualified short term workers on demand. This platform will allow for a revolutionary amount of liquidity in the labor market that we believe will disrupt many industries in a positive fashion.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

It’s access to anyone and everyone you need to make a company a success. Also, it’s team and support staff…the people here are world class.

How did the team come together?

I met my co-founder Alex through a former intern of mine who was working for Alex as a sales rep in his IT company. Alex built a website for me for another one of my businesses and I came away impressed with his ability, execution and professionalism. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was Alex’s third client. He’s since scaled that business. After that initial encounter, we would get together periodically and talk about different business ideas and when I put forward the idea of Upshift…well, the rest is history! We have a mutual respect for each other.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned at the Brandery, so far?

The power of a great Brand. Before the Brandery, I just assumed great Brands were the product of focus groups, research and a magic formula one learns in business school. Now I realize that the best brands are a product of great stories coupled with a flawlessly executed promise to consumers.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

How you can walk one block and run into 16 people you know and another 22 you recognize. This is especially true on the West Side of town where I grew up.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

I have been running bars and restaurants for the past 10 years. My biggest headache and frustration over that time frame was staffing and dealing with workers. On the flip side, I constantly heard how my employees couldn’t find enough work or how other bars weren’t willing to hire for only one or two shifts. Then one night I was sitting on my sofa reading about the growth of the “gig economy”-Uber, Airbnb, etc-and I thought to myself, “why hasn’t anyone made an Uber for hourly workers?” It stuck in my head and I just couldn’t let the idea down; someone had to do this. So here we are.

The pictures used in this blog post were captured by Zackariah Cole, visit his website at http://www.zackariahcole.com/.

Company Highlight: Datazar

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With the recent announcement of the Brandery class of 2016, we are excited to feature each company in its own blog post! Each day we’ll post a new blog highlighting one of the startups in this year’s cohort. As we are officially two months out from Demo Day, get to know the names and faces behind the company!

Today we’ll be highlighting Datazar, a local team from Cincinnati!

Pictured (left to right): CMO, Brian Back; CEO, Aman Tsegai

What does your company do?

Datazar is an ecosystem built to uncover the most important asset in science and educated decision making, raw data. The Datazar platform was engineered to consolidate the essential components of the research process, while accelerating discoveries. Datazar users are able to upload and manage data publicly or privately, collaborate individually or within teams, conduct cloud-based analysis, and track the impact of their data over time.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

Having both been involved in the Brandery as well as the StartupCincy ecosystem in the past, it was an environment we both believed would be a great fit for us. We had seen this ecosystem from an outsider’s perspective for so long that we had to be a part of it with a company of our own.

How did the team come together?

Aman and Brian met while sitting on the leadership team for a student organization on UC’s campus, Bearcat Launchpad. Launchpad is an organization that serves as an accelerator of sorts for student ran businesses. Brian served as the Vice President of Bearcat Launchpad and Aman served as the Technology Director. After only a couple weeks of knowing each other, Aman reached out to Brian about getting involved with his project, Datazar.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

Skyline. The Chili or the visual outline of the city’s buildings. Both are beautiful sights.

The pictures used in this blog post were captured by Zackariah Cole, visit his website at http://www.zackariahcole.com/.

Company Highlight: Scent Trunk

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With the recent announcement of the Brandery class of 2016, we are excited to feature each company in its own blog post! Each day we’ll post a new blog highlighting one of the startups in this year’s cohort. As we are officially two months out from Demo Day, get to know the names and faces behind the company!

Today we’ll be highlighting Scent Trunk, our team from the north.
Pictured (left to right): CEO, William Yin; COO, Richard Smale

What does your company do?

Our sense of smell is most closely linked to our emotions which is why fragrances are a very emotional product. But right now, the fragrance-buying experience is overwhelming, inconvenient and impersonal. Scent Trunk is a direct to consumer personalized fragrance subscription. We’ve built technology which can figure out what people like to smell, then we match them with our best fragrances. We’ve also cut out all the middle-men and make the fragrances ourselves. That means we can use higher quality ingredients and offer unique fragrances at a fraction of the price.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

Cincinnati. No just joking (although we’ve grown to really enjoy the city). We felt the Brandery was a strong compliment to our weaknesses. We are a bunch of engineers and we needed help with the branding and creative parts of the business. We also have heard great things about how close the cohorts are each year because they are small. This means that the mentors can really spend a lot of time to understand the businesses they are helping.

How did the team come together?

Rich and I were friends since first year at Queen’s University. I think it’s called freshman year here in the US? Yeah, we’re Canadian eh!

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned at the Brandery, so far?

We learned about the importance of branding and creative when it comes to marketing. As engineers we’ve always taken an approach to marketing that was very calculated, but we’ve learned that the biggest marketing wins come from strong story-telling. We’ve learned that marketing success comes from a good compliment of branding/creative and engineering/automation. I think that since we’ve learned this we are testing our marketing and making improvements much quicker than we were before. Really exciting!

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

The Reds, no just kidding. We really like how the community is very supportive of startups. There are a lot of resources that we can access for expertise and it makes growing our business a lot easier.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

Yes! We’ve been up and running for about 15 months now and we’ve gathered a decent amount of customer data. After analyzing it we realized that even though the world of fragrance is really complicated, we could simplify it quite significantly. There were 6 attributes that were very polarizing (meaning people would love or hate them). We ended up finding out that if we can figure out how people responded to these 6 attributes, we’d have a really good idea of what they like to smell, to a higher degree of accuracy compared to when we just did an online onboarding survey.
This was the inspiration behind our new free-trial model where everyone will get a “fitting kit”. It’s similar to the Warby Parker home try-on program where you get to actually try some scents. Based on what you like/dislike, we’ll be able to make a very personalized fragrance recommendation for you!

The pictures used this blog post were captured by Zackariah Cole, visit his website at http://www.zackariahcole.com/.

Introducing The Brandery's 2016 Startups

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Today marks the beginning of Week 6 of The Brandery’s 2016 accelerator program. Our founders have relocated to Cincinnati, settled in to their new office space at Union Hall, and are working their way towards Demo Day!

We’ve previously given you some information on the founders accepted into the 2016 class, but have kept the company names a bit under wraps. Why? Well, one of the hallmark characteristics of The Brandery’s curriculum is the 1:1 match-up with a world class marketing agency provided to our startups. In these initial sessions with their agency partners, the companies often refine their mission and possibly even change their names and/or logo. Now that that’s all out of the way, we’re excited to share our 2016 startups:

Upshift (formerly Pinch) is an on-demand labor marketplace where businesses can find workers and workers can find jobs on a short-term basis. Our mission is to make labor as reliable as electricity.
Fadstir is a pragmatic, stylist app for the style challenged, young professional. It is a platform for direct style advice on how to match the clothes you own and shop the clothes you need. Fadstir crowdsources all of its style advice from a community of fashion enthusiasts through an algorithmic, recommendation engine so all answers are reliable and credible.
Zid Zid (formerly Petit Zarafa) empowers kids to play, learn, and grow together with their parents. The company combines the best in early childhood education with the best in technology by providing an innovative online platform centered on language development through creative play.
StreamSavvy makes it easy to stream the best TV. In the complex and constantly changing world of streaming television, StreamSavvy helps people find and access their favorite content through a single, engaging platform.
Hatchli is a crowdsourced feedback platform poised to disrupt the traditional innovative process for both individuals and organizations. By bringing together innovators, makers, and trend-seekers, Hatchli provides the early feedback and exposure needed for great ideas to take flight.
Scent Trunk is perfecting the experience of discovering a fragrance you love. Our technology can figure out what you like to smell so we can send you the best fragrances each month. By collecting data on our scent preferences we are figuring out what the world likes to smell, and we will use this to change how all scent products are made.
ShopperBridge helps CPG companies leverage mobile advertising to get advertising and shopper marketing messages onto the cell phone of shoppers while they are in store at the closest moments to product selection.
Goodwipes complements the modern consumer’s busy, on-the-go lifestyle, keeping you fresh, clean and confident wherever, whenever. With our high-style, convenient and eco-friendly take on wet-wipes, you can now live life clean.
Datazar is a research collaboration platform engineered to consolidate and accelerate your research. By streamlining the research process we enable you to explore and understand the data in the fastest most effective way.
Atumsoft is a turnkey IoT device that lets any scientist access any instrument anytime from anywhere in wireless range. The hands-on days of babysitting an experiment are long gone. Atumsoft gives you complete control, untethers access to data, and frees scientists completely to focus on science.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at each one here on our blog so make sure to keep checking back. We’re looking forward to sharing their journey towards Demo Day with all of you!

Brand in a Day 2016

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Brand in a Day is the second most important event for startups, in the Brandery class. During this day companies have the freedom to refocus, rebrand or even rename themselves, in a short amount of time. Due to this unique opportunity, the Brandery chooses not to release names or information about the company until after Brand in a Day. On Thursday of last week, the startups headed over to 84.51° to take over their massive fifth floor and work with their partnered marketing agency.

A defining characteristic of the Brandery and Cincinnati is the abundance of resources we can offer to startups. Our companies have an exclusive advantage of partnering one on one with world-class marketing and branding agencies from the area. The relationships the Brandery has cultivated within the Cincinnati community allows for these agencies and our companies to work together efficiently, effectively, and cohesively. The partnering agencies come ready to work, understand the time constraint and donate their time for events like Brand in a Day.

This year we had the talented minds and guiding hands from: SpiceFire, Interbrand, LPK, POSSIBLE, RDG, Rockfish, Barefoot Proximity, Saatchi & Saatchi X and Context Digital.

The partnered teams hit the ground running Thursday morning and utilized every inch of their workspace, at 84.51°. At the end of their 5-hour marathon, the startups and agencies presented their progress and vision for the future. One team changed its name while others shared that they were open to the idea and may work on changing it in the near future. While other teams developed a story that made their product or service easier to understand and more relevant.

Overall, the teams left 84.51° better positioned and looking energized. Some even continued their work and headed back to the agency’s office. As startups continue to work with their agencies, we are all excited to see where they end up on Demo Day!

To get a behind the scenes look of what Brand in a Day actually looked like, watch this video compiled and edited by our multi-talented Program Manager, Justin!