It's a Wrap with the Brandery Interns


Jacob, Technical Intern


My experience interning at the Brandery has truly been eye opening. Walking into Union Hall never felt like a chore, but rather an honor. I was surrounded by passionate people full of entrepreneurial spirit, and I loved it. The eagerness to learn around the office was contagious and motivated me to never stop improving. With this drive, and guidance from the startups I had the opportunity to complete some very cool projects.

Some of my favorite projects I worked on this summer were given to me by Fadstir. I scraped the internet to pull mass amounts of clothing-related-data, researched and came up with a plan to move forward with image recognition, and created a blog page. Through these projects I became familiar with Python, HTML, CSS, jQuery, and much more. I completed a long list of projects that gave me real world experience that you cannot find in any classroom. I’ve become comfortable working through the terminal, learned to utilize code libraries on the web, increased my problem solving skills and learned to work on code collaboratively through platforms such as GitHub.

Although I have to leave the Brandery to go back to school I will still make it back for Demo Day, in September. I’m looking forward to coming back and supporting all of the friends I have made throughout this amazing summer. I know they will all do great things and I wish the best for themselves and their companies in the future.

Camryn, Design Intern

What a summer! I can’t express how grateful I am for an incredible experience at the Brandery these past few months. Although the time went quick, I can tell that I’ve grown tremendously since it all began. Every day, I was surrounded by smart, passionate people with killer work ethics. The Class of 2016 is a truly talented group and it was awesome to learn and grow from these individuals. I have no doubt that their motivation has made an impact on me and will continue to impact my future.

What I enjoyed most about my internship was the ability to work so closely with so many different companies. This translated into a huge range of projects — all portfolio ready! One project that stood out was my UI/UX work for Fadstir’s mobile app. I re-designed a number of screens that have already been physically implemented. It was great to see that my contributions were truly utilized and this far exceeded my expectations.

Looking forward, I hope to continue working in the startup environment. The laid-back, hands-on, and collaborative atmosphere can’t be beat. This upcoming fall semester, I’ll be interning with a tech startup in the Bay Area and could not be more excited to dive right in. I’m confident that my experience at the Brandery has left me well-equipped for the role. Unfortunately, this means I will be many miles from Cincinnati on Demo Day. Nonetheless, I’ll be sure to catch up and can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

Ravneet, Marketing & Ops Intern

Hey Everyone!
I can’t believe our time at the Brandery has come to an end and school’s about to start again. This summer has certainly been full of great experiences. We had numerous opportunities to meet great and influential members of our #StartupCincy community and beyond. I worked and explored OTR side by side with some of the most highly motivated and most genuine people you could meet. Finally, being able to learn and enjoy everything with my fellow interns and Brandery staff was just the cherry on top.

Over the last few months I helped the Brandery and startups with a variety of different projects, ranging from content creation to social media and so much more. The most interesting skill I was able to put some hours behind was probably copywriting; not all copywriting is fun, but seeing your words on pamphlets and websites is very validating. It was even better working with Tenzin, from Fadstir, to brainstorm the right copy and put together an email campaign. However, my favorite project over the summer was definitely our Founders 101 sessions. As a team, the interns worked to bridge a gap between our thriving college and startup communities. Bringing them together and opening communications between potential entrepreneurs and Brandery alums.

Monday, I head back to the University of Cincinnati to finish the final semester of my MBA program. As one of the closest interns to the Brandery (by distance) I will certainly be back for Demo Day and plan on popping back in a few times before that too!

Good luck to the class of 2016! I know you guys are headed for great things!

Curtis, Marketing & Ops Intern

Great experience. I was assigned five of ten startups (Atumate, Datazar, Goodwipes, Hatchli, StreamSavvy), but was also worked briefly with two others (Fadstir and Zid Zid). Shoutout to our other three, UpShift, Scent Trunk, and ShopperBridge. I mostly worked on marketing research (i.e. market sizing and target user profiling/segmenting), but managed to dip my toes in a number of other areas.

I was also fortunate enough to sit in on/participate in strategy talks, and attend a number of incredibly talented speakers. With Ravneet Kaur, I also organized two startup founder workshop panels, and a community pitch night for #StartupCincy.

I’ve just started back at school and a teacher has already said this: it’s important to study marketing theory, but it’s difficult to understand marketing strategy fully until you’ve seen it in application. Being at the Brandery, and in a startup environment, I was able to actually see the strategies of businesses scale, grow, and observe adjustments.

What was my favorite part? The people. I was able to learn from tons of interesting, driven, and talented people. The Brandery and #StartupCincy have done an incredible job of driving and growing Cincinnati’s investment economy and startup ecosystem.

On a final note: I will be back for Demo Day. I’m sure the Brandery 2016 class will do great!
Special thanks to Tony Alexander, Justin Rumao, Heather Kitchen, Ravneet Kaur, Camryn Longworth, Jacob Hammerle and my homies in the 2016 Brandery Class. You know who you are.

Lastly, Jacob, Curtis, Camryn and I (Ravneet) would like to end this summer by saying thank you to Tony, Justin and Heather for the opportunity to intern at one of the coolest, most driven and exciting places in Cincinnati. We gained some the of best hands on experience with some of the best people possible. Thank you to class of 2016 for working with us and teaching us along the way! We’d also like to thank the Brandery alums, Cintrifuse and #StartupCincy for helping and supporting us through the summer! Datazar, Atumate, Zid Zid, ShopperBridge, StreamSavvy, Hatchli, Goodwipes, Fadstir, Upshift and Scent Trunk you guys are a solid 10 out of 10 and we can’t wait to see you all demolish Demo Day!
Signing off, Brandery Interns of 2016!

Introducing Brandery's 2016 Legal Fellows


Pictured left to right: Emily, Brock, Luke and Akua

Today, we’ll be featuring our unsung heroes, the legal clerks. Since the beginning of the program, four law students from the University of Cincinnati have had the unique opportunity to work with our 2016 cohort. Through the Brandery Fellowship Program, these highly motivated individuals gained hands on legal experience working with our startups and legal mentorship from one of our founders, Rob McDonald. As summer comes to an end, the legal clerks will be heading back to school Monday, but it won’t be the last we see of them; they will continue to help the Brandery class of 2016 through Demo Day.

Legal Clerk Emily

My name is Emily, and I’m heading into my third and final year at UC Law. One of my biggest loves is travel, so if I hadn’t sold my soul to law school I’d probably want to be some kind of tour guide with a fancy European tour company. My plan was to hit 25 countries before age 25, but I’m only at 20 so I have some work to do. Aside from that, you’ll never meet a bigger Harry Potter fan than me.
The Brandery has been one of the most unique experiences I could ask for. The atmosphere surrounding start-up companies is just different—there is so much energy and creativity in the air. By the end of any conversation, your head is bouncing off the walls with ideas and you suddenly have the urge to start your own business. Greatest lesson learned? Get to know people who have big ideas for the world—they are the most interesting people you will ever meet, and maybe it’ll even inspire you to take your life in a new direction.
After over 20 years, I’m happy to be done with school forever come next May. I don’t want to practice law forever, but right now reaching the finish line and earning my J.D. is the main goal I have in sight. I think I can, I think I can!

Legal Clerk Brock

Brock Caley, 3L (third year) at UC Law and Computer Engineering degree from Purdue University. Hobbies are watching/playing sports (NBA, Golf, rooting for cursed and/or teams from Purdue and Cincinnati). Lifelong goal of being on Jeopardy, so I spend a lot of time watching it, playing Bar Trivia once a week, and trying to learn details about French Literature, Shakespeare, British Monarchs, and all of the other obscure jeopardy categories without spending the time to actually read them all.
I’ve loved getting to interact with the different companies at the Brandery, because we don’t get a lot of face-to-face experience with clients during law school. My favorite client interaction happened when I explained to the guys at Goodwipes what a provisional patent is, and see how excited they were to be able to utilize this legal tool that most people tend to view as a very boring subject. I want to continue working with startup companies in my career because the passion that these founders have for their products are unmatched in any other business atmosphere.
I plan on working as a patent attorney in the tech field, working with both software and hardware technologies. Because there are so many tech-focused startups, I also want to continue to help startups in the future with their Intellectual Property needs and be able to give them advice for utilizing the startup community.

Legal Clerk Luke

Greetings everyone! My name is Luke Klaiber, and this fall I’ll be starting my 3rd year at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. When I’m not buried up to my ears in law school work, you’ll likely find me rooting on the Cleveland Browns or the Columbus Blue Jackets.
My experience at the Brandery this summer has been awesome! Working with startups was a unique and rewarding experience. It’s been great getting to know the founders and their businesses and I can’t wait to see all of them kick ass on demo day.
I hope to use the many skills learned as an intern and take them forward into my legal career. One of the many lessons learned while working specifically with startups is how quickly their legal needs can change. Whether it’s making last-minute changes to an Operating Agreement, or even pivoting their business based on legal or market constraints, things are never boring and predictable.
It’s also been great getting to work in OTR this summer. As a suburbanite, there’s never enough time to explore all of the great neighborhoods that Cincinnati has to offer. OTR has definitely lived up to my expectations and I look forward to spending more time at the many bars and restaurants we’ve gotten to know over the past few months.

Legal Clerk Akua

Hi. My name is Akua Adu-Gyamfi. I am a rising 3L at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. I enjoy eating, working out and taking random naps. If I were not in law school, I would most likely be an entrepreneur of some sort. I have always enjoyed the idea of working for myself.
Working at the Brandery has been a great experience. I have learned a lot about managing client relationships. Learning to draft, understand and explain Operating Agreements to clients have been my greatest accomplishment here so far. Working at the Brandery has taught me not to be afraid to veer off a certain path to do something that I may feel is right for me (even if it doesn’t make sense to other people). Most of the founders at the Brandery had lives and careers, but they all decided to trust in their abilities, take a leap of faith and let go of those lives and careers to start businesses. For someone who wants to become an entrepreneur in the near future, that is very inspiring.
Working with startups has been really cool. They are so motivated and very hard working. Some of them barely sleep. Being around them challenges me to get my life together (haha!). After graduation, I hope to get a job in corporate law and learn as much as I can about businesses. I plan to eventually transition from law into business as an entrepreneur.

Company Highlight: Zid Zid


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 Zid Zid, formerly known as Petit Zarafa.

Pictured (left to right): CEO, Moulay Essakalli; CCO, Julie Klear

What does your company do?

Zid Zid is a web-based curriculum designed for little ones to discover world languages through creative play, together with their parents. Our aim is to pair the best in early childhood education with the best in tech to set a strong foundation for a child’s future learning. We provide hands-on creative activities paired with listening practice, bilingual storybooks, songs, and on-screen games. The adult guides the child’s learning experiences fostering cognitive, emotional, and social skills, in addition to strengthening adult/child bonds. There is a social aspect allowing parents to be inspired by other families. Our algorithms record the child’s development; reports and rewards keep everyone motivated.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

The expertise in consumer branding the Brandery offers is outstanding and its ranking among the top 10 accelerators in the country was a definite plus. We’ve been living in Morocco for the past 15 years yet designed the product for the US market. Also, Julie is from Ohio, so it is a full circle journey and the right time for us to be in Cincinnati.

How did the team come together?

We met 20 years ago in New York City and have been married-business-partners for the past 15 years. In 2003, we launched Zid Zid Kids as a children’s brand in Marrakech, distributed it in 20+ countries, and won prestigious international trade awards, including an invitation from President Barack Obama to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington, in 2010. In brief, Zid Zid Kids evolved from a line of physical products, parents and little ones loved, into an innovative digital product. Our aim is still the same: delight, surprise, and inspire families around the world.

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

We’ve learned so much from so many! Yet, the most important lesson we’ve been reminded of, which might sound trivial, yet isn’t, is the idea of conviction and commitment. You need to believe wholeheartedly in what you are doing; passion is essential.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

We love the rebirth of the historical Over-The-Rhine neighborhood; it feels like the best Brooklyn has to offer. In addition, we believe Cincy shares our values in education and the arts. Also, Julie is a 1993 graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and she is beyond thrilled to be back in this wonderful city as a contributing member of the thriving technology scene.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

The brain power of the entrepreneurs and mentors within the Brandery community is simply amazing. We’ve had countless “aha” moments, journals filled with them! We are thankful for every single bit of wisdom that has been shared with us. What a humbling experience, we love it!

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

P&G Brings Thought Leaders in Digital Marketing to Annual Signal Conference


Procter & Gamble has come a long way since making candles and soap at its inception nearly 180 years ago. Through repeated expansion and acquisition, the company now has a global presence, employing more than 110,000 and achieving annual sales close to $80 billion. In the age of unparalleled competition from stalwarts like Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, and even CPG startups, how does one of the world’s most successful companies continue to innovate in the consumer packaged goods space? Their annual Signal conference may just have something to do with it.

Now in its fifth year, P&G executives launched Signal as a means of introducing their marketing & branding experts to industry thought leaders. This conference is open only to P&G employees and those who are lucky enough to snag an invitation; count the Brandery among the lucky few!

This year’s conference, entitled “Raising the Bar”, brought leaders from some of the decade’s hottest companies to P&G’s headquarters here in Cincinnati for a one-day, fast-paced master class in marketing and brand building.

Some of our favorite insights from the day:

“Technology is nothing without creativity.”
~ Mark Pritchard, P&G Chief Brand Officer

“Innovation is not top down, it’s bottom up. We must provide opportunities for young engineers to innovate.”
~ Daniel Zhang, The Alibaba Group Director and CEO

“We are experiencing a fourth industrial revolution. Every industry is being rewritten.”
~ Carolyn Everson, Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions

“Establish a relationship of openness when collaborating- encourage entire teams to work together.”
~ Julia Goldin, The Lego Group EVP/Global CMO

“Stop paying so much money for research! Get out there and do it yourself!”
~ Wendy Lea, Cintrifuse CEO

“The worst thing you can say is that we’re going to do things the way we always have.”
~ Steve Burke, NBC Universal CEO

Brandery P&G Fellows AdAdapted (2015) and ShopperBridge (2016) also took to the stage to share what their exclusive partnership with P&G has looked like over the past several months.

Want to see more from the event? Check out #SignalPG on Twitter. Thank you very much to P&G and to Stan Joosten for inviting the Brandery to be a part of this incredible day!

Company Highlight: StreamSavyy


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 StreamSavvy!

Pictured (left to right): CEO, Chris Kessler; CTO, Carl Lewis

What does your company do?

We’re building the future of TV. Right now, there is more amazing content on streaming applications than there ever has been before. And each day more great content and streaming applications come to market with new a different options. The problem is that when you look at your phone or sit in front of your television, you confronted with a sea of streaming app logos. The chance of finding something great to watch is smaller than winning the lottery. Simply understanding what’s on live vs. what can be binged is a challenge itself. StreamSavvy is solving this by pulling all streaming TV content into a guide that helps you find the shows, games, and content that you are most interested in. From there, a simple tap or click opens up the streaming application that is showing the content you want.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

As one of the premier accelerators in the country, the Brandery stood out as the best opportunity for us to take StreamSavvy to the next level. The unparalleled mentorship together with a laser focus on creating a valuable brand for the user is something that we knew would help us. Additionally, the startup community and relationships across the media space were two key areas that made the Brandery the clear choice for StreamSavvy.

How did the team come together?

Chris and Carl met several years ago at a Startup Weekend in Columbus. Following that weekend, they regularly got together to share hypotheses and ideas. They tested a few out together, and took lessons from each. When Chris shared the idea and opportunity for StreamSavvy with Carl in June 2015, they immediately began working on it. They pulled in a few others to help out, and less than a year later, they joined the Brandery.

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

Cincinnati has been a great place to launch StreamSavvy. The culture is about hustle and making things happen. People pick up the ball and make connections to help. People in the community actively look for opportunities to support and help our business get off the ground….and the OTR is an awesome place to work, live, eat, and drink!

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

Company Highlight: Fadstir


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 Fadstir.

Pictured (left to right): CTO, Rob Resma; CEO, Emmanuel Igbinosa; CMO, Tenzin Chagzoetsang

What does your company do?

We provide practical style advice for the on-the-go, young professional. We’re gathering trending, fashion data on how outfits are being pieced together and through our app, we’re then parsing and curating this information using algorithms, user-feedback and stylists. We then take this valuable data to instantly show users and businesses how to piece together outfits.

What attracted you to apply to the Brandery?

It was a mixture of the uniquely focused emphasis on branding and the amount of intimately accessible resources through the community of mentors, advisers and businesses.

How did the team come together?

We all we’re Stanford graduates and ultimately united through this network in some way. Emmanuel and I (Tenzin) we’re best friends in college and post college, decided to pursue this idea after experiencing the challenges in now being expected to dress well but not having as much leisurely time to stay up on trends as we did when we were younger. We later recruited Rob, who was still in school, through our alumni network. We immediately bonded and have been in business ever since.

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

We knew how great of a startup ecosystem Cincinnati had developed but we didn’t realize how genuinely interested and invested the community was in seeing all us young businesses succeed. The amount of support and resources is incredible!

What do you like the most about Cincinnati?

It’s great how amidst all the economic development and city renovations, you can still feel a deep rooted culture and charm to the city.

Did you have an “aha!” moment?

We’ve experienced multiple “aha” moments since being here, but it was working with our creative agency to really understand our target consumer and what they were looking for in our services that might have been the most enlightening. Through branding exercises and data analysis, we were able to really hone in on this person and not surprisingly, all of us in the team matched the profile of our user.

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