On Wednesday, we held our fourth annual Demo Day at the Aronoff’s Jarson-Kaplan theater in downtown Cincinnati. About 430 investors, mentors, agency partners, community supporters, friends, and family packed the house to see the immense progress that the companies have made in just four months.
It was a beautiful setting to celebrate the hard work of the teams. The Jarson-Kaplan theater’s ambience set the focus on the startups from the beginning. Excitement buzzed in the lobby as attendees waited to hear the newest disruptors present their products to the world. The professionalism of the Aronoff’s crew, our tech friends at Pebble Creek, and catering from Busken, Vonderhaars, and Daisy Mae’s Market made for a great morning from start to finish.
Brandery GM Mike Bott kicked off the morning with background on The Brandery, highlighting the unbelievable growth “up and to the right” of this class of startups— on their keg consumption.
They may play hard, but we have also never seen a class so strong at The Brandery. 8 of the 9 startups were able to generate revenue by Demo Day, which is an absolutely tremendous accomplishment in four months. The pitches were representative of that hard work, with beautifully designed decks and perfect delivery on the part of the presenters.
Attendees were encouraged to share their reactions to the pitches on Twitter, and we got some overwhelming responses.
9 startups presenting at @Brandery Demo Day and it's clearly the strongest crop of graduates yet.
— Empowermm.com (@EmpowerMM) October 2, 2013
— MU Entrepreneurship (@Miami_ENT) October 2, 2013
— Sunnie Southern (@SunnieSouthern) October 2, 2013
There’s already been some press about the event, including the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Business Courier.
Right as Demo Day began, the Brandery grads’ portfolio pages went live on our site. You can get overviews of each startup as well as contact information on their respective pages, here.
But Demo Day was never the finish line for the nine startups in our fourth accelerator session.
Yes, Demo Day on Wednesday was their first big step, but now the training wheels are off. On Thursday, the startups had their final official meeting of the program with Mike Bott. “Now the real roller coaster begins,” he said.
Until now, the startups have been in the safe environment of The Brandery, using each other as support and motivation. Now, some of them will return home, some will stay, but the program is officially over. No more hard deadlines, workshops, or speakers.
But while the day-to-day scheduling for the startups is over, they are welcome to work out of The Brandery for free for the next 8 or more months as they transition. Mentoring will still be provided, and we’ll continue to coach them whenever needed. The companies will stay in touch with most of their rockstar teams of mentors and agency partners as well.
If you haven’t met them already, we have the perfect occasion for you: our first Community Pitch Event, open to all, will be on Tuesday at Rhinegeist.
We’re more than confident that these nine teams will do big things. You’ll be hearing from them soon.
And to the 2013 class, thank you for your hard work. Thank you for helping to “Startup Cincy.” We know you’ll make us proud.