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Why You Need The Brandery Agency Partnership: Interbrand & Oros

When Michael Markesbery and Rithvik Venna entered The Brandery’s 2015 cohort, they faced a problem that many startups have to deal with: a trademark issue that meant their company, Lukla, not only needed a great brand, but a new name to begin with.

Oros creates outerwear that uses NASA technology called aerogel (the same stuff they put in spacesuits!) to protect wearers from extreme environmental conditions without the heavy weight and bulk of traditional outerwear. This amazing innovation deserved a brand that was just a special.

After being paired with Interbrand, a global brand agency with an incredible team in Cincinnati, the group got to work on crafting a name that would inform the entire brand identity. With the company’s vision and brand strategy in mind, the new name became Oros, the Greek word for mountain. This name represents adventure, challenge and conquest and reflects the essence of the original name, Lukla.

Interbrand explored Oros’ target customer and came up with some strong themes that informed their logo and brand design. The brand proposition “Conquer Your Everest” became a common thread throughout the design process – with the logo creating a visual link to a mountain right down to the unique, custom packaging design that embodies the same essence of a peak. The packaging design for Oros was so strong, in fact, that Interbrand received an “Outstanding Achievement” mention in the 2016 Dieline Awards competition, highlighting the best in consumer packaging design worldwide.

Oros graduated from The Brandery in October 2015 and raised a $1.2 million seed round last year, led by NCT Ventures. A recent Forbes article, Why Ohio Is The Best State In America To Launch A Startup, featured their journey and included this quote from Markesbery: “Because there are more Fortune 500 companies headquartered (in the Midwest) than anywhere else in the world, that means is that there are dozens of incredible branding, marketing, and advertising companies here…Our packaging has won eight different international awards already because we just happen to have one of the best companies in the world doing that right here in Cincinnati.”

We really couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Special thanks to Interbrand for being a dynamic agency partner year in and year out!

Brandery 2017 applications are open until April 29. Apply via F6S or AngelList. Have questions regarding the program or your application? Contact us at info@brandery.org!

It's a Wrap with the Brandery Interns

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Jacob, Technical Intern

Hey!

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!

Interns, What Have They Been Up To?

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Happy Monday Everyone!

Today the Brandery Interns are taking over the blog to tell you what we’ve accomplished and what we’re up to. It’s officially been one month since the start of our internship and we have all had the opportunity to work with the Brandery team and get acclimated to our new surroundings. By the way OTR, you have been fabulous, thanks for all the food options!

Back to the interns! Camryn, the design intern, has worked diligently to create our agency playbook, infographic and company teasers for the class of 2016. Our tech intern, who just returned from vacation, Jacob has worked on compressing files to create an efficient library of information and updating our website. The two marketing and operations interns, Ravneet and Curtis, have also had their fair share of projects to handle. Both of us have been juggling various social media platforms, as well as getting the Brandery started on a new, not so well-known platform called Snapchat. So if by chance you do have Snapchat, follow us by searching “brandery”! Curt has also spent his time working on compiling a company portfolio of companies that have graduated from the Brandery. I, on the other hand, have spent most of my time preparing for the incoming class. I’ve helped with preparing our welcome gift baskets, organizing the welcome picnic and compiling summaries of founders for a press release.

As our first month of interning comes to an end, it is only the beginning for our startups. The addition of 10 new companies and almost 40 new individuals has certainly changed the atmosphere and dynamics of the office. Every day we arrive with the excitement of getting a new project and seeing how our work, no matter how minimal, can help a company grow. Along with helping the companies, Curt and I also have the unique opportunity of helping the startup community grow, as well.

One of our objectives this summer is to increase the engagement of local students with the startup ecosystem. Curtis and I strongly believe that we have great talent in the surrounding areas, especially on the campuses located near us. We’re looking at you UC, Xavier, Miami and NKU! Therefore, we have organized an event called, Founders 101. This event will be arranged as an open panel between students and well established founders from the Cincinnati area. After the founders introduce themselves, their business and journey we will open the floor for questions and encourage an environment of discussion.

The first event will take place June 24th, from 10am to 11am, in Union Hall. The theme for this panel is, “Start of the Startup”. Founders Matthew Lenahan, CEO of DataRole, James Fisher, CEO of Roadtrippers and Steve Caldwell, CEO of Strap will be in attendance discussing the start of their respective companies. More information on the event and founders can be found on our Eventbrite page, the link is copied below. Seating is limited, so please reserve your free ticket!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/founders-101-start-of-the-startup-tickets-25936332268?aff=eac2

Introducing Brandery's 2016 Interns

Camryn – Graphic Design Intern

Hey there!
My name is Camryn and I am excited to serve as the Graphic Design Intern at The Brandery this summer. I just finished up my junior year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and will graduate next spring with a major in Interactive Media Studies and minor in Graphic Design.

I’m creative at heart with a passion for designing things that make an impact. My last internship at the campus art museum involved promoting the arts and I found this job really rewarding. Although I’ve never worked with startups before, I’m eager to jump right into the fast-paced, team-oriented environment. I believe that design has a special ability to bring ideas to life and I hope to help startups at The Brandery do just that.

Some things on the to-do list: check out some live music, eat my fair share of Gomez tacos, and spend some quality time at Washington Park. I’m looking forward to an exciting and adventure-filled few months!

Jacob – Technical Intern

I am excited to be a part of the team here at the Brandery as the technical intern this summer. I have a passion for the web and just about anything related to technology. I love the idea that something I’ve created from the comfort of my desk can be utilized globally on something as personal as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Ultimately, I aspire to become a full-stack web developer; working at the Brandery is an excellent step in achieving this goal.

I am from Hamilton, Ohio and am thrilled to explore downtown Cincinnati the entire summer. I recently finished my freshman year at Miami University, majoring in Interactive Media Studies and minoring in Entrepreneurship, with a focus in startups. Eventually, my ambition is to begin my own business — something that will be aided by the experience and knowledge I will undoubtedly gain by working with the Brandery’s 2016 startups. Outside of the office you can most likely catch me at either an FC Cincinnati soccer game or Skyline. I am looking forward to an exciting summer full of adventure and new experiences!

Ravneet – Marketing & Operations Intern

Hi everyone!
My name is Ravneet and I am interning at The Brandery this summer as their Marketing and Operations Intern. I am currently pursuing my MBA at the University of Cincinnati, with a concentration in marketing. The University of Cincinnati is also where I completed my undergraduate studies in Health Sciences (go Bearcats!). Aside from being a student, I love playing sports and dancing. In the next few weeks, I will be forming a sand volleyball league and am currently instructing a dance group in Bhangra (not what you see in Bollywood dances!). When there’s time I also like to dabble in other dances and small plays.

As an MBA student and an athlete I thrive in group settings and overcoming unpredictable obstacles. Being able to communicate effectively, make decisions and follow through are skills school and sports have strengthened throughout the years. Interning at The Brandery I hope to grow professionally and personally. We have an amazing opportunity as interns to learn alongside the class of 2016 as well as be a part of their development. I expect this summer to be full of surprises and exciting events. We have a great team at The Brandery and I can’t wait to meet the new class of 2016!

Curt – Marketing & Operations Intern

Hey everyone – I’m Curt, I’m a Marketing & Operations intern at the Brandery. I currently study Marketing at the University of South Carolina with a minor in English. I feel that effective branding and marketing are at the core of any and every successful business. By joining the Brandery, I’ll be in an environment where strong branding is a keystone to survival; I’ll also be learning from some of the best branding and marketing minds that Cincinnati has to offer.

In the relative long-term, I am interested in brand and product management. This ambition will invariably benefit from my experiences interning at the Brandery this summer. I’m enthusiastic to work with the Brandery’s social media, events, blog, and, most importantly, startups! There is a lot to be learned from the trials of burgeoning companies, and I hope my commitment to the Brandery’s 2016 startup class will aid in its success.

Outside of my internship at the Brandery, I enjoy bicycling through OTR and playing hockey – this summer, I’ll be playing on a men’s league ice team with my dad. I’m also the assistant captain and treasurer of my school’s club roller hockey team for the upcoming year. Looking forward to a great summer!

Demo Day 2013 and Beyond

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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.




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.

3 Greater Cincinnati schools named best undergrad college for entrepreneurs

This week The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine released their rankings of the 25 top graduate and undergrad university programs for entrepreneurs.  For the second year in a row, Greater Cincinnati had three schools who were in the Top 20 including:

#6. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio

#11. Xavier University, Cincinnati

#20. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

These rankings continue to reaffirm why we think Cincinnati is the perfect home for The Brandery and the next generation of great start-ups.  And on that note, a fun fact is that all 6 of the companies in The Brandery have founders who attended one of the schools who made the list.