Resource Roundup: 11 ways to meet like-minded entrepreneurs in Cincinnati


Wherever you are, we think you should surround yourself with people who will inspire you, push you, and advise you on building your business. In Cincinnati, there are so many ways to find people like you in the entrepreneurial scene.

Here are some of our favorite Meetups in the Cincinnati area:

1. Side Project Cincinnati
What: An initiative of Brandery graduate Roadtrippers, Side Project Cincinnati is your way to share your ideas, find collaborators, and fuel your creativity in a safe place. And beer… there is always beer. Read more about the Roadtrippers team’s side projects in Soapbox.
Next Meetup: November 11

2. Girl Develop It
What: It’s no secret tech skews male. GDI is aiming to tip back the scales by teaching women to code. Build sweet websites with awesome people. No questions are off-limits.
Next Meetup: Drinkup on October 1 for anyone interested in learning more, Intro to Web Concepts on October 8

3. User Enjoyment / UX Meetup
What: The User Enjoyment Meetup is for anyone who wants to make their users’ experience better. Our entrepreneurs love it as a place to get feedback on their products, but these UX enthusiasts discuss everything from usability testing to typography to lean development.

4. Startup Grind
What: Yeah, you got us. We’re the organizers of this one. But it’s just because we think it’s such a great initiative. There are over 125 cities in 55 countries with a Startup Grind chapter, and Cincinnati’s is growing each and every month. We bring in a prominent figure in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to talk about their highs and lows and tips for aspiring entrepreneurs as they go through “the grind.”
Next Meetup: The founders of The Launch Werks, Matt Anthony and Noel Gauthier, will talk about their experiences in the wonderful world of physical products on September 30.

5. QC Merge Drinkup
What: Discuss all things web and technology over a couple of drinks. These Meetups are a great place to network, too. We’ve had a couple of our companies find employees— and even co-founders— at these monthly gatherings.
Next Meetup: Drinkup on October 2 at Japp’s

6. Lean Startup Circle
What: This group focuses on the practices of The Lean Startup movement. If you’re an entrepreneur or wantrepreneur exploring new ways to launch, evolve, or grow your business, join the group.
Next Meetup: Traction Book: Skype interview with Justin Mares on October 9

And a few more specific ones, when you’re looking to expand your knowledge and skill set:

7. Smart Home Meetup

8. Search Engine Optimization Meetup

9. Wearable Developers Meetup

10. Node.js Meetup

11. Startup Finance & Accounting

BONUS (thanks, @joshowens!): Meteor Cincinnati Meetup

This post is part of a series in which we’re highlighting local resources for entrepreneurs. If there are any we miss or you wish existed, let us know!

Resource Roundup: How to get free legal advice for your startup


Part of the (not fun) process of starting your own business is getting all the legal kinks hammered out: formation, patents, capitalization tables, employment, the list goes on. Your small team trying to tackle it yourselves seems risky; hiring a lawyer seems daunting. Some of the legal experts in town have an initiative to make it easier on you: free legal advice to better your business. We sat down with Lewis Goldfarb, University of Cincinnati College of Law professor and Director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, to learn more about the event.

Q. We hear UC and Duke Energy want to support small businesses. What’s this event you have brewing?
A. As a result of a collaboration between the College’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic and the Duke Energy Law Department, 15 lawyers from Duke and the local legal community will staff tables in the lobby of the College, offering free legal consultations of up to 30 minutes for each area to local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Q. What kind of businesses can attend?
A. We welcome anyone with business-related legal questions, whether you are an existing business owner or an aspiring one.

Q. If I go, who will I be meeting with?
A. After checking in at the front desk, you will be directed to an attorney with expertise in the area of law you choose. We will have attorneys with expertise in contracts, business startups, litigation, real estate, tax, labor & employment, environmental, non-profit, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

Q. What kind of questions can I ask them?
A. Any questions regarding legal issues in any of the above legal areas. Examples:

  • How can I protect my product design/logo?
  • Do you have any advice on how to handle an employment issue?
  • Do you think I should pursue a patent on my invention and how do I do that?
  • What types of employment policies would you suggest?
  • How do I go about organizing a tax-exempt non-profit business?
  • What are my contract rights against a landlord/vendor/customer who does not meet their contractual obligations?
  • Are there things I can do to get my company ready for possible outside investment?
  • What is the appropriate legal structure for my business?
  • What types of contracts should I consider for my particular business?
  • What are my legal rights under a designated contract or contract provision?

Q. Why are you doing this?
A. We want to help local businesses and contribute to the economic revitalization of the Cincinnati area – that’s in everyone’s best interest. We realize that legal services can be costly to a small business on a tight budget, so we offer free help during this event. For legal issues requiring a longer representation, business may be eligible for the free legal services offered by UC’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.

Q. Okay, I’m in. What are the details?
A. The event is being held on October 9th from 3:00PM-7:00PM at the UC College of Law (corner of Clifton Avenue and Calhoun Street). Individuals may pre-register by contacting Lori Strait at 513-556-0117 or lori.strait@uc.edu and choosing an available time slot and the area of law in which they desire legal advice. Pre-registration is encouraged; however, walk-in registration is available up to 6:15 PM on the day of the event. Details regarding the event can be found at

This post is part of a series in which we’re highlighting local resources for entrepreneurs. If there are any we miss or you wish existed, let us know!

Company Update: SocialThreader

Check out what SocialThreader has been up to since Demo Day in October 2012:

As much as we enjoy interacting with our companies during the summer sessions, we especially love watching them succeed post-launch. One of our 2012 graduates, SocialThreader, has experienced tremendous success since Demo Day and is this week’s featured company!

The company’s CEO, Vinay Murthy, describes SocialThreader as a tool that “increases the effectiveness of digital marketing by leveraging social media in ads and websites. It allows seamless integration of a brand’s social content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and websites as well as consumer and influencer voices from social platforms.”

Quite simply, SocialThreader is a platform that threads all of a brand’s social (earned), web-based (owned) and digital media (paid) together into one seamless experience. It can be embedded on websites and linked to other sites. The tool was initially piloted with Bush Beans and will soon be used by a variety of different brands.

SocialThreader not only threads content, it also allows brands to curate and target specific consumers and measure time on sites, page views and uniques. This enables brands to maximize the acceleration of social engagement for their entire portfolio. The tool is fully customizable and the team continues to add new features.

SocialThreader was recently awarded a “Digital Innovation Project” from Procter & Gamble. Vinay and his team will work with the ethnic marketing group at P&G to roll out social integration of their owned and earned content on their .com site. The company was also selected by Kroger, a major national grocery chain, to promote their organic brand of products and has entered into a partnership with a market leader in commenting platforms for distribution of social content for brands.

We are extremely proud of the company’s success and look forward to its continued growth.

For more information on SocialThreader, please visit their website or email vinay@socialthreader.com!

FlightCar, SocStock, and Impulcity Updates

More updates from our 2012 graduates! Below are some post-demo-day-developments from FlightCar, SocStock and Impulcity.

FlightCar (Co-founders Kevin Petrovic, Rujul Zaparde and Shri Ganeshram) relocated to San Francisco after Demo Day. Their site will be live on February 1st and their first site will be located at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Later this week, they team will begin allowing people to list/rent cars on their platform. If you’re traveling to/from San Francisco soon, check out this awesome opportunity to save yourself some money.

SocStock (Founder Jay Finch) launched their online platform to a solid crowd at the Know Theater in Cincinnati. They generated a significant amount of excitement on both the small business and consumer ends. Over $50,000 in Socstock has been offered to the community to date.

Impulcity (co-founders Hunter Hammonds and Austin Cameron) are gearing up for their public launch. After raising a seed round shortly after demo day and completing a successful beta run, the team rebuilt their app to be faster and simpler. Impulcity will launch their own local event series, starting in Cincinnati, to promote their app and create awesome events. Check in for updates on their event series developments!