It’s nearly impossible to scroll past any #StartupCincy related news and not see that the Brandery Class of 2016 has been announced. We are very excited to welcome these brilliant individuals to Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati’s thriving startup ecosystem.
This year’s application pool had over 1,000 submissions from 32 states and 46 countries. After a rigorous interview process, less than 1% of applicants were accepted. These teams come from three different states, eight different cities and three different countries (United States, Morocco and Canada). While the names of the company are yet to be announced, we are excited to offer some brief information on their accomplished founders. Take a minute, and read up on our 2016 class:
- are working to connect businesses with professionals for short-term projects. Steve Anevski, native to Cincinnati, oversees seven different bars and restaurants in the area. Aside from being a business owner, Anevski impressively is also a lawyer and investment broker. Alex Pantich, founder of another business, Kinetiq Solutions, spent the last year operating as their CEO. Pantich, who has spent part of his life working and studying in Moscow, Istanbul and Serbia is proud of his political commentary website, Vostokian.
- are exploring the potential to make research and data analysis easier. Both founders previously interned at the Brandery and studied at the University of Cincinnati. Tsegai studied physics while Back earned his degree in marketing. Before coming to the Brandery, Back worked with Siemens to develop their Global Partner Sales channel.
- , from Ontario, Canada, are on the move to upset the billion-dollar fragrance industry. Yin and Smale are graduates from Queen’s University, both earning a degree in Mining Engineering. For the past two years, Yin has been working with perfumers while Smale worked at Imperial Oil as an operations engineer. Yin and Smale are fans of hockey and beer, two staples of Canadian leisure.
- are working on lab technology to increase worker efficiency. Olivier, originally from Belgium, is an ACS Certified Chemistry graduate from the University of Cincinnati. Andrew Carl is a software engineer with over eight years of experience writing computer software. He is also a graduate from UC, with a BS in Chemistry. Fontana Carl is the team’s graphic designer, a graduate from the Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati. She currently works as the Website Manager for Jake Sweeney Automotive.
- are working on a social platform that would allow creators to get instant feedback on their ideas. Ian is a self-taught iOS front-end developer who has competed and placed in several hackathons. Greg, a full-stack programmer with specific interests in back-end architecture, data mining and analytics, is also self-taught. The third member of this group, Nugeen Aftab, previously worked with Pelotonia, where she implemented a successful retail strategy. Trey Hakanson is a mechanical engineer turned software developer, who has several apps available on the App Store and Google Play Store. Dan Arters is also a self-taught programmer with a passion for software development.
- are improving the online shopping experience by providing men seeking fashion advice and a purchasing medium instant feedback, based on statistical analysis and machine learning. Emmanuel Igbinosa previously worked at Google, focusing on mobile development, and YouTube, where he effectively led a team to reduce manual processing and error rate substantially. Igbinosa was also a walk-on varsity basketball player at Stanford University. Tenzin Chagzoetsang, prior to joining the team, worked on creative advertising at NBCUniversal and Sony. He also ran his own successful, zero-overhead housekeeping business while a student at Stanford University. Rob Resma is a passionate mobile programmer who just earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Stanford University. While working on Skimble, Resma was able to create a new feature that connected a massive client base (20 million) on Workout Trainer with a large number of trainers looking to feature their content.
- have developed a platform that helps TV watchers easily create and navigate a custom streaming package to watch their favorite shows. Carl and Chris met at a 2014 Startup Weekend. Shortly afterwards, they conceived the idea for their current company. Chris Kessler worked previously in private equity, most recently working on Corporate Strategy at Nationwide Insurance. Carl Lewis, an accomplished developer, most recently worked as a full-stack Java developer at Nationwide Insurance.
- have created a product that aims to refresh busy men and women who are on-the-go, keeping them clean no matter the circumstances. The two met through their FSU college fraternity, where the inception for their company first began through their shared views of consumer cleaning products. Sam Nebel, prior to beginning this current project, was accepted as a Franchisee at Complete Nutrition, later being promoted to its SWOT team. Charlie Siciak was also accepted as a Franchisee at Complete Nutrition before beginning his current company.
- are working to connect the mobile shopping experience with the in-store shopping experience, to improve the overall shopping experience for both consumers and marketers. Previously, Beth Gregg built the first Flash Ad Unit to appear on the AOL Service in 2001, built revenue/defined product iterations for JasperLabs (sold to DataXu in 2014), and operated a highly successful team for/built a large percentage of DataXu’s business. Joe Macaulay previously worked as an Account Executive for both Velti and DataXu. Previously, Beth brought Joe on-board at DataXu because of his strong mobile expertise; they’ve been working as a strong team since.
- are helping children learn foreign languages, empowering them to be young, smart global citizens and succeed in school, all while playing fun games. Moulay Essakalli is CEO of internationally renowned Zid Zid Kids, a company utilizing Moroccan artistic talent to create home furnishings, toys, and wearables for children. He was also selected to attend the President’s Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC in 2010. Julie Klear is a veteran on art, design, and education; Klear co-founded Zid Zid Kids and served as its creative director. Her first illustrated children’s book, The Butter Man, won 9 notable awards. Nabil Babache is founder and CEO of Nindo Host, a company dedicated to the digitalization of as many Moroccan companies as possible. Alongside his passion and skill in programming, Babache is able to speak four different languages fluently.