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Reason #14: Access to big brands.

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You can’t just walk into any corporate headquarters and suggest they partner with your startup. Let us make some intros and get your product in front of the right people. Our reach at corporations in Cincinnati and beyond may be just the thing you need to effectively grow your business.

The Brandery connected us with several key decision-makers at different brands at P&G, Kellogg, and General Mills, which helped us better understand how we could really help brand marketers reach college students, and ultimately helped us land a number of really strong brand partnerships with major brands.

– Marissa Hu, CEO/Co-founder of Co-Ed Supply

Apply to The Brandery now.

Reason #13: You'll co-work with the cream of the crop.

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Because we receive hundreds and hundreds of applications, you can be sure that the 10 startups selected for our program will be high quality. We never accept startups that will compete with each other, and many times, the startups can leverage each others’ businesses. Being in the same room with 30 other brilliant minds makes The Brandery a breeding ground for creativity, hard work, and friendly competition.

The founders & [GM Mike Bott] have done an unbelievable job creating an extremely collegial environment. You’d imagine being the trenches with 10 other companies might get competitive, but not at all. Everyone works together to continue to push the ball forward for one another. I met some of my best friends this summer and I can’t wait to watch them continue to succeed in everything they do.

– Nick Cromydas, CEO/Co-founder of TapFit

Apply to The Brandery now.

Reason #12: You'll learn how to run a business, not just build a product.

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We think an accelerator should provide value in every facet of your business. That means once you build something great, you still have to learn how to sell it, and every other duty that comes with running a startup. We’ll get you there.

From connections with decision-makers at potential customers, to agency partnerships that resulted in new customers and the founders helping us close our seed round, The Brandery was instrumental in helping us build a real business.

– Anthony Nicalo, CEO/Co-founder of Dónde

Dónde, a 2013 graduate of The Brandery, is a mobile store locator service with tools to drive retail sales. Spurred by the growth of mobile, the company has grown from a side project to help people find specific products at grocers and restaurants into a platform for location as a service. They recently closed their seed round of $1M. Brands currently using Dónde include SkinnyPop, Louisville Slugger, and LasikPlus. They are headquartered in Cincinnati with offices in Vancouver and NYC.

Apply to The Brandery now.

Reason #11: Local university talent.

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We have talent in Cincinnati, and a lot of it comes from the top-notch institutions nearby. A Miami University Entrepreneurship class meets in our space, we have a partnership with the University of Cincinnati’s Law School (you’ll read about this one later), and we’ve had interns from NKU and Xavier. On top of that, we’re literally right down the hill from one of the top five design schools in the world, UC’s College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning. Our startups don’t have to look far for impressive resources and talent.

One of the key reasons we formed The Brandery was because we knew that there were three top 25 entrepreneurship programs within a one hour radius of Cincinnati. Consequently, our companies have access to students from University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Xavier University, and Northern Kentucky University. We have found top design, development, and hustler talent at these schools.

– Rob McDonald, Co-founder of The Brandery and attorney at Taft, Stettinius and Hollister.

Reason #9: You'll dive into the "startup life."

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Whether you’re an entrepreneur already or not, it helps to be in an environment that encourages creativity, speed, and camaraderie. The Brandery gets you in the right mindset and makes you focus on the task at hand. Sometimes that’s just the push you need to get your idea to take off.

The nicest thing was being able to have so many like-minded people around you doing the same thing at The Brandery. For our class, once one company released their Beta, everyone else felt like they needed to step their game up. You are constantly in the startup life. You’re surrounded by it, and you have no choice but to be completely immersed in it. Especially for us, living with two other companies during the program, it was definitely that ‘all-in’ mentality; the startup life or nothing.

– Konrad Billetz, CEO/Co-founder of Frameri


Frameri is a 2013 graduate of The Brandery. Their team lived in OTR in what was quickly dubbed “The Startup House” with the co-founders of Co-Ed Supply and Awesomatic. Frameri is the first interchangable frame and lens system that allows you to change prescriptions or frames in a snap. Stay tuned for big news from their team soon.

Reason #8: We'll help you build your network.

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As we mentioned in Reason #5, we constantly have experts hanging out at The Brandery. In addition to that, VCs, mentors, and community supporters pop in all the time. Even if they aren’t your assigned mentors or coming to meet with you, the visitors are likely interested in what you’re doing. The Brandery founders and GM are pretty well connected too— any connection you need in town or beyond, they’re happy to make an intro. We hope to create some lasting connections that can benefit you and your business in the future.

The Brandery helped me start building a high quality network that has naturally kept extending and growing since the end of the program. That network has led to many great things for my company."
– James Fisher, CEO/Co-founder of Roadtrippers


Roadtrippers, a 2012 graduate of The Brandery, is a web and mobile application that allows you to discover unique attractions on your next great road trip. They have raised over $3.8 million and are headquartered in Cincinnati.

Reason #7: Cincinnati is a great place to build a business.

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We chose to be in Cincinnati for a reason. Named a Top 5 Consumer Marketing Region in the world, Cincinnati boasts the highest per-capita branding professionals in the world with the HQs of Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, Kroger, and other Fortune 500s at your fingertips. The creative and marketing talent is booming, which is perfect for building your brand with us. We’re also cultivating an extremely inviting entrepreneurial ecosystem— it seems like everywhere you look there are professionals that want to help out a co-founder.

One of best attributes of The Brandery is that it’s located in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati community is supportive of startups and the ability to connect with anyone, at any company in town, is priceless for a startup.

– Michael Bergman, CEO/Co-founder of REPP


REPP is a transferable badge system that shows potential dates, employers, friends, and clients the kind of person you are. REPP allows you to run a background check on yourself, ensure the information is correct, and share it with those involved in your daily digital life. They kept their HQ in Cincinnati after going through The Brandery in 2012.

Apply now.

Reason #6: We're a non-profit.

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This is a little-known fact about us. While we do take 6% equity stake in the companies that we accept to the program, that money is invested directly back into the program for current and future startups. It’s all about fueling the ecosystem, and having non-profit status helps us to do that.

That was one of the selling points for us. Of all the incubators and accelerators we were considering, we liked that The Brandery was a non-profit. It changes the incentives of the program to be more in line with the best interests of the companies. Also, I liked that any success we have will go directly towards helping other fledgling companies, just as we were.

– Ian Halpern, CEO/Co-founder of RentShare


RentShare, a 2011 graduate of The Brandery, allows renters to pay their rent online without the need for the landlord to sign up. Through RentShare, roommates can split expenses from utilities to groceries. They are headquartered in New York City.

Apply to The Brandery now.

Reason #5: High-quality workshops.

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During our accelerator session, we have programming that will keep you on track and inspired. Each week has a different focus, from branding and consumer understanding, to metrics, data, and analysis, to fundraising. We bring in experts on the subject each week to give a brief talk on how to perfect that aspect of your business. They say accelerators may be the new MBA, and our programming is supportive of that.

The Brandery was very hands-on, and provided us day-to-day mentorship. In retrospect, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish half of what we did without The Brandery’s help.

– Rujul Zaparde, CEO/Co-founder of FlightCar


FlightCar is a 2012 graduate of The Brandery. Their service allows inbound travelers to rent out outbound travelers’ cars, eliminating the need for long-term parking and traditional rental car services. They are located at SFO, BOS, and LAX. Read more about FlightCar’s Brandery experience here.

Apply now.

All photos courtesy of Zackariah Cole Photography.

Reason #4: You'll pitch at our Demo Day.

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While it’s not the finish line, Demo Day is definitely something to work toward for our startups. It is a fantastic showcase of how much can truly be accomplished in four months. Last year, we held Demo Day at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Over 400 investors, mentors, and supporters from around the country attended.

There are a ton of demo days hosted every year but we can only focus on a select few. We always come to The Brandery’s Demo Day because we know every presentation will show a strong team passionate about building a big business. They truly have a gift for finding the next great company."
- Chris Olsen, Partner at Drive Capital


Drive Capital is a new venture capital firm that invests in innovative technology, healthcare, and consumer companies in the Midwest. They recently announced a $250 million fund to focus on startups in the region.

Reason #3: We'll help you understand your consumer.

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From the beginning, we’ve been focused on the consumer, and we believe you should be, too. You’ll work with expert marketers throughout the program to dig deep into where your company fits into your consumer’s life. We want you to have a comprehensive understanding of who your customer is, where they are, how they think, and how you reach them.

During our Growth Hack Day, we had an incredibly powerful and challenging discussion with Stan Joosten at P&G about how to scale. His expertise in digital marketing and growth hacking allowed us to dive deep into our user acquisition channels and our word-of-mouth referral opportunities.

– Marissa Hu, CEO/Co-founder of Co-Ed Supply


Co-Ed Supply is a 2013 graduate of The Brandery. They deliver care packages filled with personal care, healthy snacks, and entertainment items to college students on a monthly basis while providing brands an “in” to a critical mass.

Apply now.
See reason #1 and reason #2 to apply to The Brandery.