Students to participate in Cincy entrepreneur program

By: Lydia Rogers ~Campus News Editor~

students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in Cincinnati’s entrepreneurship scene through Destination Innovate.

The program offers a select group of 50 students from Xavier, the University of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University and Miami University (OH) the chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community in the city.

On Oct. 24, the selected students will take a day-long bus tour to a variety of business start-ups throughout Cincinnati.

“We found that many students – even if they are studying entrepreneurship – have limited knowledge of the successful startups, startup accelerators and others in town who are making Cincinnati a thriving place for entrepreneurs to put down roots,” Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Rockfish Digital Advertising Kari Wethington said.

“Our goal is to open their eyes to the local startup ecosystem, and hopefully encourage some of them to consider Cincinnati as not just a place to study, but a great place to start a career or even their own business,” Wethington said

Destination Innovate is sponsored by C-Change, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s premiere leadership development program for young professionals. This year’s program is focused on improving the overall perception of Cincinnati.

“We’re excited to bring students straight to the source of the innovation that’s happening right here in Cincinnati. We hope they go back to campus with new ideas and new connections that can help spread the word even further,” Wethington said.

The selected students were handpicked by professors at the participating universities.
“The professors sought out students who they know have a passion for entrepreneurship, and each school has put together a diverse group of students who are studying everything from design to business to law to entrepreneurship,” Werthington said.

Ten Xavier students have been selected and are participating in the event. There will be no cost for participating students because funds for the event were raised through donations from local businesses.

“It seems like all of my professors stress the importance of networking, and once I found out about Destination Innovate, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to do just that,” senior marketing major and entrepreneurial studies minor Joe Linginfelter said. “I’m particularly excited about getting connected within Cincinnati’s startup community and seeing what opportunities lie here after college.”

The tour begins at 8 a.m. with a kick-off breakfast at Taft Law Center downtown where Business Columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer Josh Pichler and Founder and CEO of Madecheck Jeff Shepard will talk about startups in the local community.

Other tour stops include Cintrifuse, Startup Office Hop and The Brandery. The event will end with a networking after-party at Venture for America that is open to all students.

“We have a very packed schedule for participants,” Wethington said. “They will truly give them the lay of the land when it comes to the local startup ecosystem.”