ArtWorks Cincinnati

Funding Received: 2011
Cincinnati, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 4, 2012

SpringBoard starts the New Year with a bang, attracting yet another diverse pool of entrepreneurs eager to launch their own ventures and turn their passions into business. Our fourth cohort of creative entrepreneurs starts class in January and this time the ideas include a rock climbing facility, a craft brewery, a printing co-op and an underground restaurant, just to name a few.

As the SpringBoard community grows, it becomes even more apparent that the impact of this program spans beyond simply the number of new businesses that launch. A real sense of community among Cincinnati’s creatives and artisans is taking shape as entrepreneurs from various classes and at varying stages of growth share experiences, barter with goods and services and cross-promote one another. These relationships hold our businesses accountable to the goals they set both inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, this network has triggered an awareness throughout our city that Cincinnati’s hidden treasures can be some of our greatest assets.

A round table in late January on Intellectual Property provides another opportunity for our entrepreneurs to face an often overlooked issue – before it’s too late! IP attorneys from two local law firms have volunteered time to sort through this often times complicated (yet relevant) topic for designers, artists and innovators. Our creatives never miss an opportunity to get together, brainstorm, support one another and explore potential collaborations.

ArtWorks continues to refine a vision for the SpringBoard incubation space with an architect. With 40 graduates of SpringBoard under our wing, it’s the ideal time to think about how to best utilize 1,000 square feet of space with a storefront connected to our current offices. This space will be designed to best accommodate our classes, round tables, meeting space for entrepreneurs with mentors and ‘plug and play’ for those that need a place for collaboration.

And, because we aim to have a visual impact on our communities through the launch of these businesses, ArtWorks is exploring ways to help our entrepreneurs consign products in existing retail operations. Before operating their own retail spaces, it’s important to provide a real platform for learning and understanding the responsibilities and management that accompany this. We plan on cooking up a unique model for bridging these opportunities that provides some stability for our startups.

Take a peak at some of our December graduates and visit our blog to get regular updates on our SpringBoarders.