In just six short months, SpringBoard has made strides with the Cincinnati creative community, offering business training and collaborative opportunities to aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Local companies and firms have voluntarily shared legal, accounting, marketing and financial management expertise to support these business ventures and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood has embraced SpringBoard by serving as mentors and demonstrating enthusiasm for our entrepreneurs.
SpringBoard hosted the second Round Table in December, bringing in small business insurance experts to inform our entrepreneurs on the types and amount of small business coverage necessary. Twenty past and current SpringBoard entrepreneurs showed up to better understand the nuances in types of insurance in order to make the best decisions for their companies. Originally intended to occur on a bi-monthly basis, inquiries and interest in these continued education opportunities are leading to an increase in the frequency of the Round Tables in 2012.
Our final 2011 cohort will celebrate the end of the 8 week course by pitching their businesses and their future plans to a room full of supportive community members, family, friends and SpringBoard faculty at the end of the month. Some of our newest SpringBoarders could easily make up an exciting holiday gift guide. Fiber artist Sarah Miller offers all kinds of sweet hand-crafted felted items perfect for a child or those with a young heart. Her company, MoonForest Studio, sells items on Etsy, as does her SpringBoard peer Hart Neely of Modern Relics. Modern Relics curates a collection of vintage modern designed home accessories, objects and furniture, reasonably priced and beautiful. He’s using the SpringBoard curriculum to explore the feasibility of taking his online business to storefront retail.
Have a friend looking for an eco-friendly, sturdy and manmade messenger bag? Three young University of Cincinnati design students recently launched E13 Workshop (despite juggling school full time) and their beautiful, durable bags make one-of-a kind gifts. Alicia Kravitz of Dulcet Design is hoping to build a wholesale side to her business, selling her lightweight, acrylic jewelry all over the country.
And in other exciting news, ArtWorks has engaged an architect to explore the renovation of existing office space into an area more conducive for hosting SpringBoard classes, Round Tables, mentoring and meeting space – an incubator that fosters collaboration among SpringBoard entrepreneurs and provides a physical storefront identity for SpringBoard within in the Over-the-Rhine community.