Main Street Ventures - 2021 Annual Report

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2021 ANNUAL REPORT


While 2021 was certainly no cake walk for the startup community, there’s a feeling of excitement in the air as we head into 2022. But much like the typical Cincinnati sports fan, we’re all being cautiously optimistic so as not to jinx anything. We don’t need another 31 year curse in this town (WHO DEY)! Jokes-aside, simply peruse the headlines over the past few months and you’ll no doubt start feeling the excitement too. You may have seen one of Cincy Inno’s last headlines of the year that perfectly summed up the activity: “Cincinnati startups shatter fundraising totals in 2021. ” According to the article, Startup Cincy companies saw a 248% gain, year-over-year, raising more than $650 million in capital in 2021, also shattering 2019’s $347 million total.1 That’s huge news! The Main Street Ventures Grant Recipient Community was no stranger to the excitement. In addition to doubling the number of grant applications we received versus 2020, our Grant Recipients were making moves. You’ll see some of the highlights in the report, but here’s a teaser: • • •

2019 Wendy Lea Leap Grant Recipient Healthy Roots Dolls lands $1M Seed2 2020 Leap Grant Recipient inphlu surpasses pre-seed goal five months early3 2019 Leap Grant Recipient Eden Urban Gardens sees new interest in urban farming during COVID-19 Pandemic4

And, rounding out the year, two members of the Community were named to the 2022 Startups to Watch List5! I’m looking at you Aclipse Camper Vans (2022 Leap Grant) and Lerch (2020 Leap Grant)! Main Street Ventures also got in on the fun when Cincinnati’s City Council voted unanimously to award Main Street Ventures with $1,000,000 to further our funding and education programs for female-founded startups. Because of this support, we were thrilled to be able to award a historic 10 grants to femalefounded or co-founded startups. Even with all of the great momentum, at Main Street Ventures, we know we can’t hit the brakes now. Cincinnati has a history of successful, locally-founded companies, yet our region still lags behind many peers in supporting big ideas, fostering an inclusive start-up community, and fueling entrepreneurial growth. Columbus ranks 3 spots above Cincinnati in Midwest Startups 2020 Cities Ranking. If you’re competitive like I am, that statistic probably gets to you too. We believe that a vibrant economic future for Cincinnati requires an entrepreneurial ecosystem that removes barriers to starting and growing a business. This is why Main Street Ventures launched a community-funded initiative to continue to help make entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati. This new $8 million campaign will support Bold Ideas, Inclusion, and Growth over the next five years for 5,000 entrepreneurs and students. We like to call it: The B.I.G. Campaign (creative, right?). We’d love for you to join us. There are many ways to get involved with Main Street Ventures and support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our region. Check out the information on the following pages to learn more. If 2021 proved anything, it’s that the future is bright for our region’s startup community and the time is now to support them!

Kelly Bonnell Executive Director

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1 https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/inno/stories/news/2021/12/29/top-funding-news-cincy-inno-2021.html 2 https://news.crunchbase.com/news/healthy-roots-dolls-lands-1m-seed/ 3 https://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/inno/stories/fundings/2021/11/04/local-biz-limelight-inphlu.html 4 https://www.cincinnati.com/picture-gallery/news/2021/02/08/cincinnati-ohio-urban-farmers-see-spike-interest-during-coronavirus-pandemic/4299436001/ 5​​ https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/inno/stories/news/2021/12/17/startups-to-watch-in-2022.html

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2021 Highlights CINCINNATI CITY COUNCIL GRANTS $1 MILLION OF RESCUE ACT DOLLARS TO MAIN STREET VENTURES In May, Cincinnati City Council unanimously voted to provide a total of $1 Million to further the mission of Main Street Ventures. This financial contribution came from the American Rescue Plan Act, a bill passed to assist the economic and health recovery of the United States brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic. These funds will help MSV increase programming specifically for Women-Owned small businesses that have been particularly susceptible to the impacts of COVID-19 due to lack of access to capital.

INPHLU SURPASSES PRE-SEED FUNDRAISING GOALS

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ACLIPSE CAMPERVANS WINS AVIATRA ACCELERATORS ‘FLIGHT NIGHT’

Inphlu - 2020 Leap Grant Recipient, an

After participating in Aviatra’s “Launch”

affordable, AI powered, automated social

Cohort, Aclipse Campervans - 2021 Leap

media management tool for businesses

Grant Recipient, took home the $10,000 top

and non-profits, surpassed their Pre-Seed

prize at Aviatra Accelerators annual ‘Flight

Fundraising goals in 2021.

Night’ Pitch Competition.


MSV SUPPORTS STUDENT FOUNDERS WITH LAUNCH IT: CINCY PITCH COMPETITION This year, Main Street Ventures announced it’s new program, Launch It: Cincy, a pitch competition exclusively for undergraduate students in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Dayton region. The unique prize package, valued at over $28,000, is developed to support the winning teams to stay in Cincinnati during the summer of 2022, learn from local experts, and build connections within the Startup Ecosystem. In November, the esteemed judging panel selected 3 winning teams - AutoHive, Bloxsmith, and StepUp Social.

HEALTHY ROOTS DOLLS RAISES $1M SEED ROUND

MSV STARTS THE LAUNCH FUNDING GRANT

Healthy Roots Dolls, the 2019 Wendy S. Lea

In Q1 2021, Main Street Ventures introduced

Female Founder Grant Recipient, raised a $1

the Launch Funding Grant. This grant provides

million Seed Round led by Backstage Capital

emerging, pre-revenue businesses that have a

and joined by a group of additional investors,

Prototype or Product with $5,000 - $10,000 to

including Lightship Capital in Cincinnati, OH.

develop and prepare for market entry. 5


B.I.G. CAMPAIGN Great ideas can come from anyone, but not everyone has the opportunity to turn their great ideas into a reality. BOLD IDEAS. INCLUSION. GROWTH. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs in the Greater Cincinnati Region do not have the opportunity to build upon their good ideas because they lack access to key financial and social capital. And they’re not alone. According to a study from the Kauffman Foundation, 83% of entrepreneurs nationwide cite access to capital as the number one barrier to starting a business. Additionally, women and minority founders face even greater barriers to accessing funding and social capital.

OUR B.I.G. IDEA The equation is simple:

GOOD IDEAS

FINANCIAL CAPITAL

SOCIAL CAPITAL

SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES

The reality is anything but simple. That’s why Main Street Ventures is strengthening our investment in local entrepreneurs by launching a community-funded initiative to make entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati. This $8 million campaign will support Bold Ideas, Inclusion, and Growth over the next five years - we like to call it The B.I.G. Campaign. 6


B.I.G. INVESTMENTS $1,400,000

$$5,600,000

LEARN

LEVERAGE

Potential Entrepreneurs •

Launch It: Cincy Pitch Competition for Undergraduate Students. Learn Sponsorships for organizations and events.

$1,000,000

LEGACY

Startups & Small Businesses • •

Launch Funding for prerevenue businesses. Leap Funding for revenue generating businesses.

Grant Recipients •

Level Up Support Program designed to provide critical resources and trainings for business sustainability and long-term success.

$8 MILLION

YOUR B.I.G. ROLE

RAISED TO DATE

We are asking local businesses and entrepreneurs to become a Main Street Ventures BIG Entrepreneurship Supporter. This support is a hand up for talented, dedicated entrepreneurs who lack the social and financial capital to turn their big ideas into a big business.

We want to recognize you as a BIG Supporter! There are so many ways to get involved and we’d love to talk about what this could look like for you. Check out the “Get Involved” section of our website for more information!

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IMPACT 2018 - 2021

47 LEAP FUNDING GRANTS

12 LAUNCH FUNDING GRANTS

26 LEARN SPONSORSHIPS

$1.9 MILLION DISTRIBUTED TO LOCAL STARTUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS

$8.5 MILLION

$7.6 MILLION

RAISED IN FOLLOW-ON FUNDING BY GRANT RECIPIENT COMPANIES

IN REVENUE GENERATED BY GRANT RECIPIENT COMPANIES

77%

OF GRANT RECIPIENT FOUNDERS ARE CONSIDERED “UNDERREPRESENTED”

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OVER

SUPPORTING UNDERREPRESENTED FOUNDERS For all initiatives that Main Street Ventures supports, there is a focus on Women and Minority entrepreneurs who have been historically underrepresented in funding.


JOBS CREATED

Part-Time 94

Main Street Ventures’ primary initiative is to support emerging businesses that show potential to create jobs and other opportunities in the Cincinnati Region.

267 JOBS CREATED

Full-Time 173

BUSINESS INDUSTRY

Software / IT 30.5%

Vibrant communities need new businesses to create jobs, innovation, and a sense of place. Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone on which arts and culture thrive and people are empowered to improve their quality of life.

Retail Products 11.9%

20.3%

Equipment / Machines

PROJECT TYPE Grant Funds from Main Street Ventures go towards completing a project that will provide growth for the business or organization.

Restaurant / Food Service

39%

Technology Development 16.9%

Staff 39%

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PROGRAMS LAUNCH IT: CINCY

A pitch competition exclusively for undergraduate students in the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Dayton region. The unique prize package will support the winning teams to stay in Cincinnati over the summer, build relationships within the Startup Ecosystem, and focus on building their business.

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LAUNCH FUNDING

Launch Funding provides emerging, pre-revenue businesses that have a Prototype or Product (showing clear evidence of direct customer engagement validating the business model and product) with $5,000 $10,000 of equity-free funding to continue development and prepare for market entry.


LEAP FUNDING

LEVEL UP SUPPORT

Leap Funding provides promising, revenue-generating businesses with $10,000 - $30,000 of equity-free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of longterm survival.

Entrepreneurship is not one-size-fitsall, so why should the support be? With our Level-Up Support Program, we work with our Grant Recipients to carefully design and curate a support program tailored to meet their needs.

Funding is awarded to businesses that demonstrate the potential to continue to create jobs and opportunities in the Greater Cincinnati Region.

Our goal is to elevate their businesses by providing them the tools, connections, education, and resources you need when you need them.

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2021 LAUNCH FUNDING Recipients

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ARENI ROSE Areni Rose creates custom shoes made with high-quality materials tailored exactly to your measurements. Grant of $8,755 to purchase equipment and develop a online program to automate the pattern making process. Industry Apparel Production

Awarded Q4 2021

Website arenirose.com

Founders Regina Kazanjian

BAND CONNECT BAND Connect extends the high-quality in-clinic and MSK rehabilitation experience into the patient’s home through their VirtuaCare platform. Grant of $10,000 to protect the innovative technology with patents and other IP development. Industry Software / Sensors

Awarded Q1 2021

Website bandconnect.net

Founders Abby McInturf Rohit Nayak

BLAU COLLECTIONS Blau is a women’s ready-to-wear collection created for modern women seeking timeless pieces made with integrity. Grant of $10,000 to purchase production equipment.

Industry Apparel Production

Awarded Q2 2021

Website blau-collections.com

Founders Megan Blau

GALLERY AT GUMBO Gallery At Gumbo is an inclusive barbershop tolerating zero divides in race, gender, or sexual orientation. Grant of $10,000 to launch”Gumbo Talks” a bi-monthly virtual series featuring notable C Suite’s, entrepreneurs, creatives, athletes discussing matters around our region. Industry Retail / Main Street

Awarded Q1 2021

Website galleryatgumbo.com

Founders Rico Grant

GET TOGETHER AI Get Together AI is an automated text messaging software that instantly identifies the best time for everyone on a group text message chain to get together. Grant of $10,000 to hire a front-end developer to accelerate the product launch. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q2 2021

Website gettogether.ai

Founders Maddie Bell Mike Bell

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PERCEIVE NOW Perceive Now is an online platform that allows tech entrepreneurs and scientists to quickly access business and research intelligence extracted from millions of scholarly articles and patents. Grant of $10,000 to complete the development of the beta MVP. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q4 2021

Website perceivenow.ai

Founders Vinitha Upaassana Kirran Magowan

JAMAA HEALTH Jamaa Health is an online platform where patients can locate Black Physicians and Healthcare providers by location, specialty, and insurance. Grant of $10,000 to develop the second iteration of the platform. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q3 2021

Website jamaahealth.com

Founders Philip Cunningham Nate George

RE-ASSIST RE-Assist is designed to become the ultimate referral assistance management app for patients in transitions of care, case management, and vendors to offer educated choices to improve quality of life. Grant of $10,000 to assist with platform development of the MVP. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q3 2021

Website astatueofexcellenc.wixsite.com/re-assist

Founders Ashley Barrow

TETHER Tether is a resource for discovering creatives who help organizations create the imagery for magazines, social media feeds, and business advertising campaigns. Grant of $7,200 to continue developing the platform to automate job posting and matching.

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Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q1 2021

Website tethercincinnati.com

Founders Tamia Stinson


THE EPIPHANY BRAND The Epiphany Brand is creating a CPG product that aims to make towels cleaner between each use for the consumer by removing bacteria. Grant of $10,000 to complete safety and efficacy testing for the proprietary formula. Industry Personal Care

Awarded Q3 2021 Founders Tyler Collishaw

TRACKS TECHNOLOGY Tracks Technology creates technology solutions to understand animals in national zoos, local shelters, and your home. Grant of $9,999.73 to build key devices and the accompanying software that makes the business immediately marketable to current and future clients. Industry Software / Sensors

Awarded Q2 2021

Website trackstechnology.com

Founders Katie Kalafut David Freestone

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2021 LEAP FUNDING Recipients

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ACLIPSE CAMPERVANS Aclipse provides a unique travel experience by renting campervans that are thoughtfully designed and fully equipped with all of the camping essentials for adventures big and small. Grant of $30,000 to purchase a van to support the company demand. Industry Travel

Awarded Q3 2021

Website aclipsecampervans.com

Founders Emily Bruns Sofia Mimendi

BROOKES & HYDE Brookes and Hyde is a luxury accessory company focused on creating timeless and appealing products such as belts, wallets, and more. Grant of $30,000 to purchase equipment to expedite production and meet demand. Industry Apparel Production

Awarded Q3 2021

Website brookesandhyde.com

Founder

Connor Sambrookes

BROWN BEAR BAKERY Brown Bear Bakery specializes in thoughtfully created pastries and desserts featuring a variety of sweet and savory options made with local ingredients and guided by the seasons. Grant of $30,000 to expand the preparation space to increase capacity. Industry Restaurant / Food Service

Awarded Q4 2021

Website brownbearbakes.com

Founders Blair Fornshell Chaske Haverkos

CORPORATION FOR FINDLAY MARKET Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market located in Over-The-Rhine. Grant of $30,000 for the development of the Findlay Market Shopping App that allows customers to support local businesses by purchasing groceries from 30+ Findlay Market merchants. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q3 2021

Website findlaymarket.org

FINANCIAL FITNESS APP The Financial Fitness App empowers employees through personal budget and investment training - putting a CFP Professional in everyone’s pocket. Grant of $25,000 to help support the hiring of a CFP professional to meet the demand. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q4 2021

Website financialfitnessapp.com

Founder

Tom Fields

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HONEY CHILD ARTISAN POPS Honey Child Artisan Pops creates delicious, superfood Popsicles. Grant of $30,000 to support the expansion of their product line.

Industry Packaged Food

Awarded Q4 2021

Website honeychildpops.com

Founders Damien Thompson Sarah Thompson

HYDROLABS HydroLabs provides data-driven hydration guidance for endurance athletes. Grant of $27,800 to purchase equipment used in the sensor production process and hire additional staff members.

Industry Software / Sensors

Awarded Q1 2021

Website hydrolabs.com

Founders Mikel Larson Jason Heikenfeld Rob Messmer

JUST Q’IN BBQ Just Q’In BBQ is an authentic Texas style BBQ restaurant, food truck, and catering service. Grant of $30,000 to build out the food prep space in Walnut Hills.

Industry Restaurant / Food Service

Awarded Q2 2021

Website justqin.com

Founder

Matt Cuff

LUCCA LASER WORKSHOP Lucca Laser Workshop is a woman-owned machine shop and studio focusing on natural, laser-cut gifts, supplies, and decor. Grant of $22,000 to purchase equipment for a new workshop / event space where customers can create exclusive products. Industry Retail / Main Street

Awarded Q4 2021

Website luccaworkshop.com

Founder

Lindsey Schweitzer

MIXICLES Mixicles produces botanically infused ice designed to naturally flavor and chill any spirit, wine, beer, or other beverage. Grant of $10,877 to purchase a piece of equipment to semi-automate production.

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Industry Packaged Food

Awarded Q4 2021

Website mixicles.com

Founders Jen Morales Jason Stitt


NETTIE PICKLEBALL CO. - Wendy S. Lea Female Founder Grant 2021 Nettie is a pickleball brand bringing well-designed, affordable, and retro-inspired gear and apparel to the casual pickleball player. Grant of $30,000 to prepare for scale by improving Growth Marketing and Supply Chain. Industry Athletic / Sporting Goods

Awarded Q4 2021

Website playnettie.com

Founder

Catherine Baxter

PAKTLI Paktli is a puffed ancient grain snack food inspired by Mexican Alegrias. Grant of $30,000 to purchase equipment and packaging to expedite the production process and access more retail accounts. Industry Packaged Food

Awarded Q4 2021

Website paktlifoods.com

Founder

Seena Chriti

QUEEN CITY CERTIFIED Queen City Certified is a data-informed employer certification and cohort-based leadership program for intersectional workplace equity. Grant of $30,000 to develop a client-facing application that provides additional insights using data and analytics. Industry Software / IT

Awarded Q2 2021

Website queencitycertified.com

Founder

Nicole Armstrong

RUYA Ruya is changing the narrative of immigrants in America through Turkish Coffee and immersive experiences. Grant of $15,000 to expand operations to immersive 360-degree tech experiences with a focus on cultural experiences and immigrant stories. Industry Packaged Food

Awarded Q1 2021

Website ruyacoffee.com

Founder

Melis Aygodan

SMOOVE CREATIONS Smoove Creations is a shoe customization service powered by specialized shoe design software. Grant of $23,100 grant will allow Smoove Creations to purchase equipment to execute larger orders. Industry Apparel Production

Awarded Q1 2021

Website smoovecreations.com

Founder

Isaiah Kelly

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SOUL SECRETS Soul Secrets is a soul food family restaurant that serves original southern recipes dating back to 1864 - reminiscent of their grandmother’s kitchen. Grant of $30,000 to purchase cooking equipment to prepare for the launch of a storefront location. Industry Restaurant / Food Service

Awarded Q2 2021

Website soulsecretscatering.com

Founder

Candice Holloway

SWEET MAE’S COOKIE CO. Sweet Mae’s is a premium stuffed cookie company with a southern accent. Grant of $30,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to increase production to reach additional retail locations.

Industry Packaged Food

Awarded Q4 2021

Website sweetmaescookies.com

Founder

Tiffany Biddle

THE AREPA PLACE The Arepa Place is a small, fast-casual restaurant that specializes in delicious Colombian and Venezuelan dishes. Grant of $30,000 to purchase a walk-in cooler/freezer for a second location.

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Industry Restaurant / Food Service

Awarded Q4 2021

Website arepaplace.com

Founder

Isis Arrieta-Daniels


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TEAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS

STAFF

Tony Alexander, President

Kelly Bonnell, Executive Director

Dave Knox, Board Member

Brianna Dzuricsko, Program Manager

J.B. Kropp, Board Member

Abby Ober, Program Manager

Rob McDonald, Secretary

Sarah Kubala, Chief Financial Officer

George Molinsky, Board Member John Moore, Board Member Tara Noland, Vice President Joel Stone, Board Member Ryan Watson, Treasurer

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DONORS & SUPPORTERS 2021 DONORS City of Cincinnati Harold C. Schott Foundation Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneurial Service Provider Program Dave and Cindy Knox Family Fund KAO, USA The Jenny and Jim Price Empower Fund The Robert A. and Diane J. McDonald Family Foundation

Main Street Ventures is able to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs through the generosity of our many donors and supporters. They share our belief that a vibrant future for Cincinnati requires an entrepreneurial ecosystem that removes barriers to starting and growing a business. We are thankful for their support of entrepreneurship in Cincinnati.

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