Main Street Ventures program will help undergrads stay here to build good ideas

Startup accelerator Main Street Ventures is launching a program aimed at college students who have ideas for new businesses and will stay in town to develop them.

The program is called Launch It: Cincy and is a pitch competition targeted at undergrads in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Greater Dayton who have well thought-out ideas and will stay in Cincinnati to build their businesses after school is out next year.

The winners will get a package valued at more than $28,000, Main Street Ventures says.

“The unique prize package will support the winning teams to stay in Cincinnati over the summer, build relationships within the Startup Cincy ecosystem, and focus on building their business,” Main Street Ventures says.

The package will include funding for housing and living expenses; arrangements for office space; and access to the Startup Cincy network, which includes classes, legal and accounting assistance, and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs. Winners will also have the opportunity to apply for Main Street Ventures funding after validating their concepts.

The application process opens Sept. 1 and online applications are due by Oct. 8.
Finalists will be announced in mid-October, they will attend pitch training later that month. In early November, a pitch night will be held at the 1819 Innovation Hub, University of Cincinnati’s headquarters for student entrepreneurship. The winners will begin the program in late May 2022 and will agree to stay in Cincinnati through the summer to build out their business concepts.

Those interested in applying can schedule a session during MSV’s Office Hours for help in putting together an application.

More information is also available on their website.

Main Street Ventures was launched in 1999 to provide startup tech companies with the infrastructure and computing network to establish a home base in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

It has evolved since then to include the launch of The Brandery, a seed-stage startup accelerator that capitalizes on the region’s expertise in branding, marketing, and design. MSV maintains three grant programs designed to assist young companies in various phases of the startup process.
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