By Hunter Hammonds, Impulcity
Cincinnati isn’t exactly across the country: It’s a mere hour and a half drive north, straight up Interstate-71. But when it comes to the tech and startup environment, it feels like another world.
Now, I’m not going to get into a debate of which city is better, because let me first and foremost say, I love Louisville. I’m a Louisvillian through and through.
Cincinnati has done a phenomenal job at growing and fostering a powerful startup community.
This is largely in part to The Brandery.
When you’re ranked in the top 10 of all accelerators, it’s pretty easy to bring in talent. But The Brandery has dug deep into the community and built a strong support system around these startups. Hell, we even receive discounts at a large handful of local restaurants, free tickets to boxes for Reds games and Bengals games. It’s pretty cool.
I may be a bit biased, but if I can think of one thing that I believe would be a catalyst for improving the startup ecosystem in Louisville, it’s an accelerator. Let’s be honest, it’s not hard to put one together, accelerators have been popping up all over the country.
I believe from idea to inception, The Brandery was formed and had its first class in a matter of three to four months. What is difficult however, is assembling a great pool of mentors to help these startups really succeed.
Luckily, The Brandery had a secret weapon – co-founder Dave Knox is probably one of the most widely connected people I know and has assembled an amazing pool of mentors. Certainly Louisville has its own people like Dave Knox?
For months now, I’ve heard talk of Louisville starting an accelerator, and I’m sure it’s been talked about for much longer than that.
Why the hell hasn’t it happened yet?
Startup Weekend was an amazing look into the hidden pool of talent we have in Louisville.
These people have taken a great leap towards starting a business in just 3 days! Granted, not all of them will be great businesses, but they took the first steps. Random people banded together in the efforts to build something.
Imagine if we had an accelerator offering these people the seed money to make a good idea a reality. Think of the jobs we would add in Louisville.
Tech is the future and Louisville needs more of it.
Entrepreneurs should be celebrated and treated like rock stars. These people are taking enormous risks to build something that can impact change. If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is. Focus the community around celebrating these brave visionaries.
I want to add that Insider Louisville has been doing a tremendous job giving coverage to some of these companies, us included.
Thanks to Adam Fish and Forge for working so hard to bring people together, Tendai Charasika, Bobby Ferreri and all of GLI for supporting all of us crazy entrepreneurs and all of the great angels we have around town.
About Hunter Hammonds: Hunter Hammonds and Austin Cameron are entrepreneurs who’ve founded Impulcity. With Impulcity, Hammonds and Cameron created a smartphone application designed to make an evening out a seamless event, from buying tickets to hooking up with friends to sharing iPhone photos of My Morning Jacket at Forecastle Festival. They’ve spent the summer at The Brandery.