Angel-Backed Supply Dynamics Acquired by Exiger, Creating First End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility and Supplier Risk Management Solution

Combined solution integrates supply chain risk event monitoring and automated due diligence with advanced item-level visibility and multi-tier supply chain mapping to reduce cost, mitigate risk, and enhance compliance for sourcing, acquisition, and procurement professionals across public and private sectors.

 

CINCINNATI, OHIO – August 30, 2022 – Exiger, the leading SaaS supply chain risk management, third-party risk management and compliance company, announced today that it has acquired Supply Dynamics, one of Queen City Angels’ portfolio companies and the industry’s most sophisticated supply chain collaboration platform for tracking, tracing and choreographing the purchase and supply of subcontracted products, parts, raw materials and ingredients.

“The combination of Exiger and Supply Dynamics is a force multiplier, not only because we believe they are the preeminent player in this market, but because we are equally committed to investing in the capabilities necessary to set a new industry standard that allows for informed, high-level decision-making within a matter of minutes.” said Supply Dynamics Founder and CEO, Trevor Stansbury.  The integration of Supply Dynamics’ products will enable end-to-end supply chain visibility and holistic risk management via a single, secure, cloud-based enterprise platform.

“We are delighted to see another of our portfolio companies experience a successful exit,” said Queen City Angels founder and chair Tony Shipley.  “We are proud to have supported Supply Dynamics as they built the company to this exciting point,” added Shipley.

Queen City Angels invested in Supply Dynamics in 2017, serving as the lead investor for that round.  “In addition to an investment from QCA’s First Fund V, we had nearly 20 members make personal ‘sidecar’ investments in that round, given our positive assessment of the company’s proposition and management team during due diligence,” said John Habbert, co-manager of QCA’s family of First Funds.  Other angel groups who invested include Ohio TechAngel Funds of Columbus, Ohio, managed by Rev1 Ventures.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Trevor, his team and my colleagues on the Supply Dynamics Board,” said Ted Capossela, QCA member and representative on the Board.  “The acquisition by Exiger is an important validation of Supply Dynamics’ unique approach to ‘illuminating’ all elements of a customer’s supply chain,” added Capossela.

“Since we started QCA more than 20 years ago, we have invested over $85 million in more than 100 companies, said Shipley.  “Our investments have been leveraged with over $700 million of additional capital invested by others in our portfolio companies.  Some of our earlier investments include Assurex Health (where we led the initial investment in the company), T-Pro Solutions, ConnXus, among a group of other successful companies.”

“While we have a very strong current portfolio, we continue our work to identify additional investment opportunities,” said Scott Jacobs, QCA Executive Director.  “We continue to see strong ‘deal flow,’ both in the Cincinnati region and beyond.”

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Additional information on the Supply Dynamics acquisition can be found here:   https://www.exiger.com/perspectives/exiger-acquires-supply-dynamics/

About Queen City Angels:

Queen City Angels (QCA) is a group of more than 175 accredited investors in the Cincinnati region and beyond.  QCA members reside in 16 states and include former corporate executives, successful entrepreneurs, and many mid-career individuals passionate about working with start-ups.  QCA investor members evaluate early-stage angel investment opportunities and provide on-going mentoring to young businesses with exceptional growth potential.  QCA members typically contribute more than 20,000 hours per year in pro-bono mentoring, coaching, and guidance for entrepreneurs to improve their success and the success of angel investors.  Since 2000, QCA members have directly invested more than $85 million in over 100 portfolio companies.  The total capital invested in these companies, including QCA members’ capital, syndication partners’ capital, follow-on venture capital funds and venture debt is more than $700 million.  QCA’s First Fund VI, which was launched in 2019, currently has 30 active portfolio companies: Active Energy Systems, Alphyn Biologics, AKRU, Bert Thin Films, Cloverleaf, Content Status, ConveyMD, DART Displays, DAtAnchor, Divine Services Corp, Groupize, Guardian Medical, Healthy Roster, Include Health, Ischemia Care, Joot, Kurome Therapeutics, Medalink Systems, Peerro, Plankk, Qualifi, Ready Set Surgical, Resonado, Sense Neuro, ShareThis, Standard Bariatrics, SureImpact, 3 Bar Biologics and TPA Stream.  For more information, visit www.qca.com.

About Supply Dynamics:

Supply Dynamics provides Fortune 500 manufacturers with real-time visibility and control over the material requirements of their extended supply chain. Its innovative supply chain analytics solutions enable customers to reduce the cost of raw materials and component parts that go into their products, characterize and quantify risks, anticipate disruptions before they happen, enhance collaboration with supply chain stakeholders, and ensure that the timely purchase and supply of material-inputs is NEVER the reason parts are late to an end-use customer or in-field requirement. Supply Dynamics currently serves heavily regulated, global manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, automotive, aerospace and defense, power generation, chemical, plastics, and electronics industries. It also works with DOD Program Offices and a variety of US Government agencies, including the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency.

Supply Dynamics’ product, SDX, is a highly secure, multi-tier supply chain collaboration platform, designed for complex, distributed manufacturing supply chains. It’s award winning (web-based) multi-enterprise platform, SDX, provides commercial and DOD customers with real-time visibility and control over the “material-input” requirements (metals, fasteners, plastics, electronics, etc.) that go into their products, equipment, or weapons systems – facilitating real-time monitoring and control of Tier 1-Tier N suppliers and item level bills of material. To learn more, visitsupplydynamics.com.

About Exiger:

Exiger is revolutionizing the way corporations, government agencies and banks manage risk and compliance through its combination of technology-enabled and SaaS solutions. In recognition of the growing volume and complexity of data and regulation, Exiger is committed to creating a more sustainable risk and compliance environment through its holistic and innovative approach to problem solving. Exiger’s mission to make the world a safer place to do business drives its award-winning AI technology platform built to anticipate the market’s most pressing needs related to evolving ESG, cyber, financial crime, third-party and supply chain risk. Exiger has won 30+ AI, RegTech and Supply Chain partner awards. Learn more at Exiger.com and follow Exiger on LinkedIn

Angel Groups Collaborate to Support Medical Device Portfolio Company ’ s $300 Million Exit

CINCINNATI, OHIO (PRWEB) AUGUST 26, 2022

The Board of Standard Bariatrics announced that it has entered in a definitive agreement with Teleflex Incorporated, a leading global provider of medical technologies, under which Teleflex will acquire Standard Bariatrics, a Queen City Angels portfolio company, upon the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, for an upfront cash payment of $170 million at closing, with additional consideration of up to $130 million payable upon the achievement of certain commercial milestones.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Founder Dr. Jonathan Thompson and CEO Matt Sokany for all of their work to get Standard Bariatrics to this milestone,” said Queen City Angels founder and chair Tony Shipley. “We are delighted to have supported Standard Bariatrics along their journey and believe the commercial potential for their important surgical offerings are enhanced by this transaction,” added Shipley.

Queen City Angels was an initial investor in Standard Bariatrics in 2016. “Standard Bariatrics represents one of the largest investments in a single portfolio company in our 22-year history,” said John Habbert, co-manager of QCA First Funds. “We’ve invested in six follow-on rounds to help fuel the company’s progress. This underscores our confidence in the incredible work of Mr. Sokany and Dr. Thompson, and
their entire team.”

In addition to Queen City Angels, other angel groups that invested are North Coast Ventures, Ariel Savannah Angel Partners, Life Science Angels, and Accelerant Fund. Other investors include JobsOhio, CincyTech, RC Capital, US Venture Partners, Hatteras Venture Partners, Rivervest and Emergent Medical Partners.

Standard Bariatrics is another successful exit for a QCA portfolio company. “Since we started QCA more than 20 years ago, we have invested over $85 million in more than 100 companies, said Shipley. “Our investments have been leveraged with over $700 million of additional capital invested by others in our portfolio companies. Some of our earlier investments include Assurex Health (where we led the initial investment in the company), T-Pro Solutions, ConnXus, among a group of other successful companies.”

“While we have a very strong current portfolio, we continue our work to identify additional investment opportunities,” said Scott Jacobs, QCA Executive Director. “We continue to see strong ‘deal flow,’ both in the Cincinnati region and beyond.”

Additional information on the Standard Bariatrics transaction can be found here.

Queen City Angels Announces Third Frontier Award

Fund VI is the largest in the Queen City Angels’ history and includes $3.5 million in matching funds from the Ohio Third Frontier program.

CINCINNATI – March 11, 2021 – Queen City Angels today announced additional capital secured from the Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Program and the Ohio launch of its $15 million QCA First Fund VI (FFVI), the sixth in a family of funds and the largest fund in the group’s history. FFVI includes more than $10 million in private funds from QCA members and $3.5 million matched funds from the Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Program. The Ohio Third Frontier Commission approved $70.5M in non-recourse loans to be awarded to 14 Ohio-based funds. QCA was the first angel group recipient and among the first overall recipients of Third Frontier funds dating back to 2003. Tony Shipley, founder of QCA, and John Habbert, director of QCA, will manage FFVI.

QCA’s Startup College® Trained 29 Startups at the 19th Annual Boot Camp

More than 100 entrepreneurs, angel investors and business experts gathered At Interact for Health June 4-5 to become the next wave of entrepreneurs and start-up savants at the 19th Annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp. The hands-on workshop started in 2001 has now trained over 643 entrepreneurs and provides an opportunity for anyone thinking about a start-up, small business owners, founders and start-up teams to learn from angel investors and experts about how to navigate the entrepreneurial waters.

 

Among the topics on the agenda are intellectual property, strategic marketing, contracts, social media, pitching angels and financials. The presentations included educational sessions, panel discussions and one-on-three (or 4!) meetings with local angels and other mentors from our local community.

 

Included on the agenda is Thomas Humphrey, partner at Wood Herron & Evans, who has now presented at every single Entrepreneur Boot Camp, his 19th session!

 

“The Boot Camp is an amazing opportunity to connect those with a start-up vision with the knowledge, resources and motivation they need to jumpstart or continue to build their dream,” said Humphrey. “I have had the great opportunity to participate in the Boot Camp since its inception, and every year I walk away inspired by individual entrepreneurs and the start-up community that is thriving in Cincinnati. This an event like no other, and it continues to grow because of the cooperation from those that want to learn how to be successful and those with the desire to share their success.”

 

Additional speakers will include:

  • Tony Shipley, founder and chairman of QCA
  • Marvin Abrinica, founder of Thrivera
  • Michael Hurley, partner at Calfee Halter
  • Mary Newman, partner at Dinsmore & Shohl
  • Scott Mindrum, QCA member, founder and CEO of CRäKN
  • Sally Kay, consultant and 36-year veteran of The Dow Chemical Company and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

 

The Boot Camp will be held again next year on June 2-3 at Interact for Health. More information about the event can be found here: https://www.qcabootcamp.com/. Tickets are still available at online, you can register here: https://tinyurl.com/yys8avap

 

The event is sponsored by Startup College®, a registered trademark of the QCA, as well as marquee sponsor, HCDC Business Center; and supporting sponsor, KeyBank.

Miami U: Fueling the Entrepreneurial Machine

There’s a great deal of entrepreneurial buzz happening on the campus of Miami University. The Miami Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies is an internationally recognized program providing immersive, real-world experiences. The program has been ranked among the “Top 10 Undergraduate Public Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies” in the nation for 10 years in a row by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review®.

The program is led in part by Mark Lacker, John W. Altman Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at Miami, helps students understand that they don’t have to be middle aged to be entrepreneurs, and there really is no better time than the present.

“The thesis of the program is that you learn how to start a business by doing it. Our program is practice based, not theory,” said Lacker. “Entrepreneurship requires creativity, and social and technical skills, and while many students may have those attributes, they still need a place to practice. That’s where Miami comes in, as well as organizations such as QCA.”

QCA and its members, several of which are alums of the university, are regulars on campus, helping to strengthen the programs commitment to immersive experiences.  

 

“QCA is one of the bellwethers in the region in terms of helping organizations start and scale,” said Lacker. “Partnering with QCA members is natural for us because of our practice-based curriculum that puts students in the field.”

It’s not uncommon for QCA members Scott Miller, Scott Avera, Kevin Martin, among others to be on campus judging business plan competitions, speaking on panels or talking to students about how to be entrepreneurs.

Lacker added, “We are teaching students how to be entrepreneurs, and who better to partner with us on that effort than angel investors who have built successful businesses, are using their own money to invest in other companies, and are ready and willing to share their experiences?”

Lacker values the growing entrepreneurial community in Cincinnati, and the understanding from the players in the ecosystem that everything starts with education, with programs such as Morning Mentoring, the Entrepreneurial Boot Camp and eKickStart.

“I was in HCBC 15 years ago, and one of the greatest things about being in that building was that if I didn’t know something, I could get help from someone in the same hallway. We have a really unique support system in the region, from the relationships between big companies and startups, to the handful of accelerators and the second largest angel network in the country. It’s why our entrepreneur students can be successful in Cincinnati.”

Strategic Partnership to T-Pro Solutions Leading to Acquisition

Earlier this year, T-Pro Solutions, a provider of trade promotion optimization solutions, was acquired by Blacksmith Applications out of Lawrence, Ma. QCA was an early investor in the Columbus, Ohio-based company, participating in two rounds of funding with the first closing in the summer of 2015. What made the investment unique is the collaborative nature of the funding, which included Rev1 Ventures and the Ohio Tech Angel Fund, in addition to QCA.

Terry Ziegler, CEO of T-Pro Solutions, valued the willingness of QCA and the other groups to work together to get the deal done. The Angel groups shared due diligence, but for QCA, which has a membership base full of former consumer packaged good experience, Ziegler sensed the group wanted a partnership with the young company.

“QCA did a significant amount of business due diligence, and they spent time looking under the covers, reviewing our documentation, and our team could tell they wanted to be partners, and not simply passive investors,” said Ziegler.

From the lengthy due diligence review, Ziegler selected two members of QCA to be part of the company’s board, one as a member, the other as an observer.

“Because Alan Roth’s and Terry Wright’s unique skillset and knowledge, one from P&G and 8451, the other with startup experience, they understood what it takes to acquire a customer and provided guidance around our sales process that really benefited us,” added Ziegler. “One of Terry’s areas was go-to-market strategy and he was a great sounding board for how to improve our process and proposals.”

After hitting certain milestones and succeeding in acquiring customers, the company wanted to scale the business. Roth took the lead, bringing in a consultant to assist T-Pro leadership take the next steps, which became a pivotal moment in the company’s history.

“We always asked the board for help, but Alan insisted that we engage him and QCA even more,” said Ziegler. “Alan brought in a consultant at the right time, helping us to define an incredible mission, vision and values, and from that, we continued to grow until our exit earlier this year. This was just one more thing that came from his strategic leadership.”

When asked what he would say to an entrepreneur looking to work with QCA, Ziegler said, “it’s important that you spend time with the people, find out who are the ones that want to get involved. Your early investors will likely spend a lot of time with you, and if you don’t use their skills and experience, it’s a waste. They will go to war with you. In the end, money is a commodity, so it should always be about the people.”

QCA Wants to Jumpstart your Startup at Annual Bootcamp

More than 100 entrepreneurs, angel investors and business experts are gathering in Cincinnati in June to help train the next wave of entrepreneurs and start-up savants at the 19th Annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp. The hands-on workshop started in 2001 has trained over 600 entrepreneurs and provides an opportunity for anyone thinking about a start-up, small business owners, founders and start-up teams to learn from angel investors and experts about how to navigate the entrepreneurial waters.

Among the topics on the agenda are intellectual property, strategic marketing, contracts, social media, pitching angels and financials. The presentations include educational sessions, panel discussions and one-on-one or one-on-three meetings with local angels.

Included on the agenda is Thomas Humphrey, partner at Wood Herron & Evans, who will be presenting for the 19th time at the Boot Camp.

“The Boot Camp is an amazing opportunity to connect those with a start-up vision with the knowledge, resources and motivation they need to jumpstart or continue to build their dream,” said Humphrey. “I have had the great opportunity to participate in the Boot Camp since its inception, and every year I walk away inspired by individual entrepreneurs and the start-up community that is thriving in Cincinnati. This an event like no other, and it continues to grow because of the cooperation from those that want to learn how to be successful and those with the desire to share their success.”

Additional speakers will include:

  • Tony Shipley, founder and chairman of QCA
  • Marvin Abrinica, founder of Thrivera
  • Michael Hurley, partner at Calfee Halter
  • Mary Newman, partner at Dinsmore & Shohl
  • Scott Mindrum, QCA member, founder and CEO of CRäKN
  • Sally Kay, consultant and 36-year veteran of The Dow Chemical Company and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

The Boot Camp is on June 4-5 at Interact for Health. More information about the event can be found here: https://www.qcabootcamp.com/. Tickets are still available at online, you can register here: https://tinyurl.com/yys8avap

The event is sponsored by Startup College®, a registered trademark of the QCA, as well as marquee sponsor, HCDC Business Center; and supporting sponsor, KeyBank.

Dipping Her Toes into Angel Investing

In 2017, QCA started the Ascent program as a lower-risk way of introducing angel investing to a broader group of prospective investors. Since the beginning, the program has attracted nearly 30 members, 10 of which are women, bringing the total membership of QCA to 91.

Among the first members to join Ascent was Kathleen Jividen, who spent 36 years with P&G as a director working with chemistry-based technology and advanced engineered materials.

“I’ve always been interested in how new technologies and innovations come to the market,” said Jividen. “Before I retired, I had a special assignment that allowed me to consult with technical teams, coaching them on how to translate their technical innovation into a commercial proposition.

After she retired from P&G, she continued to coach and mentor young technologists. And after attending a couple QCA meetings, Jividen joined Ascent, bringing with her a unique skillset that complemented QCA’s members.

“The members of QCA have a strong business background, many owned companies, and many have a strong understanding of the financial aspect of running businesses,” said Jividen. “Not many have the technical background that I have, so I was able to come in and fulfill a unique role.”

She added, “QCA values my experience and knowledge in terms of evaluating potential start-ups with innovative technology. They were excited to discover my background and be a contributor to due diligence processes.”

For people interested in learning about angel investing, Jividen highly recommends the Ascent program, calling it “an easy way to get involved without a lot of commitment time and money.”

Ascent offers a great opportunity for people who are interested in investing to meet great people and learn a lot, even if they don’t want to play a major role. For those that want to spend a lot of time, the opportunities are there, but for those that appreciate the flexibility of participating in occasional meetings while learning about new opportunities to connect with people who are creating amazing things, the program is ideal for that too.

“Ascent was a great way for me to put my toes in the investing waters without the major time and financial commitment,” said Jividen. “The opportunity to help someone who has invented something cool but doesn’t understand how to get involved in the start-up community; or the opportunity to seek out inventions and inventors and get them into the community is interesting to me, and I’m sure to a lot of prospective angel investors. With the program, QCA is extending an invitation to come be a part of it.”

Each Ascent member makes a one-time capital commitment of $25,000, which is invested as an LLC into the QCA First Fund. As a member of Ascent, investors receive custom training and can participate on screening and due diligence teams and serving as mentors to local entrepreneurs.

Cladwell Helping Thousands Get Dressed Every Day

Retailers are still struggling to understand consumers. While they know what the consumer bought last time, they don’t know what they are going to buy next. Cladwell, which was founded in Cincinnati in 2013, is a company built on the human concern of fashion, based on what you wore last, what will you buy next.

“We help people get dressed every day,” said Blake Smith, co-founder of Cladwell.

While Smith doesn’t mean that literally, Cladwell’s free fashion app has helped more than 250,000 people the past 30 days decide what to wear based on the app’s recommendations.

He added, “People are using our app to change what they wear and interact with other people. The depth of influence we are having on what people wear is rapidly increasing.”

In January, Cladwell’s app was showcased alongside two competitor apps on Good Morning America, coming away as the strongest, particularly when it comes to being social with your closet.

“There is a social aspect to our app that allows our users to connect with friends and virtually explore the closets of Cladwell users from around the world,” said Smith. “While we are connecting people through technology, we are first and foremost serving human beings, so the experience with our brand is critical to building and maintaining our viral growth.”

Today Cladwell is growing virally with the number one closet management app in the industry, and expanding its partnerships with retailers, including four in the first quarter of 2019.

Regarding the company’s roots in Cincinnati, Smith commented, “The entire ecosystem is encouraging and supportive for the entrepreneurial community with people truly focused on building valuable companies. It’s a cool time with some high-quality growth and exits coming out of Cincinnati.

Q&A with Michael Hurley from Calfee, Halter & Griswold

Calfee, Halter & Griswold (Calfee) is full-service, corporate law firm with three offices in Ohio and one in Washington D.C. with more than 115 years of experience providing legal counsel. The Cincinnati office opened in 2011 and serves both publicly-held clients and private, family-owned businesses, as well as nonprofits and individuals across the region. Calfee is active in the area’s entrepreneurial community and is a sponsor of QCA. Recently, The Halo Effect caught up with Michael Hurley, partner at Calfee with a focus on helping startups access capital through angel and venture-funding.

T.H.E.: What made Calfee want to partner with QCA?

Hurley: QCA is the other side of the coin for what we do at Calfee. They are a great supplement to the legal advice that we provide to entrepreneurs. We work together symbiotically to prepare these people as best we can to have a successful startup experience. While we overlap minimally, QCA provides insight into other areas like accounting, business evaluation modeling, and what’s important to investors on the economic side to show how the capital they provide is being deployed. It is areas like these that are not in my wheelhouse that QCA brings to the table. In addition to that, QCA is a well-regarded brand, very involved in the community, and they do a lot to push not just their own agenda, but the agenda of the larger startup community. With their track record and history of success, it’s our honor that they want us to be part of growing that ecosystem.

T.H.E.: Why is it important for Calfee to be involved in the Cincinnati startup community?

Hurley: We’ve only been in Cincinnati since 2011. Specific to this office, we like to think we have a lot of similarities with some of our entrepreneurial clients. We are a new entrant into the market, delivering disruptive services in certain ways that are beneficial to making sure the legal community is on top of its own game in supporting the business community. Specific to Calfee’s role and how we intertwine with the entrepreneurial community, the people and businesses that comprise the community are what ensures the vitality of the larger business community. Without them, the more mature business community won’t exist for long. They are the necessary pipeline of new market entrants, new ideas, and people that is the lifeblood of the system. We take a long-term approach in many things, especially with our clients. Looking down the road, my biggest point of pride would be to say that I helped someone start a business in 2019, and they are still a Calfee client generating significant revenue, employing hundreds of people in the Cincinnati community and staying involved in doing great things for the region.

T.H.E. Tell us about your Instructional Toolkit

Hurley: The startup toolkit is a labor of love that has been developed by myself and my colleagues during the last several years. At Calfee, we create the structure that helps entrepreneurs institute the processes that help them achieve business objectives. The toolkit covers potential legal structures of entities, funding rounds, equity and debt investments, etc. It fleshes out discussions on a high-level regarding what entrepreneurs need to do to structure their internal and external legal relationships and helps them understand the correct equity/governance documents. There are 10-15 types of relationships that as an entrepreneur you want to make sure you structure correctly from the outset, and the toolkit makes sure they develop all of them the right way.

T.H.E.: Describe your team at Calfee

Hurley: Our Cincinnati office includes attorneys experienced in labor and employment, privacy and data security, intellectual property, corporate and securities transactions and business disputes. This overlays nicely with the immediate needs of startups. In addition to the people on the ground here, we have approximately 160 attorneys firm-wide that provide all other support that we need that may be outside the sweet spot of our Cincinnati staff. We have an overlay of team members that speaks to the needs of entrepreneurs and startups, and we consciously built our team around the concepts and needs of such clients.

T.H.E.: What would you say makes Calfee stand out from other firms?

Hurley: The willingness to take time to invest in our clients. To understand what they are trying to achieve and then working with them, with a long-term approach, to address those needs. Regarding startups, a lot of it is about triage. We are a cost center to them. We impact their runway to get to market and grow. We are very cognizant that every dollar they spend on legal is a dollar they can’t spend on bringing a product or service to market. We’ll take the time to create a solution that works for them rather than throwing form docs at them for a set fee without any kind of personalization because we are not trying to lose money on the front end or for any other reason that you don’t provide the full level of service at the outset. There is one thing I try to do with every client that has an idea for a startup: I tell them to put the legal questions aside, and before we do anything, talk to me as if I were a potential customer or a potential investor. Tell me what you are trying to achieve, how you are satisfying a market need and what you are going to do to develop and deliver on that proposition. Through that mechanism, I can usually tease out a lot of the questions and answers that I need to personalize the initial corporate governance and other documents that they will need.

T.H.E.:  Why do you think Cincinnati is the place to start a business?

Hurley: I wrote my college thesis on the city. I love my hometown. It’s a fascinating story. We grew up as a ramshackle river town and have always historically punched above our weight in terms of the business community. We still have a lot of solid Fortune 500 companies, and we have great ecosystem in general to foster people who want to be successful. An integral part of that is not just legal and business support but having a place to do things when you are not in the office. The types of amenities this city offers for its size are unparalleled. There are a lot of ways that this city can be attractive to someone who wants to start a business. More important, when you are living on a shoestring budget as a startup, the cost of living in Cincinnati is probably a lot more attractive to someone choosing between groceries and paying a vendor than the Bay Area. Accessibility to great legal services, large companies that can provide guidance and support, professionals that have come out of them – it’s a perfect mixture.

T.H.E.: What can the area do to improve and what are we doing right?

Hurley: What I think we can do to improve is getting our message out to potential transplants to come and start their businesses in our city. We are starting to see the genesis of that and starting to see Cincinnati creeping up on lists of places to live and run a business. I think we need to continue to deliver that message outside of our market. Hopefully that will create a groundswell movement where we have people coming in from outside the market, maybe from more mature startup markets, who can then inject all their knowledge and experience from previous lives.

As far as what is unique or beneficial to the city, especially in the last 10 years, is the spread of cultural acceptance around startups. I see and feel more people willing to forego the job with benefits at a large corporation to strike out on their own and make it. I think that is a direct result of the support provided to date. FC Cincinnati didn’t exist a few years ago. A few local business people decided they had this dream, and they wanted to make it work. FC played their first MLS home game recently. They are the perfectly allegory for what I would like to see in the startup community. We need to do everything that we can to get into the major league for supporting our entrepreneurs.