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Quality preschool key to lifelong success

Studies show that two years in a quality preschool can have an enormous impact on a child’s life trajectory — more than interventions at any other stage — but few families can afford it. Preschool Promise is a program aimed at closing that gap, and a new pilot program shows how universal access to quality preschool can work.

Mayor Cranley: A Soapdish progress report

Soapdish columnist Casey Coston turns a critical eye on Cincinnnati Mayor John Cranley's first 100 days in office and urges the new administration to do better when it comes to the streetcar, parking and downtown development.

For startups, money changes everything

Making Cincinnati a place where entrepreneurial dreams are realized is the goal of seed-stage funders like CincyTech, the Brandery and Cintrifuse when they match startups with crucial investment dollars. Financial backing and venture capital hookups from these organizations helped local startup Ahalogy become a wildly successful Pinterest marketing agency.

Accelerators vs. Incubators: Cincinnati's red hot startup scene

As Cincinnati grows into one of the nation’s premier technology startup hubs, accelerators and incubators have become an important part of the business landscape. But what’s the difference, who are the key players, and how do they serve the business community?

Harvard Business School methodology to hit local elementary classrooms

With $1.1 million this year from Ohio’s Straight A Fund, Cincinnati Public Schools and Milford Exempted Village School District are piloting new case-based learning curricula in which students apply math, science and technology skills to help solve real world, data-driven problems for local companies.

Cincinnati to host forum on the future of urban life

Future Cities; Livable Futures is a free symposium taking place at the Contemporary Arts Center in November. The event will bring world-renowned visionaries to Cincinnati to provoke critical thinking about the future of urban development within an accessible, public forum.

Jillian Zatta of Lisnr finds community and pride in Cincinnati

Jillian Zatta left a job in finance in New York City to take a chance on working for a Cincinnati-based startup. Now she can't imagine living or working anywhere else.

D2 Cincinnati event takes consumer-focused marketing to the next level

This week's D2 conference is the first to focus on customer centricity—putting an organization’s customers at the center of business and marketing decisions.

Entrepreneurial UC grads roll out first batches of their unique products

Whether designing guitars or sustainable sweaters, two local up-and-coming entrepreneurs have been using their passions to inspire unique and functional products.

Demand Better: Making government more open and accountable

As we wrap up the encore of our four-part Demand Better series in time for election day, we take a look at OpenDataCincy, a new initiative that's opening up information to allow for innovation and collaboration.

Demand Better: Building healthy, vibrant neighborhoods

As we continue to reprise our four-part Demand Better series, we take a look at innovations and ideas that empower and support neighbors here and around the country—and offer some key demands for Cincinnati's future as election day approaches.

Demand Better: Creating a place where entrepreneurs can thrive

As election day approaches, we're reprising our four-part Demand Better series in an effort to spark conversations and provoke thought about how we can demand more from our city's leaders. This week, we examine Cincinnati's entrepreneurial ecosystem.



Betting on Bold Fusion

Do nice guys finish first? The ninth Bold Fusion explores the possibilities of doing well by doing good, complete with a keynote by New York Times bestselling author and Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant.

Fine fellows: Chelsea Koglmeier charts her own path

Chelsea Koglmeier never let other people's expectations deter her drive to learn, live and grow. The Mariemont native traveled the globe before returning to her hometown to start a career she never planned, in a company that barely existed. 

Fine fellows: Roanne Lee creates 'awesome' life

West Coast native Roanne Lee moved to Cincinnati last year to learn all she could about startups and entrepreneurship. She immediately set about doing her part to make the city a more inclusive, progressive and awesome place to live.

Fine Fellows: VFA first-class alum, Dan Bloom

Last year, Dan Bloom moved from the East Coast to Cincinnati to become a Venture for America Fellow. Now he has a full-time gig of his own and plans to soon launch his own startup, a new sandwich shop in OTR.

New brew in town: Party Source expansion taps into region's passion for beer

From growlers of fresh beer made to last for a month to Skype tasting sessions with the nation's top brewers, the new Party Source Campus is custom designed to offer expansive exposure to American artisanal spirits.

Kenton Co. students immersed in innovation, tech

A new generation of digital natives is learning through innovation and high-tech training in Kenton County academy programs. 

Rise of the rest: Creativity loves company

Startups aren't just for Silicon Valley anymore. As entrepreneurs find expected pleasures—and great quality of life—in cities like Cincinnati, a new kind of energy is building. Read about the rise of our startup sister cities, from Boston to Denver.

My Soapbox: Jason Langdon, Cincinnati Mini-Maker Faire

Louisville had a fire-breathing pony. New York had 3-D printers and makerbots galore. Cincinnati Maker Faire Founder Jason Langdon looks forward to seeing what the local science, DIY and art community has to offer in the city's first all-ages, all-genres celebration of maker culture this October in Washington Park.

Shades of Grayscale: historic brewery revives to showcase local culture, spirits

On the site where the first brewery in Over-the-Rhine began operating in 1829, a new generation of artisans is redefining the boundaries of the historic neighborhood’s 21st century renaissance.

Modern Makers: The Big Dinner with Chef Frances Kroner of Feast

Soapbox's Scott Beseler shares a visual feast of the latest Modern Makers event, a celebration of food and art at the Niehoff Urban Design Studio in Uptown. Music by Maria Carrelli.

From Guatemala with love: Deeper Roots partners with growers for richer roasts

What do a dairy barn in Mt. Healthy and this year's TED conference have in common? A shared love of top-quality coffee from a Guatemalan village that locals know thanks to relationships nurtured with Deeper Roots, a local roasting company and coffee consultancy. 

My Soapbox: Janelle Hopper, Contemporary Arts Center

Janelle Hopper, public programs manager at the Contemporary Arts Center, takes a holistic approach to connecting the community with art. In her three years on the job, she's showcased eclectic guests, from the Smithsonian's new media strategist to Sigur Ros. She shares her goals, her insights and her passions with Soapbox.

From cradle to career, creating new cycles of success

Whether she is downtown in the offices of Strive or coaching track at Clark Montessori, Nia Williams understands the power of a challenging, encouraging mentor. Without hers, she says, she wouldn't be where she is today.

On OFFF: Designers that will blow you away

Even if you didn't get a chance to attend the sold-out OFFF event hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center, you can still experience the mind-blowing designers' work from the comfort of your computer. Slideshow by Soapbox's own mind-blowing photographer, Scott Beseler.

My Soapbox: Sandra E. Spataro, NKU

With degrees from Stanford and Berkeley, Sandra Spataro brings experience from Silicon Valley and teaching stints at Yale and Cornell to her students at Northern Kentucky University. She chose to work at NKU because it offered not only a diverse student population, but a chance to focus on what she calls "up-close-and-personal" teaching.

Cincinnati's newest dream team: The faces of Cintrifuse

The Cintrifuse venture capital team is already working on supporting the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Now, it's time to see how The Rainmaker, The Money Man, The Go Getter, The Teacher, The Connector, The Youngster and The Magician Behind the Curtain plan to get down to business.

School-based Health Centers offer innovative approach to educational barriers

The arithmetic is pretty simple. Medical care plus students equals a boost in attendance and graduates. That's why Cincinnati Public Schools’ school-based health center nurses offer preventive and follow-up healthcare, as well as old-fashioned TLC, to a growing number of students.

My Soapbox: Jodi Schmidtgoesling, Possible

Cincinnati native Jodi Schmidtgoesling takes on the world's top companies in her new role as branding giant Possible's chief client officer. The 35-year-old business leader also works to develop the culture of Possible as a fun, innovative and creative place to work. She talks with Soapbox about Cincinnati as a brand hub and finding inspiration in Disney characters.

SpringBoard grads infuse city with creative startup energy

Laura Chenault took an abandoned garage on Spring Grove Avenue and transformed it into a space for everything from filming indie documentaries and music videos to hosting cooking classes, dinner parties and dance parties, too. But she didn’t do it alone.

City's health care ecosystem teems with entrepreneurship, innovation

When serial entrepreneur Mike Hooven founded the medical device startup AtriCure in 2000, Cincinnati was a swerve of the wheel for venture capitalists located on the coasts. But today, the city joins Boston and Minneapolis in the elite top three U.S. cities for developing medical devices.

The Kitchen Factory cooks up collaborative business model

The Kitchen Factory in Northside has been serving up pizza slices since July 1. But it's no ordinary pie shop. Its owner, Melissa Cox Howard, has come up with an entrepreneur-friendly business plan that you won’t find anywhere else in Cincinnati.  

$29.5M grant, neighbor-focused plans boost Avondale housing revitalization efforts

What happens when the city, neighborhood advocates and a national redevelopment firm collaborate to transform outdated and underutilized public housing in Avondale? They snag a $29.5M federal grant aimed at holistic renewal.

Innov8 for Health breeds success by forcing failure

When it comes to the fast-evolving world of health care, Cincinnati's startup community is attracting fans from the White House on down, in part by focusing on fast failures as well as lasting ideas.

Ex-P&Gers find welcome in local start-up scene

A growing number of ex-P&Gers are branching out from the Ivory Towers and starting their own businesses, using the training and experience they gained at the brand-creating giant while pursuing their own entrepreneurial dreams.

For Good Special: Emanuel's transformation

This week, we bring you a special, in-depth look at the recent sale of the Emanuel Center in Over-the-Rhine, a nonprofit organization that we've covered before in Soapbox.

The New Revolutionaries: Hatching ideas with The Bird Haus

Match passionate locals, creative entreprenuers and a petite force of nature known as Cat Amaro and you get The Bird Haus, a migratory classroom where learning is fun, fascinating and, yes, cheap.

Local shops, shoppers embrace CoSign's first culmination

A parade of cherry-pickers greeted Northside business owners and shoppers last Friday at the unveiling of the city's first CoSign Project. Artisan-crafted signs took the shape of everything from intricately carved tumbleweeds to airplanes to jackalopes in this celebration of signage, small businesses and collaboration. Soapbox's Scott Beseler takes a tour.

Epipheo embraces stories, innovation while defying easy description

Cross the quirkiness of a Silicon Valley start-up with the genuine affection of a Midwestern community and you begin to grasp the creative forces that drive Epipheo. With an office in Portland, Oregon, and headquarters in Longworth Hall, the convention-defying company's core values—"truth, story, love"—make it as appealing to a growing number of employees as it is to high-powered clients like Google, Facebook and MTV.

'Contained' takes art into the streets of OTR

'Contained,' an exhibit of art presented in shipping containers in Over-the-Rhine, takes art into the streets, as the Requiem Project extends its reach beyond the Emery Theatre. Soapbox's master photographer Scott Beseler offers a tour.

My Soapbox: Craig Vogel, University of Cincinnati

What do machines that make frozen margaritas, OXO Good Grips and the entrepreneurs on Main Street have in common? According to UC's design guru Craig Vogel, two very important things:  Opportunity and innovation. Vogel shares his thoughts on Cincinnati and what companies need to do to “get it right.”
 

Psst: Cincinnati's greener than you think

From a nationally recognized "poop processor" to a net-zero energy corporate headquarters, Cincinnati exemplifies "green" leadership to other cities and states. So why aren't more locals talking about it? Soapbox offers four conversation starters.

The New Revolutionaries: Smarter than a Goldfish

What do shoe-making workshops, recycled sketch paper and Portolets have in common? They're all part of Main Street entrepreneur Alisha Budkie's sustainable world, one the UC design alum is helping build with support from longtime neighbors and a growing army of her peers in Over-the-Rhine.

My Soapbox: Jay Finch, Socstock

Cleveland native Jay Finch, 26, moved to Cincinnati to join The Brandery's 2012 class. The Villanova honors grad studied economics at Cambridge and Harvard before Goldman Sachs snagged him post-graduation. He gave all that up to start his "market ministry," Socstock.

At Woodstone Creek, urban bourbon's the thing

Deep in the heart of Evanston, Woodstone Creek, a former factory-turned-winery, houses a meadery and port house. It is also the first licensed microdistillery in Ohio. For master distiller Don Outterson, though, it all comes back to bourbon.

Filmmaking in Cincinnati: A Wide Angle

Local filmmakers don't wait for George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to come to town to practice their craft. From skateboarding movies to one-woman-show YouTube channels to high-end commercial productions, Cincinnati's film scene offers space, and support, for aspiring artists to grow.

On a roll: Euro Cargo bikes mix art, sustainability

What happens when a European designer lands in Cincinnati to create a new breed of Cargo Bike? Farmers, and artists, take note.

The New Revolutionaries: All Night Party mixes business, pleasure

From specialty pizzas to "HearPlugs," the musicians of The All Night Party know lots more than creative music promotion. With their help, local bands navigate the business of music in fresh, innovative ways.

VFA Fellows excited to move to Cincinnati

They are young, high-powered, high-achieving, highly skilled professionals with their sights set on the same thing: success in Cincinnati, start-up style. Read where they are working — and why.

What The New York Times forgot: Our innovative parks

With the Smale Riverfront Park open and Washington Park debuting July 6, we take a closer look at how the Cincinnati Park Board's oft-overlooked innovations move, and in some cases outright push, the city forward.

Fringe exposure

In its ninth year, Cincinnati Fringe Festival sparked ideas, opened minds and just plain entertained thousands of guests. One photographer took the long view of the 12-day celebration of all things Fringe and the results capture the art, and artists, in new and unusual ways.

CEOs: City lovers tweet Cincinnati takeaways

Civic urban leaders from across disciplines--educators, executives, entrepreneurs--shared lessons and inspiration in Cincinnati last week, as the city played host to a conference that celebrated good ideas and creative leaders. So what were the takeaways?

Fifth Quarter in Cincinnati: Not your mother's summer school

Now in its 4th year, Cincinnati Public Schools’ 5th Quarter program targets under-performing, low-income schools with an extended school year and a collective approach to learning, and fun, that's getting national attention.

Immigrants fuel innovative plans for revival on Short Vine

Terry Chan came to Cincinnati via Hong Kong and Carnegie Mellon. His plans for the Short Vine Innovation District reflect an international perspective on successful neighborhood redevelopment. With long-term and new investors, he's helping create a technological hub of early-stage, vibrant businesses that's built to last.

Interactive invasion: locals pitch big ideas at SXSW

From digital pros to sleep-deprived StartUp Bus riders, Cincinnatians at SXSW Interactive staked a claim at the country's premier showcase of new ideas and cool technologies destined to shape the way we live, work and play. Soapbox gives you exclusive insights from five attendees about what it was like to live the SXSW Interactive experience.






Cincinnati music at SXSW

In the midst of thousands of bands and performances, a handful of Cincinnati bands made the 19-hour trek to add Cincinnati's voice to the biggest musical event in the country. This year a couple of those travelers worked to make Austin feel a little more like home for Queen City musicians. 

SpringBoard diary: giving thanks

In her final SpringBoard entry, aspiring entrepreneur Megan McAuley takes stock of how far she's come and looks toward the climb ahead--with a little help from more than just her friends.

Backstage @ Signal P&G: Digital drives advertising futures

A one-day whirlwind last week, called Signal P&G, brought nearly two dozen Silicon Valley thought leaders to Cincinnati to weigh in on the state of the digital universe at the headquarters of the world’s biggest brand builder and advertiser. Go backstage to find out what it all means and what's next.

Pinstripes' member redefines working remotely

Most graphic designers might consider a job offer from Adobe in San Francisco wish fulfillment. Not musician/artist Matt Kursmark. The Pinstripes guitarist and Blue Ash native still took the West Coast gig, but he soon began working to find a way back to the Queen City. Today, he's busy creating digital interfaces, and making music, from his apartment in OTR.

My Soapbox: Rodney D'Souza, founder, INKUbator

Rodney D'Souza is building a hive in Northern Kentucky. His new INKUbator at Northern Kentucky University is designed to help students turn their ideas into feasible business proposals and prepare them for the competitive world of startup accelerators. He explains his brainchild to Soapbox's Elissa Yancey.

SpringBoard diary: Nothing to lose

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me if I thought opening a climbing gym was actually realistic, I might have enough money to pay a month’s worth of rent on a potential building. While there may be a list of reasons why I shouldn’t pursue the gym or why it won’t work, I have a list triple the size of reasons why I should and it will.


My Soapbox: Mike Bott, GM, The Brandery

As he steps in to the newly created role of general manager of  The Brandery in OTR, Mike Bott, at just 30, is ready to give ambitious startups the tools they need to survive, and thrive, in Cincinnati.

SpringBoard diary: business-building toolkit

In week two of her SpringBoard journey, the unseasoned entreprenuer explores her motivations, her hopes and her fears.

Kolar finds success at intersection of brand, architecture, interiors

Whether she’s helping design Cincinnati’s newest riverfront park or transforming hospitals by blending graphic and industrial design with architecture, Kelly Kolar revels in integrating her passions to create massive, holistic change.

12 things to watch in 2012

Soapbox proffers a '12 things to watch' list for 2012. Read and weigh in on what we did, and did not, include.

Back to backs: Local designer grows brand from scratch

Take a woodworking dreamer, a beautiful product with a weakness and a bold leap of faith. That's what it took to launch JackBacks, which provides custom wood iPhone backs to a smart phone generation. The brainchild of local artist Adam Baumgartner, JackBacks illustrates the power of a good idea well-executed, and the impact of a dream no longer deferred.

My Soapbox: Andrew Yang, Founder, Venture For America

When Venture For America's founder Andrew Yang landed in town to chat with local entrepreneurs about his nonprofit's ambitious plans to help create 100,000 jobs by 2025, Soapbox was there to meet him at the airport.

Queen City Project shows Cincinnati through new lens

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then thousands of pictures strung together in two-minute videos must be worth at least a million. Focus those two minutes of visual storytelling on local businesses and you have the mission, and the creative drive, behind the Queen City Project.

Brand central: Barefoot Proximity mixes it up

At Cincinnati's Barefoot Proximity, creativity breeds invention. The company has evolved from a start-up ad agency to a consumer branding and marketing juggernaut with international appeal, all the while keeping its focus on building relationships, one innovative product at a time.

Social Innovation Fund charts course from cradle to career

As grade-schoolers play in the "Energy Zone" filled with bright-colored balls at the Duke Energy Children's Museum, they learn about simple machines the fun way. Training teachers to guide students through field-trip science activities expands the reach, and impact, of every lesson. At Cincinnati's Social Innovation Fund, which supports a wide range of educational programs including teacher training, creating lasting learning makes for measurable successes.  


My Soapbox: Bill Cunningham

In the startup community, Bill Cunningham is known as a man of action. The founder of five startups has spent the past 20 years as an advocate, teacher and mentor to budding entrepreneurs. Soapbox asked next generation startup leader, Elizabeth Edwards, to talk with Cunningham about his past and offer advice for future entrepreneurs.

Start Your Engines

Jack Rouse Associates is one of the top go-to firms for theme park and museum design. Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, its most unique and challenging theme park design yet, has cemented JRA's reputation among a select group that competes for elite projects around the globe.
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