Matt Anthony, Noel Gauthier and Bryant Goulding were inspired by movements in other cities to launch local brands. Campaigns like SFMade and MadeinNYC were the leaders in creating local-made brands that were able to bring in business development resources for their cities’ small manufacturing companies.
So, together the three of them began working out of the Losantiville design collective space in Over-The-Rhine with other local designers who were running into the same hiccups many do when trying to increase production and ideas.
“Cincinnati has a great set of existing resources in manufacturing and consumer products, adn we don’t face as many issues in affordable space like San Francisco or New York so I thought we’d have a great starting point for promoting and connecting both new and heritage companies making great products here in Cincinnati, from pottery to brews,” explains Anthony.
Enter Cincinnati Made, a membership-based non-profit that works to connect, grow and scale the small batch and artisan manufacturing community in Cincinnati. “We’re trying to connect people making products and the local resources that support them,” Anthony says.
While Anthony, Gauthier and Goulding are the main forces behind Cincinnati Made, Anthony says that the non-profit wouldn’t really exist without the early support, encouragement and generous funding from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Halle, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. This foundation help them become a non-profit and keep their eye on lofty program goals such as creating the organization’s First Batch accelerator.
Cincinnati Made hosted a soft launch and event for early members in March. Anthony says public events and product showcases will be offered soon.
Companies that are interested in joining Cincinnati Made can fill out an application form, and there is no cost to become a member. Anthony says that they’re currently working on the design of the membership showcase, which will include the official launch of Cincinnati Made. The membership showcase will not only launch the non-profit but will provide Anthony and his partners the chance to talk about the organization’s member companies – which is currently about 10 and has continued to increase since the opening of the application.
Anthony says that what excited him the most about Cincinnati Made is building the community and promoting Cincinnati as an ideal city to start and run a business. “We have a lot of programming that we’re interested in pursuing relating to supporting the member businesses, but a lot of this year will be in building the volunteer capacity and partnerships to really get them off the ground,” he explains. “We’ve started planning some factory and studio tours that will be coming up, which should be pretty fun.”
First Batch, Cincinnati Made’s local manufacturing accelerator, is back for its third round in 2015. Anthony says they’re hoping to build it bigger and share more of the speakers, classes and connections to the broader community this year.
Applications for First Batch are open through May 1 and hopes to reach businesses that are interested in working with the startups participating in the program.