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Hillman relocates to UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub

Addition of tech accelerator for underrepresented peoples in the startup community is a mutual win

Tech accelerator Hillman now calls the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub home.

Hillman is a nationally recognized startup accelerator that serves underrepresented, tech-driven startups through mentorship, specialized curriculum, partnerships and capital investments, providing them the resources and guidance they need to scale.

Woman wearing a white dress

Candice Matthews Brackeen, Hillman founder

“As a University of Cincinnati alumnus myself, it feels great to be a part of UC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and further connect the vast pool of academic talent and resources within the innovation district to the larger Cincinnati innovation economy,” says Candice Matthews Brackeen, founder of Hillman. “We’ve seen some of the fantastic companies and intellectual properties that are coming from the campus, and really feel like the 1819 Innovation Hub is the new home for tech disruption in Cincinnati.”

UC’s Innovation Agenda, the 1819 Innovation Hub and Inclusive Excellence are key components of Next Lives Here, the university’s strategic direction. 

We’ve seen some of the fantastic companies and intellectual properties that are coming from the campus, and really feel like the 1819 Innovation Hub is the new home for tech disruption in Cincinnati.

Candice Matthews Brackeen Hillman founder

“The addition of Hillman is a perfect cultural fit for us,” says David J. Adams, UC’s chief innovation officer. “Diversity and inclusion are central to our vision of leading public, urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Hillman’s values align with ours, and their nationwide recruitment efforts benefit not only UC, but the entire Greater Cincinnati region. We are very excited about Hillman being a partner in our growing innovation ecosystem. 

man wearing a sports coat smiling and leaning against the top of a flight of stairs

UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams

Hillman is the second startup-related business to relocate its headquarters to the 1819 Innovation Hub, joining CincyTech, with whom Hillman has partnered and co-invested since its founding. 

“Increasing diversity in the startup economy is a national imperative,” says CincyTech CEO Mike Venerable. “Candice and the Hillman team are a local treasure driving the national conversation on this key issue. We are excited to have the Hillman team join the neighborhood, connecting their work and portfolio to the growing community of companies, faculty, students and investors coming together at 1819.”

“In addition, this move puts us under the same roof as finance and insurance giants, including Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Insurance Companies and Worldpay from FIS, as well as global leaders in consumer packaged goods (CPG) such as Kroger and Procter & Gamble,” says Matthews Brackeen. “Given that many of our companies work in industries related to CPG, e-commerce and fintech (financial technologies), having greater access to leadership at these companies will be huge for the growth of these startups across our ecosystem.” 

Where Next Happens

The University of Cincinnati's 1819 Innovation Hub is where the formation of new collaborations and partnerships linking UC’s talent in transformative ways — both internally and externally — provides a platform to advance and enrich experiences, ideas, and outcomes. Next Lives Here.