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CincyInno: Cincinnati startups show innovation, determination during pandemic

1819 Innovation Hub's efforts to create PPE to fight COVID-19 highlighted

While efforts to keep the spread of the novel coronavirus at bay have kept us apart, in some ways they've brought us closer together. 

That's what CincyInno's Stephanie Vermillion found when she looked at how COVID-19 has affected Cincinnati's startup community. In her piece, "Cincinnati startups show innovation, determination during pandemic," Vermillion's look at the pandemic's impact includes a novel partnership between the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Easterseals to manufacture, assemble and distribute personal protective equipment for local medical professionals.

A man wearing a blazer and button-down shirt

UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams


Using equipment in 1819's Ground Floor makerspace, UC produced the components for face shields for use by doctors and nurses at Cincinnati Children's and UC Medical Center. Easterseals, which provides services for those with disabilities, came forward to help by assembling and delivering the face shields. 

“It’s a powerful example of how COVID-19 has created an environment where, because we have a physical infrastructure set up, parties can come together in new ways to solve problems,” UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams told CincyInno. 

At its heart, innovation is about creating solutions to problems. Disruption is a part of the "new normal" for Cincinnati entrepreneurs, wrote Vermillion. 

“The ability to adapt is a key characteristic of our community,” Adams told CincyInno. “Entrepreneurialism is a mindset. This is going to force all of us to be more adaptable to an ever-changing environment as the pace of change continues to accelerate. Clearly the social cost isn’t good, but it’s forcing acceleration and adaptability that will make us stronger.”

Featured image: The Ground Floor makerspace at the 1819 Innovation Hub

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

Read more #UCtheGood stories, or take a UC virtual visit and begin picturing yourself at an institution that inspires incredible stories.