Business Courier: UC’s Venture Lab hits key metric in third year

UC, Cincinnati Innovation District celebrate 50th startup milestone

The University of Cincinnati has made major strides in its efforts to get more campus-bred, early-stage startups off the ground, according to the Cincinnati Busines Courier.

Before 2018, UC was producing about one to two such ventures each year — upstarts led by students, faculty and staff.

Today, that number is up about 1,500%.

Last month, UC surpassed a key metric, a count that David Adams, the university’s chief innovation officer and architect behind the emerging Cincinnati Innovation District, has been watching for some time. The Venture Lab, a 3-year-old pre-accelerator program housed at UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub, graduated its 50th startup with the conclusion of its most recent cohort.

Adams said it’s a sign of success, but not in the way most might traditionally think. The number, while maybe purely a vanity metric, is a yardstick for future success.

“In a very real way, it’s a moment for us to pause and reflect and acknowledge what our community has done to accelerate entrepreneurial efforts at the University of Cincinnati,” Adams told the Courier.

“We’re building critical mass. The most important part isn’t whether one of these 50 startups is going to be the region’s next unicorn,” he added. “Our focus right now is how do we create a culture of entrepreneurship, and the fact that we’ve have gone past 50 (startups), to me is a real testament to that.”

Read the full "Cincy Inno" story.

Learn more about UC's 50 Venture Lab startups.