Western & Southern becomes strategic partner in Cincinnati Innovation District

Another Fortune 500 company moves into 1819 Innovation Hub

Western & Southern Financial Group is the newest Fortune 500® company to join the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub.

James J. Fitzgerald, senior vice president and chief information officer at Western & Southern, led the effort to further enhance and expand the company’s longstanding partnership with UC.    

“Innovation will be the lifeblood of a growing and economically vibrant Greater Cincinnati,” said Fitzgerald. “We must do all we can to attract and produce the top talent, cutting-edge technology and capital necessary to unleash our region’s potential. We have been actively involved in innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the community for many years, and we are proud to join in UC’s efforts.”

Western & Southern joins several industry-leading partners at the 1819 Innovation Hub, including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, KAO and altafiber.

“Western & Southern has been a pillar and pacesetter for this community for 135 years. Their global reach and local roots make them a perfect fit for the 1819 Innovation Hub,” said Ryan Hays, UC executive vice president and chief innovation and strategy officer. “We’re thrilled to partner with them to advance their innovation agenda here in the Cincinnati Innovation District.”

Western & Southern was founded in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company in Cincinnati. Over the last 135 years, the company has grown from a door-to-door business to a $100+ billion parent company with multiple insurance and financial services subsidiaries. 

Along the way, Western & Southern has helped lead efforts to position Cincinnati as a fertile location for entrepreneurs and startups.

In 2020, Western & Southern joined Cintrifuse and JobsOhio, along with 1819 partner Fifth Third Bank, to launch FinTech Frontier, a Cincy-based collaboration to drive innovation in financial services.

The 1819 Innovation Hub is the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District. The first innovation district in the state, the CID was launched in 2020 by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted as a historic partnership among JobsOhio, UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The CID seeks to accelerate the growth of talent, research, innovation and entrepreneurship across the region.  

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