Main Street Ventures awards $222K to promising local startups

Main Street Ventures has awarded more than $222,000 in equity-free funding to 12 local entrepreneurs as part of the organization’s celebration of 25 years of supporting local startups.

This funding is part of the Cincinnati-based nonprofit’s first grant cycle of 2024 for the Leap and Launch funding programs as well as the Cincinnati State Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses x Main Street Ventures pitch event.

Recipients range from a technology firm creating carbon dioxide conversion devices to a company creating new feminine health products. Also receiving funding were a bespoke framing and design studio and several restaurant concepts.

Details about each of the grants recipients are below. Main Street Ventures didn’t provide specific grant values.

Brittany O’Bryan, founder of The Opal Haus

“We are deeply honored to be the first business in Dearborn County to receive a Main Street Ventures grant,” said Brittany O’Bryan, founder of The Opal Haus, which received Leap funding. The program provides promising, revenue-generating businesses with $10,000 to $30,000 of equity-free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of survival.

By comparison, organizations in the Launch program – emerging, pre-revenue businesses at the prototype or product stage – receive $5,000 to $10,000 to increase their odds of making it to market. 

The Opal Haus is a venue in Lawrenceburg, Ind., that focuses on events and programs meant to empower women.

 “This funding will significantly enhance our ability to engage the community and support diverse events,” O’Bryan said.

Decades of investing in Greater Cincy’s future

Main Street Ventures is a regional small business and entrepreneur support incubator that provides financial capital in the form of grants and community connections to emerging businesses with the potential to create jobs and vibrant communities. All grants are given equity-free.

Since 2018, the organization has distributed more than $4 million to more than 160 companies across the region. That includes more than $1 million to more than 60 entrepreneurs last year alone.

For its latest funding round, Main Street Ventures awarded a total of $222,246.

Launch Funding

  • Almost V’Gan: Upscale restaurant and lounge that aims to provide a vibrant new atmosphere for people in the downtown Cincinnati area.
  • Common Kin: Brand focused on delivering design solutions for those with limited space in mind, including its first product, an all-in-one cookware set.

Leap Funding

  • Cincy Carbon (formerly Vale Technologies): Builds and designs carbon dioxide conversion devices through carbon capture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make new sustainable chemicals.
  • Cool ComfortsDevelops innovative products to address women’s unmet feminine care needs.
  • Holm: Website building platform that combines the setup of link-in-bio sites with the depth and functionality of traditional websites.
  • Inflow: Artificial intelligence-powered design platform that streamlines the design process for fast-moving businesses.
  • Mimi’s Macros: Home delivery of fresh and healthy meals.
  • Noxsano: Leverages proprietary technology for therapeutic delivery of nitric oxide to provide advanced wound care solutions for the veterinary and human healthcare markets.
  • Objectif Alchemy Studios: Bespoke framing and design studio.
  • The Opal Haus
  • Taste on Elm: Café, specialty food market, and wine shop in Ludlow, Ky.

For the third year, Main Street Ventures hosted a pitch competition for the Cincinnati State Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, a $750 million investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunities by providing them with greater access to education, financial capital, and business support services.

L to R: Jennifer Burch, owner of The Lil Goodie Shoppe; Abby Ober, director of engagement at Main Street Ventures; Sean Parker, executive director at Main Street Ventures

Participants from the cohort pitched their projects to the Main Street Ventures team to receive industry feedback. The winner, a seasonal soft-serve ice cream shop, The Lil Goodie Shoppe, also received a Leap grant from Main Street Ventures.

“By investing in these companies, we are investing in the future of Greater Cincinnati,” said Sean Parker, Main Street Ventures’ executive director.

These grants are possible due in part to funding support from partners such as Ohio Third Frontier, the Hubert Family Foundation, the McDonald Family Foundation, The P&G Fund, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust, and the Northern Kentucky Entrepreneurship Fund in collaboration with Blue North and Horizon Community Funds.

Applications for the next cycle of Launch and Leap funding will open in July.

“Armed with resources, funding and support, we look forward to the next 25 years as these companies expand, innovate and elevate their businesses and our region,” Parker said.

Main Street Ventures

Discover more from Movers & Makers

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.