2018 Elevator Cohort

Community Happens Here is a community-centered business space that reweaves community through education and conversation. Rooted in Pleasant Ridge, our programming, coworking space, rental meeting rooms, and teaching café encourage connections in the neighborhood for both established businesses and rising entrepreneurs. We believe that connection starts at the sidewalk, that business can start with a dollar, and that community starts with each other. We aim to foster meaningful connections and collaborations between individuals of different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. We are creating equitable opportunities for community members within our space and the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood.

Last Mile Food Rescue’s unique model of civic engagement, addressing food insecurity, will help galvanize the Cincinnati Regional Chamber and local member-businesses’ efforts to help close the hunger gap while simultaneously reducing landfill waste. Unlike technology companies that focus solely on an app as the solution, we focus on the human side of the solution – the volunteers who give their time to help others – and the businesses that encourage these efforts. Additionally, we help companies properly document and calculate their earned tax deduction to offset the cost of their donation efforts. Our mission is to increase the volume of available food by eliminating the barriers that prevent corporate participation, stimulate employee volunteerism to aid in the short-distance transport of small quantity donations.

innovationGirls drives business innovation through young minds. Businesses are struggling with innovation while young girls in our community are facing tremendous obstacles in fostering their entrepreneurial spark. We bring them together, girls 7 – 17 using design thinking and crowdfunding to deliver market-tested product ideas to companies. The girls are empowered and financially rewarded through their 529 plans. It is a win-win. innovationGirls provides young girls from all socio-economic backgrounds with real-world entrepreneurial experiences that give them confidence, 21st-century skills, and financial awards.

Screen Education conducts research and provides education on smartphone addiction.  Its customers include school districts, summer camps, community organizations, and corporations. Screen Education advances the public dialogue about smartphone addiction and serves as a catalyst for the cultural change necessary to address this problem.

Strong Woman Swag aims to brand, merchandise, and sell products that promote the “Strong Woman” message. Our products reflect the ‘strong women’ of Cincinnati Union Bethel’s Off the Streets program, which provides support for women in addiction recovery and/or rescued from human trafficking. The revenue generated from the retail of Strong Woman products will support Cincinnati Union Bethel’s Off the Streets program, and the company will provide job training and profit-sharing opportunities for some of the women in that program.

2017 Elevator Cohort

Thousands of patients turn to hospitals and urgent care for emergency dental needs.  They are typically released with an opioid prescription and instructions to find a dentist.  Dental Access For All establishes on-sight dental clinics for emergency treatment and preventative care in a hospital or urgent care environment.  Our ask is for investment partners to capitalize the buildout of the clinics and connections to healthcare providers in the region and across the country.

urbanHive is the most cost effective solution for recruiting and hiring. Our platform gives employers the ability to reach the highest number of top quality job seekers – including those who experience barriers when seeking employment – by focusing on their skills and goals rather than titles and resumes. We are seeking investments to scale our growth by expanding our team, plus connections to companies who are actively hiring.

Journey to Hope helps employers cut the high costs of lost productivity and worker absenteeism through group coaching that helps employees navigate life’s challenges. We draw on 17 years experience and research proven to enhance  employee lives and employers’ bottom line. We are seeking introductions to employers and investments for infrastructure.

Workforce Connection offers employers a solution to retention and productivity of their hourly-wage workforce. We help vulnerable employees stay and thrive in the workplace through on-site personal coaching and resource navigation. We are seeking seed funding to launch and grow the business to a point of self-sustainability; connections to employers with a sizable hourly workforce; and expertise in the areas of business development and marketing.

2016 Elevator Cohort

 A workforce development program focused on making great food and restaurant workers.

cincy hive

A center for contemplation, art, and action that seeks to cultivate mindfulness that translates into creativity and action in Cincinnati.


Addresses food waste in Cincinnati by creating healthy soups for customers and food-deprived individuals.

A collaborative hub where parents call for family supportive workplace policies, laws, and values in the U.S.


A program that provides Cincinnati youth the opportunity to develop their mind, body, and spirit within a community context.

Dedicated to creating accessible community resources for Cincinnati trans, queer, and LGBTQ people.


Utilizes modern technology to create relationships and learning experiences between students in other countries/cultures.