Cincinatti Business Courier's picks for Cincinnati startups to watch in 2015
When Huffington Post speculates about whether your city could be the next Silicon Valley, you're probably doing something right.
It takes a lot more than a couple of mentions in national media to make a tech hub, though. The tireless work of countless people and organizations goes on throughout the year to boost the startups that are creating the success that earns that national buzz – groups like the Brandery, CincyTech, Cintrifuse, Queen City Angels, the HCDC Business Center and far too many more to name.
But all of those groups exist to support one thing: startups. There are a lot of young companies doing good things in Cincinnati, and this list is by no means comprehensive, but here are some startups worth keeping an eye on in 2015. Here's my list:
MedaCheck started out as a tablet designed for seniors with a single function: remind them to take their medicine and alert a caregiver when they forget. In the last year, MedaCheck has entered into partnerships with multiple hospitals and health care providers as well as opened sales to the public. It's looking at expanding its platform to become more of a comprehensive link between physicians and patients.
Tixers was co-founded by Alex Burkhart to change the way people bought, sold and traded tickets to sporting events. It graduated from UpTech in 2014 and announced a number of partnerships with ticket brokers and upgraders, as well as seed investment. Tixers is doing something pretty unique, so it's worth keeping an eye on where they go in 2015.
Ahalogy was named the fastest-growing tech startup in Ohio for the second year straight. That's after it launched 2014 with a $3 million investment. It's nabbing high-profile clients with the Pinterest marketing platform and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
Lisnr is another startup that raised big money in 2014 – $3.5 million in a Series A round led by Progress Ventures and joined by CincyTech. The company embeds inaudible tones in music that unlock special content when heard by a compatible device. But CEO Rodney Williams said there is much more that the technology is capable of. It could turn into a whole new way of transmitting data between devices. That's why it joined a program run by Techstars and advertising agency R/GA in 2014.
The new year is looking like it is going to be the year of wearables. The Apple Watch is launching in 2015, new Pebble and Google Wear smartwatches are coming out, and Google appears to be releasing a new version of its Glass eyewear. So how are developers supposed to program for all of these? Strap, a 2014 Brandery grad. Strap allows developers to code once and port their apps to multiple wearable devices. And the startup raised $1.25 million in 2014 after graduating from the Brandery.
Speaking of wearables, Kapture's audio-recording wristband started 2014 on the heels of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. However, the company has been hit by delays and co-founders Matthew Dooley and Mike Sarow's beards keep getting longer as they get ready to launch. But 2015 looks like it could be their year, especially with product beginning to arrive in America and high-profile national recognition like appearing on "The Price is Right" in December.