The new year is just around the corner. As it comes closer, we at Cincy Inno want to take some time to look ahead as we say farewell to 2017.
To do just that, we’ve rounded up some notable startups from the Queen City that are worth keeping an eye on. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, we wanted to include startups that had either raised a considerable amount of money or are working on astounding tech or have their sights on an up-and-coming concept.
We’ve outlined these seven enterprises alphabetically below.
Founded by former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones, ActionStreamer is a wireless wearable livestreaming platform that brings first-person on-field sports action straight to the audience via uniform-connected cameras on athletes, coaches and refs. Earlier this year, CincyTech led an oversubscribed $1.9 million funding round, with participation from Vine Street Ventures and other local and national angel investors.
Ever wish virtual reality was more immersive? Contact CI does, and it has developed a system including a pair of gloves (dubbed “Maestro”) that pairs up with a VR headset, allowing users to experience touch when they participate in VR-based technology. Since Contact CI’s debut, more than 25 corporations have expressed interest in the product, including Procter & Gamble and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the company has received angel investments from VCs like First Shift Tech’s Dave Johnson, E-Technologies Group’s Steve Veldhuis and Warren County Commissioner Dave Young, SAVMAR LTD and Axiom Product Development. While Contact CI’s SeedInvest campaign came under its minimum with a little below $40,000 earlier this month, the company’s tech and the attention it has already received makes it one to continue to watch.
Mason-based ConnXus wants to help ensure that companies are partnering with a diverse array of minority and women-owned suppliers, and has been working to do just that since 2010. Now, it has a customer base of Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola and Cummins, and is growing its impact by providing its clients with an “economic impact report.” Since 2013, ConnXus has seen revenue growth increase more than 100 percent year-over-year, and has grown from four to 30 employees with nearly $10 million in venture capital raised from investors like Techstars Ventures, Serious Change LP, Impact America Fund and CincyTech. Additionally, the company has an eye on expanding global operations.
This startup develops and manufactures “advanced sweat sensors for medicine, industry and sport.” These sensors allow better analytics of sweat which in turn provide “market-enabling predictive values that have been validated in on-body studies.” This year, Eccrine Systems won the Frost & Sullivan 2017 North American Technology Innovation Award and raised more than $3 million in funding.
Founded by CEO Mike Hooven in 2010, Evendale-based startup Enable Injections has developed a device (with multiple sizes to accommodate different doses) that’s disposable, hurts less than a typical syringe and is wearable on different locations on the user’s body. The company now boasts about 75 employees and more than $30 million in funding. While Enable Injections is beginning to test the device in two clinical studies in the coming year (the product is expected to hit the market in 2020), the enterprise already has agreements with a handful of pharmaceutical companies, such as the Bradley, Ill.-based CSL Barring. There are also plans in place for when the startup begins churning out the device in bulk: Enable Injections will manufacture in Ohio.
Healthy Roots Dolls
Venture for America fellow Yelitsa Jean-Charles, founder and creative director of Healthy Roots Dolls, created her startup as a way for girls of color to see themselves represented at playtime. Developed in part during her time at the Rhode Island School of Design, Healthy Roots Dolls boasts a line of dolls with natural hair and an accompanying booklet for children, teaching them haircare and style tips; the company also sells t-shirts. Since its start, Jean-Charles’ company was accepted into the 2015 MassChallenge program in Boston; it received a grant from Brown Social Innovation Fellowship and raised $50,000 on an early Kickstarter program, as well as funding from Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital and other angel investors. On the docket? Additional children’s products and projects to be announced.
Understanding search engine optimization, or SEO, can be an ordeal. Getting it to work to a company’s benefit is just as difficult. Enter Helium SEO, a bootstrapped company that steps in and assists the clients with its artificial intelligence-powered software. Helium SEO got its start earlier this year, and has already been profitable and has a host of long-term goals, such as using this technology to take a closer look at digital marketing.