CNCY MADE is Matt Anthony of Losantiville, Bryant Goulding of Rhinegeist, and Noel Gauthier and is currently organizing an effort to help find, connect, and scale a community around artisan and small-batch manufacturing in Cincinnati.

For whatever reason, manufacturing has become the bald-headed orphan of business; manufacturing physical goods isn't sexy but it creates real jobs. Jobs that stick here and aren't easily portable. The Brandery, and I have nothing against them, have been getting attention lately for their startup accelerator that is one of the highest ranked in the US. But here is the rub- the digital revolution is killing jobs. Kodak had 140,000 workers.Iit has been replaced by Instagram with its 13 engineers. That is a huge displacement. OK, you tell me those workers need to find new skills. What if we train them all in the computer sciences. Guess what? Instagram still only needs 13 engineers. And what's the end game of those Brandery startups? To get noticed and then bought out, so the more successful they are the less likely they are to hang around Cincinnati.

Which brings us back to physical products, take for example OTR's VisuaLingual and their Seed Bombs. VisuaLingual has 4 full time people and can pull in 4 more part time when large orders need filled. When I wrote about them last year I said, "Low tech businesses like local, non-chain retail and manufacturing requires a copious amount of people and a large support system creating jobs and all that money stays right here in the area." Eight people obviously won't change the world but VisuaLingual is just one of many small scale producers in Cincinnati and its the one I'm most familiar with.

Thus the need for First Batch, a product accelerator under CNCY MADE. First Batch is run by Steven Doehler and Noel Gauthier. The goal of First Batch is to help entrepreneurs utilize the amazing manufacturing capabilities of Cincinnati. First Batch helps participants build their product and scale the business in Cincinnati. The end game is to scale the creative class in Cincinnati and keep those people here.
As Doehler, a UC professor explained it,
"The idea behind First Batch was to bring manufacturing back to Cincinnati in small batch, and how do we retain talent inside of the area that is coming out of DAAP. With First Batch, we have an outlet for them to go in, be funded, take their projects to the next level, and then hopefully be really successful in starting businesses here in Cincinnati, and employing future graduates from our program and the university. We have two main accelerators, incubators here in town, the Brandery and Centrifuge, and they really focus on the digital realm and branding. Where First Batch fits in really nicely, is that we're looking at physical products, physical things."
The first participant were introduced last Thursday night to a full house at Powerhouse Factories.
Adam Jonovski of Hatchet Guitars designed a compact guitar that sounds just like a full size guitar and is the very first participant. A startup like Hatchet Guitars has a need for many labor intensive parts to create the guitars. Every component is manufactured right here in the city of Cincinnati. Cncy Made helped Adam make business connections and learn the business skills needed to get his guitars built.
The other First batch participant, the Wool Shop founded by DJ Corney after he was introduced to natural dyes while on a trip to Paris and became interested in textiles. Each Wool Shop garment is designed by hand with meticulous attention and can take up to 20 hours to produce. The Wool Shop is in talks with a company that can hopefully get that down to two hours.
So much like the Brandery building a critical mass of coders bouncing ideas off each other and helping each other out, CNCY MADE wants to build a critical mass of small batch manufacturing artisan entrepreneurs.
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