Many have heard of Silicon Valley, but few have heard of the Northern Kentucky E-Zone. Based out of Covington, Kentucky, and with access to a faster and wider trunk line than Silicon Valley, the E-Zone accelerates, mentors, and helps increase exposure of start-up, emerging, and existing technology entrepreneurs in the form of early stage capital (grants, loans, forgivable loans and equity investments), office space, and entrepreneurial networking activities.
While you certainly don’t see it when looking for jobs in the area, Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati actually has an active tech scene. Amongst the hoards of large multinational conglomerates like P&G, hiding in the wings you can find start-ups like ShareThis and Photrade. The Circuit hosts events for IT professionals, and their C-CAP arm connects entrepreneurs with local angel investors like the Queen City Angels.
What makes the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area so attractive? The ready availability of public transportation (as opposed to the nearest midwest tech capital, Carmel/Indianapolis) is reminiscent of the coasts, the miles and miles of urban and suburban environments coupled with a relatively low cost of living, free dog parks, low taxes and healthy stay-out-of-the-way local/state governments to name a few things. On Startup Weekend, Cincinnati’s entrepreneur community is third in the country.
Over the next several months, I hope to document some of the achievements of this growing tech community. If you would like to have your Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Metro Area technology business profiled, leave a comment.