Jim Kahmann

jim kahmann wpMy great, great grandfather grew up in Cincinnati – here I am, returned to my roots you might say. I grew up in Connecticut; in a quaint New York suburb of 20 thousand. When I graduated from high school I didn’t get far. The gates of Columbia University swung open to me – to my happy surprise – in September 2008. Initially planning on English, I versed myself in Economics, Politics, Philosophy, and History instead.

I also studied rowing – yes, the sport of rowing you might have watched in the Olympics, or in that recent movie “The Social Network” featuring the Winklevoss twins. The cold early morning rows of November and February taught me a kind of hardness in life. If only to retreat from the biting Harlem River wind, I thought of my previous night’s readings in which Rousseau lamented our tragic manufacturing of société.

I never feared graduation; that bittersweet day when my classmates and I would be thrust forth into society. I was no academic. So when graduation finally came in May 2012, I leaped into a brand new business program called Venture for America (V.F.A). First I landed in Providence, RI to get my toes wet in the entirely unfamiliar world of entrepreneurship. This August, I drove my few personal effects from Miami to New York, and from New York to Cincinnati. I would join the infamous Bill Cunningham – no, not the radio guy – at his tech startup, OneMorePallet.com. Supported by the UpTech accelerator in Northern Kentucky, he planned to aggregate empty truck space onto a web-based shipping platform. As his first full time hire, I had come to help make that dream a reality.

My introduction to Cincinnati opened with fireworks – literally. Together with my boss, Bill Cunningham, and 6 other V.F.A. fellows, I watched as the Reds beat the Pirates and a firework show lit up a beautiful Cincinnati skyline. I had a feeling I was going to like this City.

Naturally, I attended several Reds games after that. I even felt a little crushed when the Reds, along with my New York Yankees, fell just short of a World Series appearance. In the months since, I’ve also attended shows by the Footlighters, the Pop’s Orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, and one evening “reading” with David Sedaris. Coming from New York, I’ve been wholly impressed by Cincinnati’s arts scene. Zinzinnati’s Oktoberfest was quite a gem as well – one can’t help but smile at the world’s largest Chicken Dance. Or for that matter, a city littered with painted pig statues.

 

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