Author Archive

Region’s startups create more jobs, seek new talent

Posted: February 16, 2015 by Amanda Greenwell in Uncategorized

AmandaGreenwellIt’s no secret that startups are drivers of job growth in the United States and here in the Tri-State. In fact, a 2010 study from the Kauffman Foundation reports that new firms add an average of three million jobs to the U.S. economy compared to existing businesses. The accelerator program I manage, UpTech, and so many other groups in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky strive to support startups’ total growth in their early stages, but the other critical need our community provides is offering local talent to fill jobs for these companies.


Your startup is all about the right people

Posted: June 8, 2014 by Amanda Greenwell in Culture, Leadership, People, Startup

AmandaGreenwellWe all know that some startups fail over time. While there are myriad reasons for this, including the inability to articulate market differentiation, not really knowing your customers, or simply not being prepared for the gritty reality of life as an entrepreneur, I have seen how a powerful team can make all the difference. Of course, having the right people for your business starts with you. But the people you choose to surround yourself with after that can play a huge role in setting your business up for success.

Founders are constantly told to network, to form a board of advisors, to find the right people. Some of the brightest founders I’ve ever met are the ones who have the ability to recognize they don’t (and can’t) play every role in their business.

One of the best examples of this epiphany having impact came with one of the startups I’ve worked with at UpTech. One of our founders recently discovered that after he spent time building a support team around his business, to share feedback and to make vital connections, his monthly sales revenues increased by 68 percent. The right people—with expertise in his industry and some with general business experience with whom he clicked—transformed his bottom line.


The Collective Power of Passion

Posted: May 5, 2013 by Amanda Greenwell in Innovation, People, Startup

AmandaGreenwellPassionate startups are spreading like wildfire in the region due to the courage of entrepreneurs to gain self-awareness, take risks, and turn great ideas into great businesses like never before. Passionate entrepreneurs work on their ideas constantly and now they take action to launch their ventures fulltime.  Like entrepreneurs, the community has developed great ideas for enabling startups like UpTech and the Brandery to accelerate the next big ideas into reality.  These organizations are startups as well and provide many tools and programs for entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.  The empowerment of entrepreneurs manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Exciting regional collaboration, the Ohio River is no longer the Ohio Ocean
  • Young talent moving into (and back to) and staying in our region
  • The great balance of exciting business opportunities and quality of life
  • A thriving entrepreneur community in the Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati.

Amazing things happen when you follow your dreams. Northern Kentucky University’s tag line says it all: “Dreamers welcome.”  When you welcome dreamers with open arms, give them the tools to succeed, there is an unparalleled power that only collective passion can bring.

Three essential characteristics make up the personality of a successful entrepreneur:

1)     Self-awareness:  Do I have what it takes to be an entreprenur? Successful entrepreneurs have done the hard work to become aware of their talents, gifts, strengths, and weaknesses.  They get clarity on what they want and what they don’t want.  Embarking on a journey to discover who you really are, will only pay dividends in your career and your relationships. Tools like Tom Rath’s book Strengths Finder and programs like Startup Weekend help you discover your inner entrepreneur

2)     Passion:  What do you love to do?  What activities do you engage in that causes you to lose all track of time?  Successful entrepreneurs often get criticized for working all the time, but they do not feel they are even working at all!  Ask a true dreamer about their passion and their eyes light up, enthusiasm erupts, and their conviction wins you over .

3)     A great idea: Do you have the next Google or Prius in your head? Highly self-aware and passionate entrepreneurs generate great ideas almost automatically and continuously.  They clearly see real-world problems and are driven to fix them. These passionate and self-aware entrepreneurs seem to see around corners and invent incredibly effective products and services to solve difficult and complex challenges.

If you have done the work to embark on the journey to self-awareness, discovered your passion, and have the next big idea, seek out the organizations that can help you make your great ideas come true. The Greater Cincinnati Venture Association website provides an inventory of the region’s entrepreneurial assets in their “Greater Cincinnati Entrepreneur Ecosystem” link. Although the Brandery’s application process closed on May 1st, entreprneurs can appy online to UpTech, Northern Kentucky’s Startup Accelerator until May 24, 2013. Check out more links on this column’s website at