Main Street Ventures Announces Return of Launch It: Cincy
University Program with Kao USA, Inc. as Title Sponsor

Main Street Ventures is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row Launch It:
Cincy will be powered by Kao USA, Inc. and applications for Year 2 are now open!

Launch It: Cincy Logo

Launch It: Cincy

Launch It: Cincy is a pitch competition exclusively for undergraduate student founders in the region. The top 3 winners of the pitch competition receive a grant from Main Street Ventures and will spend the summer living, working, and exploring Cincinnati. This prize package is valued over $28,000.

“Launch It: Cincy has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had on my journey as a student Entrepreneur.” says Emil Barr Launch It: Cincy Year 1 winner and CEO of Step of Social. “The program gave me the sense of community and confidence I needed to take my business concept to the next level.”

Applicants can apply on the Main Street Ventures website ( until December 2.

With the support of Kao USA, Inc and the success of Year 1 of Launch It: Cincy, Main Street Ventures is excited to announce the expansion of the radius of the program. This expansion will allow even more undergraduate student founders to apply for the opportunity to attend the summer program and receive a grant from MSV. The new radius stretches from Dayton, OH to Lexington, KY and into Southeast Indiana. “Kao’s support throughout the first year of the program was crucial to its success and we are thrilled to have them continue their support in an even larger capacity for Year 2! Kao’s commitment to innovation and vision for making life more beautiful for everyone is in perfect alignment with the purpose of this program and we cannot wait to bring more great university founders to the region this Summer!” – Abby Ober, Director of Community Engagement and Entrepreneurial Support, Main Street Ventures

“Over the past year, we’ve enjoyed our unique partnership with Main Street Ventures. We are looking forward to renewing our collaboration in 2023 where we can learn from, inspire, & challenge each other to make a difference in the Cincinnati ecosystem & beyond!” -Dani Ruffolo, Kao USA, Inc., Ventures Team.

About Main Street Ventures

Main Street Ventures is working to become the community-funded initiative that makes entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati, by supporting entrepreneurs with what they need, when they need it: Capital, Connections, and Education. We look to support all good ideas and founders, but with a particular focus on women and minority entrepreneurs who have been historically underrepresented in the startup community.

For more information, visit

About Kao USA

Kao USA Inc. is a leading manufacturer of premium beauty care brands that are recognized around the world for their innovation and quality. The Kao USA Inc. portfolio includes; Jergens® and Curel® hand and body lotions; Biore® facial care; John Frieda® hair care, Ban® antiperspirants, as well as Goldwell, KMS and Oribe professional hair care and Molton Brown products for body and home. Founded in 1882, Kao USA Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kao Corporation.

Leave a Reply