Main Street Ventures Announces Expansion of Board of Directors and Promotions of Key Employees

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures announces expansion of the Board of Directors and promotions of key employees. Main Street Ventures has implemented a refreshed leadership structure with the promotions of Brianna Dzuricsko to Executive Lead and Director of Development & Funding Programs and Abby Ober to Director of Community Engagement & Entrepreneurial Support. This move further reflects Main Street Ventures’ continued commitment to meet the evolving needs of entrepreneurs in Greater Cincinnati.  

Expansion of the Board

These newly named leaders will continue the growth of MSV. Brianna Dzuricsko has been instrumental in shaping the Grant Giving Programs and brand for MSV. In addition to these responsibilities, she will take over executive initiatives and lead development efforts with support from the Board of Directors. Abby Ober has developed the Level Up Support Program at MSV to help entrepreneurs through connections and education. In addition to further developing this program, she will launch initiatives to bring together the MSV Community of Grant Recipients, Supporters, and Donors to further entrepreneurial growth in the Greater Cincinnati Region. 

This refreshed leadership structure will allow the team to better serve entrepreneurs, supporters, investors, and community in a collaborative way. In this new structure, MSV also plans to hire a third team member to support Operations & Special Events.

“Main Street Ventures Board Chair, Tony Alexander says; “As the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have evolved, Main Street Ventures continues to evolve to meet the challenges of the future. Strategically, this structure allows our team to continue elevating ideas while empowering the next generation of leaders here in our city. I am excited to see Brianna and Abby take our organization to the next level.”

Alongside the newly structured leadership we are excited to welcome Kelly Bonnell, Chief Operating Officers of Constellation Wealth Management, Paula Boggs Muething, Vice President of Legal Affairs of FC Cincinnati, and Joel Stone, Sr. Vice President & Regional Managing Director at Fifth Third Private Bank/Fifth Third Securities to our Board of Directors.. Their expertise and experience will continue to expand the industry expertise of our Board. 

“With the appointments of Joel, Kelly, and Paula to the MSV Board and the promotions of Brianna and Abby, we are reinforcing our mission to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. We will do this by expanding the expertise of our team and bringing together regional leaders and experts in their respective fields to continue supporting entrepreneurship in our community.” Says Main Street Ventures Board of Directors Vice Chair, Tara Noland. 

About Main Street Ventures

Main Street Ventures launched in 1999 with a focus on providing tech companies with a physical structure and wifi network. In 2005, MSV launched The Brandery, a seed-stage startup accelerator that leverages the expertise of the Cincinnati region – namely branding, marketing, and design. As the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have evolved, MSV launches new initiatives to meet the challenges of the future. For more information, visit mainstventures.org.

Main Street Ventures Logo
Main Street Ventures Logo

Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Have a too-long to-do list? Feeling burnt out? Check Out Bosa!

Have a never-ending to-do list? Feeling burnt out? It doesn’t have to be this way thanks to Bosa – a collaborative to-do list for millennial moms who are founders, freelancers and managers.

What is Bosa?

This unique new platform, launched by Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis and EJ Oruche, aims to help prevent burn out and give you your life back. “EJ and I were burned out from trying to balance our work and personal lives early in our careers leading product and operations for startups and large companies,” explains Tarpeh-Ellis. “We tried different tools and methods to keep us organized without sacrificing our wellbeing, but nothing worked. Our friends and co-workers felt the same way.

However, thanks to their background in research and through their own experiences, the duo found that it’s not necessarily a personal productivity app that the people needed, it was something much more than that. “What they need is an affordable, asynchronous, and accessible personal assistant that can help take things off their plate,” says Tarpeh-Ellis. “And that’s where Bosa comes in.”

In fact, what makes Bosa unique is that it helps you to collect the things you want to do from tools you already use. According to Tarpeh-Ellis, Bosa can connect you with the right people and resources to help you get things done.

Instead of an individual and siloed product experience, we focus on creating a rich network you can collaborate with,” she says. “By connecting you with the Bosa community, you feel supported and empowered to go after your ideas, dreams and aspirations. We truly believe the result of intentional connection and collaboration will change the world.”

There are several meanings behind the name “Bosa,” but the duo chose it for the word “victory.” “It was chanted after a long journey by Sub Saharan Africans who were trying to migrate to Spain,” she explains. “We believe everything is a journey, but that there’s joy in the small, daily victories that add up to major successes.

Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis and EJ Oruche
Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis and EJ Oruche

Launch Grant Award

Speaking of victories, Bosa was recently awarded the $10,000 Launch Grant from Main Street Ventures  Tarpeh-Ellis says this will help them to cover foundational pieces of marketing and design work so the team can connect with its audience and empower them to check every item off their to-do list.

Although the duo just went full-time with the brand in 2021, they’re already raising their initial funding from Backstage Capital, 11 Tribes, Behind Genius Ventures, and several Ohio-based angel investors. They’ve also launched a high touch beta of the product, which helped them find that millennial moms are the ideal early customers. “Learnings and traction from the beta helped us stand out when applying for programs,” she says. “At the top of this year, we were selected to participate in Google for Startups Founders’ Academy, OCEAN Accelerator (cohort 8), and Rev1 Studio.”

With funding and a beta test already under their belt, Tarpeh-Ellis and Oruche say they hope to continue the growth of Bosa with a summer focused on product development and marketing. There are plans for a soft launch version of the product with the goal of creating day 0 value for millennial moms. Within that, Tarpeh-Ellis says, they will also establish a presence on social media and create content to help increase the awareness of Bosa.

This is an exciting time for our team, because kicking off these two efforts will fuel a repeatable cycle from awareness of the product to folks joining the Bosa community,” she says.

You can learn more about Bosa at https://www.bosa.life. To learn more about Main Street Ventures, visit here.


Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Main Street Ventures Awards $206,000 of Equity-Free Funding in Second Quarter of 2022

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures is pleased to announce our second-quarter grant recipients. After a record-breaking quarter of applications, Main Street Ventures selected 10 projects to fund through our two Grant Funding programs. This group of Grant Recipients includes a variety of industries including emerging technology, consumer products, and new storefront locations.

Main Street Ventures provides two different types of funding; Launch and Leap Grants. Launch funding provides emerging, pre-revenue businesses at the Prototype or Product stage (showing clear evidence of direct customer engagement validating the business model and product) with $5,000 – $10,000 of equity-free funding to increase the odds of reaching the Market Entry-stage and beyond. Leap funding provides promising, revenue-generating businesses with $10,000 – $30,000 of equity-free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of survival.

The companies receiving a Launch Grant are:

  • Bosa Life: Bosa is a digital platform that integrates productivity tools to easily collect all your tasks in one place and connect each task to the right resource to help you get the task done.
  • Koinage: Koinage is an API-driven platform, and mobile application to help redefine the experience with loose change for both consumers and retailers.
  • TinnCann: TinnCann is an online marketplace where anyone can access the undivided attention of some of the world’s most extraordinary experts.

The companies receiving Leap Grants are:

  • Lulu’s Sweets Boutique: Lulu’s Sweet Bites creates gourmet cakes, cupcakes, and macarons.
  • Mom ‘n ‘em Coffee: Mom ‘n ’em is a coffee & wine shop that was opened by the Ferrari Brothers for their Mother Theresa to serve as a third place for the community of Cincinnati and beyond.
  • Product Refinery – Cleanup Cart: Product Refinery created the Cleanup Cart – a freestanding mobile cleaning unit that can be used by community organizations to clean up their neighborhoods in a modern, engaging, and simple way.
  • Qlicious: Qlicious creates premium Handcrafted Bubble tea and whole-heartedly made pastries.
  • REKKIE: REKKIE creates augmented reality goggles for action sports like skiing and paintball.
  • The Passion Plate: The Passion Plate provides healthy, well-balanced meals that are flavorful and nutritious and will help people live a more sustained life.
  • Untold Content: Untold Content created Narratize – a SaaS solution that leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help busy professionals create high-impact documents and stories.

In total, Main Street Ventures awarded $206,000 in equity-free grant funding this quarter. These recipients will go on to use this funding to execute their respective plans to take their businesses to the next level. The funding from Main Street Ventures continues to go directly into the regional economy. 


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 mainstventures.org.


Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Main Street Ventures Awards Two Grants to Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses Participants at Cincinnati State

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures is pleased to announce the recipients of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses pitch competition.

Main Street Ventures provided funding for a collaborative pitch competition for Cincinnati State’s Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program (10K SB) participants. 10 scholars from the 10KSB cohort pitched their growth project to the Main Street Ventures team on May 13th. Two scholars were selected to receive the funding for their projects. This pitch competition provided a great opportunity for the Scholars to practice their pitches and receive industry feedback from the MSV team.

The companies receiving the grant funding are:

  • The Cheesecakery: Located in the heart of Madisonville The Cheesecakery has a cafe, bakery, event space, and two food trucks serving over 100+ fresh and delicious flavors of cheesecake.
  • Indulju Spa: Indulju Relaxation Boutique provides a complete and total relaxation experience by offering spa services which relax, refresh and renew each person who crosses our threshold.
Liz Field – Owner of The Cheesecakery and Nichol Carmichael – Owner of Indulju Relaxation Boutique

“Collaborating with Cincinnati State on this opportunity for the 10KSB scholars was a wonderful partnership to elevate local businesses. We are happy to add two more grant recipients to our community and continue to work with them as they grow their businesses.” said Brianna Dzuricsko, Funding Program Manager, Main Street Ventures.

“Cincinnati State is excited about partnering with Main Street Ventures to provide scholars with real-life experiences in accessing capital.” said Amy Waldbillig, Vice President, Workforce Development and Executive Director of the local Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

Cincinnati State is accepting inquiries for its SPRING 2023 cohort of 10,000 Small Businesses now. Visit https://www.cincinnatistate.edu/wdc/training-specialties/10ksb/ to learn more and sign up to be contacted by a program representative.


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 under-represented in the startup community.

For more information, visit mainstventures.org.


Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Main Street Ventures is Powering Up a New Partnership With Empower, as Cincinnati’s Largest Ad Agency Provides a $10,000 Grant and Resources to Local Entrepreneurs.

“Main Street Ventures is all about empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and Empower encourages all of their employees to inspire each other and live an empowered life,” says Kelly Bonnell, Executive Director of Main Street Ventures. “It’s a dynamic partnership.” 

As part of this collaboration, Empower is providing MSV with a #LiveEmpowered Grant that in addition to funding, Empower will support MSV grant recipients in a variety of ways. This support includes mentorship, speaking opportunities, and connections.

● Mentorship: Empower is offering a series of office hours that allows recipients to tap into the experts of Cincinnati’s largest advertising and marketing firm. This kind of support is mutually beneficial. Emerging entrepreneurs get the advice they need to progress their business while Empower employees get inspired by new ideas and innovations. It’s a good cross pollination of knowledge sharing.

● Speaking Opportunities: Empower hosts a program called “Outside In” focused on bringing in outside perspectives into Empower to help educate, inspire and energize employees. Empower looks forward to inviting grant recipients to share their stories and business ventures with Empower. This will also serve as good practice as recipients head into future investment pitches and business meetings.

● Connections: Given Empower clients cover a range of industries like Food, Home, Retail, CPG and Health & Wellness, Empower also views this as an opportunity to help make meaningful connections for grant recipients.

“We’re committed to supporting Main Street Ventures and view this as a mutually beneficial opportunity to connect our talented team with emerging entrepreneurs,” says Jim Price, CEO at Empower, “all in the spirit of knowledge sharing, making meaningful connections and nurturing the ideas of tomorrow.”

Empower’s been a long-time supporter of start-up businesses and previously partnered with the Brandery on a disruptive media fellowship that has helped the likes of RoadTrippers, Martin and AdAdapted achieve great success. The #LiveEmpowered grant dovetails right off of this.

This partnership will be woven into the Main Street Ventures Level Up Program which has a goal of providing MSV Grant Recipients with what they need to help ensure their long-term success and maximize their impact. The support Empower is providing around mentoring, speaking opportunities, and connections will help connect MSV Grant Recipients to even more of our cities greatest assets, our people.

“We are beyond thankful for the support we have received from Empower,” says Bonnell. “Their dedication to our Grant Recipients is a perfect representation of how our local business community can support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our region.”

Main Street Ventures launched in 1999 with a focus on providing tech companies with a physical structure and wifi network. In 2010, MSV launched The Brandery, a seed-stage startup accelerator that leverages the expertise of the Cincinnati region – namely branding, marketing, and design. As the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have evolved, Main Street Ventures launches new initiatives to meet the challenges of the future. For more information, visit mainstventures.org.


Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Empower partners with Main Street Ventures

Cincinnati’s Largest Ad Agency Grants $10,000 to Recipients

Grant Photo

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures has announced their partnership with Empower. Main Street Ventures is all about empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and Empower encourages all of their employees to inspire each other and live an empowered life. Empower has granted MSV with a #LiveEmpowered Grant that in addition to funding, Empower will support Main Street Ventures grant recipients in a variety of ways. This support includes mentorship, speaking opportunities, and connections.

  • Mentorship: Empower is offering a series of office hours that allows recipients to tap into the experts of Cincinnati’s largest advertising and marketing firm. This kind of support is mutually beneficial. Emerging entrepreneurs get the advice they need to progress their business while Empower employees get inspired by new ideas and innovations. It’s a good cross pollination of knowledge sharing.
  • Speaking Opportunities: Empower hosts a program called “Outside In” focused on bringing in outside perspectives into Empower to help educate, inspire and energize employees. Empower looks forward to inviting grant recipients to share their stories and business ventures with Empower. This will also serve as good practice as recipients head into future investment pitches and business meetings.
  • Connections: Given Empower clients cover a range of industries like Food, Home, Retail, CPG and Health & Wellness, Empower also views this as an opportunity to help make meaningful connections for grant recipients.

“We’re committed to supporting Main Street Ventures and view this as a mutually beneficial opportunity to connect our talented team with emerging entrepreneurs – all in the spirit of knowledge sharing, making meaningful connections and nurturing the ideas of tomorrow,” says Jim Price, CEO at Empower.

Empower’s been a long-time supporter of start-up businesses and previously partnered with the Brandery on a disruptive media fellowship that has helped the likes of RoadTrippers, Martin and AdAdapted achieve great success. The #LiveEmpowered grant dovetails right off of this.

This partnership will be woven into the Main Street Ventures Level Up Program which has a goal of providing MSV Grant Recipients with what they need to help ensure their long term success and maximize their impact. The support Empower is providing around mentoring, speaking opportunities, and connections will help connect MSV Grant Recipients to even more of our cities greatest assets, our people.

“We are beyond thankful for the support we have received from Empower. Their dedication to our Grant Recipients is a perfect representation of how our local business community can support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our region.” Kelly Bonnell, Executive Director of Main Street Ventures.

About Empower:
We are Empower, The Un-Holding Company. Our advantage is simple. Clients first – not
shareholders. From the day we opened our doors in 1985, Empower has challenged the media status quo.

Empower is MediaPost’s 2021 Creative Agency of the Year, recognized as one of the top independent agencies by Campaign US, a two-time Ad Age Agency A-List Standout (2021 and 2019) and was crowned MediaPost’s 2016 Media Agency of the Year.

Our integrated team of experts in Media, Creative, Analytics, and Word-of-Mouth Marketing outperform expectations. Celebrating two Adweek Media All-Stars back-to-back while also being honored by the Webby Awards, The One Show, National ADDYs and ANA REGGIE Awards proves the eclectic talent at Empower is no one-hit wonder.

Empower’s client and employee tenure rate is unmatched – 3X the industry average. Some of our biggest fans include Brooks Running, Conn’s HomePlus, LIXIL (American Standard, Grohe and DXV), Tempur Sealy,Fifth Third Bank, Gorilla Glue, TriHealth, Jack Link’s, V-Tech, Bush Brothers, Wendy’s, GNC, Famous Footwear, Ashley, Rust-Oleum, RoC Skincare and Newell Brands.

Empower is headquartered in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. Our Chicago office is located in the city’s bustling River North neighborhood, just steps from the Merchandise Mart. Empower’s Atlanta hub is located inside the Interlock in West Midtown. While much has evolved in our 37-year history, we remain independent with plenty of hustle…

About Main Street Ventures:
Main Street Ventures launched in 1999 with a focus on providing tech companies with a physical structure and wifi network. In 2010, MSV launched The Brandery, a seed-stage startup accelerator that leverages the expertise of the Cincinnati region – namely branding, marketing, and design. As the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem have evolved, Main Street Ventures launches new initiatives to meet the challenges of the future. For more information, visit mainstventures.org.


Everything Cincy is your one-stop shop to Local Events. Local Deals. Local Jobs.

Main Street Ventures Grant Recipient: Yee Mama

Photo of Yee Mama Menu Wontons

Dora Cheng was fortunate enough to grow up with very important female role models in her life – her mother and her aunt. So, when she decided to take a leap of faith in August 2020 and launch her own wonton shop, it only made sense that she would pay tribute to those special women in the store’s name.

“In Cantonese, Yee Ma means ‘aunt,’ and mama means ‘mom,'” she explains. “I grew up calling my aunt Yee Mama because I spent a lot of time with her growing up, and I loved watching her cooking in the kitchen.”

Cheng says that Yee Mama felt like the perfect way to capture the spirit of her business and the two important female role models she has in her life. “My aunt and my mom are very different kinds of women – my mom is an independent modern woman and has her own career; my aunt is a nurturing caregiver,” she says. “They both have impacted me in significant ways. I am able to pursue my passion of starting a food business because of these two women.”

Cheng had been refining the business idea for more than two years, but finally decided to turn her dream into a reality in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her love for wontons comes from her American and Chinese upbringing. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, and moved to America with her family when she was 17. “I have lived in several small to mid-sized cities in America and have always had a hard time finding food that reminds me of the flavors that I grew up eating in Hong Kong,” she says.

That’s when she turned to making wontons at home. Hong Kong is famous for its wontons, and this type of regional dumplings are packed with lots of fillings and have a silkier and thinner wrapper than other types of dumplings. “I want to bring this type of dumpling to Cincinnati because I think people would love it,” she says. “I always have handmade frozen dumplings stocked in my freezer – they’re quick and easy meals on days I don’t feel like cooking but taste the same as freshly made food.”

Not only is Yee Mama a unique offering unlike anything else in Cincinnati, the wonton recipes are also unique. The recipes use traditional cooking techniques and honor the Cantonese culture that Cheng, her mother, and her aunt all represent. Additionally, the ingredients used are common in Asian cooking although they are often unfamiliar in Western plates and include woodear mushroom, shiso, and fensi. “When people enjoy our dumplings, they are learning about a culture and culinary traditions,” she says. “Our recipes pay tribute to the culture and cuisine that inspire us; we don’t water down our flavors.”

Every plate served at Yee Mama also looks like a piece of art. Cheng says that the team is full of talented wonton artists who create beautiful plates. Cheng credits her team for not only their skills in creating beautiful plates but also for helping her get to where she is today. “Cathy, Juana, and Dulce, they are the reason that I can grow Yee Mama into what it is today,” she says. “There are a lot of ups and downs in starting a business, but having a supportive team makes this journey a lot more fun and meaningful.”

Since she opened up her doors in August 2020, Cheng says that her team has grown to four people and has expanded from offering pickup once a week to two days a week. They also deliver to neighborhoods within 15 miles of Findlay Kitchen.

As far as the future, Cheng says that she is working on obtaining a wholesale license and bottling sauces for retail and wholesale. “Our goal this year is to get into local grocers in every neighborhood in Cincinnati,” she adds.

To help them accomplish their growth goals, Yee Mama is the recipient of a grant from Main Street Ventures (MSV), a community-funded initiative that makes entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati, by supporting entrepreneurs with what they need, when they need it.

MSV’s primary objective is to support all entrepreneurs that show potential to create jobs and positively impact the community. MSV also supports organizations that strengthen the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is a specific focus on empowering female and minority founders.

“The funding will allow us to redesign our packaging and purchase the equipment needed to package our products and bottle our sauces,” says Cheng. “We will also be able to hire additional labor needed to manage the demand of our wholesale accounts.”

You can learn more about Yee Mama by following along on Instagram and signing up for their newsletter at yeemama.com. “We love sharing our day-to-day production in the kitchen on Instagram,” adds Cheng. “We also announce our popups and special events on Instagram and via our email subscription.”

To learn more about Main Street Ventures, visit here.

Main Street Ventures Awards $121,000 of Equity-Free Funding in First Quarter of 2022

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures is pleased to announce our first quarter grant recipients. It is an exciting time for the Startup Cincy community and Main Street Ventures as we continue to see more exciting businesses begin their journey in our Region. 

All of the grants this quarter were awarded to female founded businesses. These grants were made possible because of Cincinnati City Council’s provision of $1 Million to Main Street Ventures from the American Rescue Plan Act, a bill passed in 2021 to assist the economic health and recovery of the United States brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funds received by Main Street Ventures are specifically focused on increasing our grant support programming for Women-Owned small businesses.  

Main Street Ventures provides two different types of funding; Launch and Leap Grants. Launch funding provides emerging, pre-revenue businesses at the Prototype or Product stage (showing clear evidence of direct customer engagement validating the business model and product) with $5,000 – $10,000 of equity free funding to increase the odds of reaching the Market Entry stage and beyond. Leap funding provides promising, revenue generating businesses with $10,000 – $30,000 of equity free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of survival.

The company receiving a Launch Grant is:

  • Raven’s Creations: Raven’s Creations is a personal chef and catering service created to engineer upscale, memorable events for those celebrating life’s most precious moments or those with hectic lifestyles wanting to take a break from the kitchen.

The companies receiving Leap Grants are:

  • Mad Cheese: Mad Cheese creates and produces small-batch, artisan, vegan cheese and charcuterie.
  • Tickety Boo Treats: Tickety-Boo Treats is on a mission to bring healthy and delicious treats to all tables – specializing in cheesecakes and crusts.
  • uGOgelato: uGoGelato is an artisanal Gelato shop featuring in-house production.
  • Yee Mama: Yee Mama brings the flavors of Asian home cooking and the Cantonese cooking philosophy to Cincinnati through handmade wontons and other products

In total, Main Street Ventures awarded $121,000 in equity-free grant funding this quarter. These recipients will go on to use this funding to execute their respective plans to take their businesses to the next level. The funding from Main Street Ventures continues to go directly into the local economy through the StartupCincy community. 


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 under-represented in the startup community.
For more information, visit mainstventures.org.


Media Contact: Abby Ober • Level Up Program Manager

(513) 708-9059 abby@mainstventures.org

1311 Vine St.│Cincinnati, Ohio│45202

https://www.mainstventures.org/

Main Street Ventures Grant Recipient: Get Together AI

Get Together Al

We all know the phrase, “Let’s get together.” We say it with the best intentions, but it’s tough to coordinate everyone’s busy schedules to make it actually happen.

That’s why Maddie and Mike Bell created Get Together AI, and they’re now on a mission to streamline scheduling and change the way we make plans with friends. Launched in March 2021, Get Together AI is one of the first automated scheduling tools designed specifically for use directly within group messaging platforms – like those group text message chain that you’re always in, saying “we should get together!”

“Rather than having everyone manually coordinate their calendars, or having individuals send out calendar available or group polls, our product acts as a personal assistant and finds the best time for everyone on a group messaging chat to meet,” Mike explains.

The inspiration for Get Together AI came from its founders’ own issues in managing schedules and finding a time to get together with friends, family, and colleagues. “Because our calendars were so busy, we found ourselves in constant, endless back-and-forth text message chains trying to find time to join up with friends only to realize a million text messages later that no one was free for weeks,” Maddie says. “Over time, we realized scheduling doesn’t start with a calendar- it starts with a message, and we became certain that scheduling over messaging apps should be easier.”

That’s when the team developed the technology that identifies the best time for everyone on a group text message chat to meet in just seconds. “We looked and looked, and couldn’t find anything, so we decided to build it ourselves,” she adds.

Here’s How it Works:

A user signs up, adds “Get Together” to a group chat, tells Get Together AI exactly what they want to schedule, like coffee, and then the app triangulates the group’s scheduling preferences and calendar availability to identify the best time.

Then, once the activity is confirmed, Get Together AI places the event on everyone’s calendar and sends reminders the day of the event. The automation also helps those who don’t have a digital calendars because they can simply set their preferences, and it sends the best time for all registered users even if everyone on the chat isn’t signed up.

In the year since Get Together AI launched, Mike says that his team has been pleasantly surprised at how quickly it’s caught on. “While we started with just an idea, we have advanced to a fully-functioning product that can be used directly within iMessage, Android Messages, Slack, and Discord,” he says. “Since launch, we’ve released the product, filed for a patent, grown our user base 50% week-over-week on average, won the 2022 Slack Hackathon, signed our first large enterprise client, and closed a pre-seed round with some great investors.”

The team at Get Together AI was using Slack, a business productivity software, to collaborate for work and realized that the core, message-based scheduling technology built for text messages could also work to solve scheduling problems for businesses by enabling employees to schedule meetings across organizations, time zones ,and project teams without leaving their group chat. “We found out about the Slack Hackathon, competed against over 500 participants from around the world, and then won the overall grand prize of $15,000, meeting with Slack leadership, and go-to-market support,” Mike recalls.

As far as the future of Get Together AI, Mike says that the team’s vision is to allow anyone to schedule anything, whether it be business or personal, with just a message. “We have launched in text message to enable users to begin scheduling with their friends, and soon we plan to ensure that they can also schedule directly with their favorite businesses,” he says. “For example, just text your local salon and Get Together will find the best time for you and your stylist.”

Additionally, while Get Together started with a Slack integration, for businesses they plan to scale their efforts to other business productivity tools like Microsoft teams in the near future.

All of the growth and building that Get Together has accomplished thus far, however, wouldn’t be possible without the help of Main Street Ventures (MSV), a community-funded initiative that makes entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati, by supporting entrepreneurs with what they need, when they need it.

“MSV saw the value of this idea when that is all it was – an idea,” Mike says. “We used the $10,000 launch grant to build and test our initial beta app on iOS and Android with consumers, which gave us the insights needed for our current versions and can be found on the Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store as ‘Get Together AI.’”

MSV’s primary objective is to support all entrepreneurs that show potential to create jobs and positively impact the community. MSV also supports organizations that strengthen the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is a specific focus on empowering female and minority founders.

To learn more about Main Street Ventures, visit here. To learn more about Get Together AI, visit here.