INKUBATOR to host 5th annual Demo Day at Cintrifuse


University Marketing + Communications 

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – For the past three months, six student-led startup companies at Northern Kentucky University have been working to turn their business dreams into reality.

Graduates of the program will now have the chance to demonstrate their progress to some of the top leaders in Greater Cincinnati’s startup world. On Thursday, NKU’s INKUBATOR program will host its fifth annual Demo Day at Cintrifuse.

“We are excited to showcase the hard work of these talented emerging companies,” said Rodney D’Souza, director of NKU’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We know that powerful new ideas have the potential to change the world, and our INKUBATOR program is proud to help the next generation of entrepreneurs harness the potential of their dreams.”

The INKUBATOR is a rigorous, 12-week business accelerator housed in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an initiative of NKU’s Haile/US Bank College of Business. Six student-led startups were accepted into the program, and on Thursday will pitch to leaders from across the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky business and entrepreneurship communities.

For the first time, Demo Day will be held at Cintrifuse in Over-the-Rhine. The event will begin at 5 p.m., and graduates will deliver a seven-minute pitch, followed by a Q&A session with the panel of guest judges. A networking event will follow.

However, the companies won’t just be pitching to the judges: members of the audience will vote for the best presentation of the night, and the winning company will receive a $1,000 prize.

The INKUBATOR Class of 2016 includes: 

  • Crossbeam Consulting: An online test prep company that helps social workers pass the ASWB licensure exam. Founded by NKU alumna and licensed social worker Lacinda Jones.
  • CultureX: A web-based platform to connect individuals from international organizations with those interested in learning about other cultures based on their career and interests. Founded by NKU Business Informatics student Andy Miller.
  • experitix:  A cloud-based digital ticket, event, and experience management platform serving educational institutions. Founded by NKU alumnus Ian Herzog.
  • Furaha: Furaha empowers donors to choose exactly what they would like to donate and where they would like it delivered. Founded by NKU Biology student Keith Prive.
  • Umi:  A tool that illuminates endless opportunities. Founded by NKU student Joseph Smith, who is pursuing a Marketing degree with a double minor in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship.
  • WaiverHawk: Identifies potential through data.  Founded by NKU alumnus Samuel Hallforth.

Founded in 2012, the INKUBATOR program is open to all current NKU students as well as to recent graduates.

The program was ranked among the top five in the world by UBI (University Business Incubators) in 2014 and 2015 in two different categories.

  • 2014: Ranked among the top five college accelerators and incubators in the world in the area of competency development by the UBI Index.
  • 2015: Ranked among the top five University Business Accelerators in North America.

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