RedHawk Launch Accelerator

 Student talking to mentor at table
Mentor and student talking at table
 Mentor talking to student
 Cincy startup sticker on phone at table
 Two students chat with a mentor

RedHawk Launch Accelerator, based in Union Hall in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district, is the Institute’s seed stage startup accelerator for student-led startups with high growth potential and provides seed funding to startups in each cohort.

2020 represents the fifth cohort for the Redhawk Accelerator. The previous cohorts have produced a number of notable StartupCincy companies, including OROS (The Brandery ‘15), Devoo (Ocean Accelerator ‘16), and Apex Sports (UpTech Accelerator ‘18).

The 2020 cohort consists of six businesses:

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Zinerva is a smart gameboard and game for people with visual impairments and their allies who want to connect, create memories, and enjoy the socialization benefits that board games bring. Everyone deserves to be able to experience game nights because they are entertaining and connect people. The problem is, people with visual impairments are unable to independently play board games without alterations, disconnecting them from the benefits board games bring. Allies of the visually impaired often have a tendency to overcompensate in aiding people who have visual disabilities. This is especially true when socializing and playing board games. Zinerva is breaking through the board game industry by creating accessible games that are not just for the visually impaired but is designed to level the playing field

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Curia takes a language-based approach to identifying author opinion in news reporting. Curia supplements one’s reading by identifying objective reporting and showing it through a simple scoring system. We want to see a world where it’s easy to find news that lets one develop their own insight about a topic without dealing with the opinions of authors.



Ecotone facilitates sustainable tourism experiences by connecting eco-conscious travelers to verified businesses with sustainably at the forefront of their business models. Our online platform provides eco-conscious travelers a convenient place to find and book eco-friendly lodging instantly. Ecotone is a platform that not only helps eco-conscious travelers reduce their ecological footprints but also supports sustainable businesses.

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PartsMart is a used automotive parts marketplace aimed at simplifying and organizing the used car parts buying and selling process. With many current options targeting generalized marketplace or running obsolete systems, the need for a modern, specialized source is apparent. Salvage yards account for $32 billion annually but do not have marketplaces catering towards their inventory. With the vast majority of people owning cars, things are bound to break or wear out. With PartsMart, you will find cheaper used parts to fix your car. 

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Ascend is a web-based platform that serves to personalize the funeral planning process allowing users to choose from a variety of vendors and venues without using the traditional funeral home. Ascend eases the grieving process for people when a loved one passes by educating them and giving them the freedom to choose from a number of different providers. Our professional event planners guide our customers through the process and grant all their wishes in the quickest most efficient way possible allowing our users to focus on what matters most during their time of need.

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RoomMate Roster

RoomMate Roster is a web/mobile application designed to provide a user-friendly platform to find roommates, rental properties, and potential friends. RoomMate Roster is built to match potential roommates moving into new areas based on survey answers describing the personality of each user. With the second largest generation attending college, getting ready to live on their own, and/or leaving for new cities--the current process for finding roommates and housing is inconsistent and difficult. RoomMate Roster is designed to fill the gap in current services by providing a more efficient and intuitive way of finding new living situations. College students and young professionals often move to new cities while trying to solidify their careers, whether it is for an internship or a new opportunity. However, there is no standard tool to help these individuals with the process. The current method of finding housing consists of using various incompatible websites (Zillow, Craigslist, Google maps, etc.) in tandem, but RoomMate Roster provides a one-stop solution.  


To learn more about the program, contact Mark Lacker 513-529-1896