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Office of Innovation + Creativity Update

Economic Development, News

HCDC Office of Innovation + Creativity’s technical assistance program uses the “Economic Gardening” (EG) model which is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. Its premise is that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth and economic growth to a region in the form of jobs, increased revenues, and a vibrant local business sector. This model has been in existence for over three decades in the United States and has been implemented in more than 20 states, in some cases as a statewide economic development initiative.

Currently, work is in progress with our 10 pilot companies. Through EG we are providing targeted business intelligence to our companies in order to drive strategic decisions that will accelerate their growth. We completed our EG engagement with two of them in October 2018. A program exit interview was also completed with both companies. We expect to complete all pilot company program engagements in January 2019.

Our first program completion was with Standard Bariatrics. Standard Bariatrics is a Cincinnati-based surgical device company focused on the innovative development and commercialization of medical devices for the surgical treatment of obesity. Our results and feedback have been excellent. Matt Sokany, President and CEO stated: “Standard Bariatrics was approached by Karla Boldery from HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity with an opportunity to partner through the technical assistance/ EG pilot. Following the vetting process and two input sessions, we described the need to identify new customers within a specific niche. Standard Bariatrics didn’t have the marketing resources and primary data access to find these high-value customers. With the help of the HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity, and the access to its extensive marketing resources and capabilities, we identified up to 200 potential high-value customers and their critical information for our sales representatives to follow up with. We expect to realize sales potential of over $1M in revenue through this partnership and provide quick ROI, which is critically important for a startup or any size business.”

“OIC results from working with our pilot companies have been great and feedback received from the companies who have finished the pilot program has been excellent,” says Director of Innovation Services Karla Boldery. “As we continue to leverage data input from our companies and implementing lessons learned, we will further improve our process and effectiveness, and we will track progress and impact from our efforts to determine needs from these companies that can help accelerate their growth.”

For more information on the Office of Innovation + Creativity program, please contact Karla Boldery at or at 513-631-8292.

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