Be part of something big

Launch in the heart of Dayton’s startup scene

At the core of Dayton’s comeback are talented people taking risks and shaping our city. You can find their stories in locally-run coffee shops, coworking spaces, entrepreneurial hubs, artist spaces, brewery tasting rooms, and the kitchens of local restaurants.

Much of it is happening downtown. In 2016 we launched an initiative to better support downtown’s growing startup scene. You can read a summary of our Priority Recommendations by clicking here. However, talk isn’t enough – we also launched new projects to help move our startup ecosystem forward:

Pop-up Coworking: Our first pop-up coworking event was in November of 2016 – each one was at a different location around downtown to help bring the startup and creative community together. Ten events later with close to 1,000 total attendees, we’ve now combined them with our ecosystem partners for Fourth Fridays @444. Click here for the details for the next one.

Kiva Dayton: We’ve organized a Dayton-based Kiva network to connect local funders to local small businesses that need support. Kiva is like crowd-funding, but instead it’s crowd-lending – after your loan is repaid, you can use the same dollars to support another small business. Learn more about Kiva and join the Dayton network by clicking here.

Business Improvement Challenge: Team members launched a challenge for startups and established businesses around solving problems and creating significant returns on investment at the established company. Click here to read a summary of the first design sprint. If you’re a business who might benefit from an interaction with startups, learn more by clicking here.

Dayton Collaboration Network: Interested in providing discounted business services or mentorship to startups to help them grow? Since launch of the Dayton Collaboration Network, 35 subject matter experts have provided pro-bono consultation, contributing more than 150 hours. If you’d like to get involved, contact Scott Murphy at murphy@downtowndayton.org.

I Started Downtown: This video series shined a spotlight on some of the talented small business owners who are launching new endeavors and helping revitalize downtown Dayton. View the whole series at by clicking here.

Supporting startups and creatives is a contact sport. We hope you will get engaged by joining one of the many efforts underway or launching your contribution to the cause.

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“There’s so much growth and opportunity for entrepreneurs, it’s amazing… people are not afraid to take risks, and this is a great area for it.”

– Brittany Smith
-Owner, Heart Mercantile

Oregon District

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