First Batch provides four months of rent at the Losantiville design collective space. This gives companies not only desk and meeting space, but also access to a workshop and prototyping tools.


We aim to connect each company with a set of mentors and advisers unique to each product and business type. We have access to a deep pool of local talent well versed in bringing new products to market.


One of the main goals of the program is to provide direct connections to Cincinnati-based manufacturers that can bring your product to scale. But we also aim to connect to the necessary legal, design, business, packaging, and logistics support that goes along with producing and selling at the next level.


Each company receives an $8,000 production budget to be used with local manufacturers in the process of scaling and creating their next step in production.


Want to schedule a 30-minute chat with the program director to answer any questions or get some brief feedback? Sign up for an office hours appointment today.

Program Overview
  • Apply by May 1 2015
  • Program runs from June 2015 to October 2015
  • Receive up to $8,000 worth of assistance for manufacturing development
  • Workspace at the Losantiville Design Collective
  • Opportunity to take the ArtWorks CO.STARTERS class (A business development course for creative entrepreneurs)
  • 4 entrepreneurs will be selected for the 2015 program
  • Commit to work full-time to the 5 month process
Program Expectations
First Batch expects each selected entrepreneur to:

  • Continue to research and refine their product
  • Identify and define target markets and end users
  • Develop connections in the supply and distribution markets
  • Build strong brand, marketing, and sales strategies
  • Produce and manufacture their first product runs in the timeframe
  • Establish strong network of mentors and specialists
  • Build skills in financial management
Who We Are Looking For
The ideal entrepreneur for the program has these qualities:

  • An idea for a new product that they’re ready to take production and distribution
  • A physical prototype. (Can be rough or polished)
  • Drive to grow their business in a self-directed way
  • Willingness to take risks and learn from mentors
  • Strong communication skills
  • Full time commitment to the growth of their business
  • Willingness to work at Losantiville in Over-the-Rhine

This Year’s Participants

2015 Class



Laura Koven, Founder

AVA will be producing a device geared to help hot yoga practitioners with grip as well as reduce the amount of equipment needed for a class.
Beluga Shave

Beluga Shave

Zac Wertz, Founder

Beluga Razor, created by Zac Wertz, is a high-end straight-blade razor with a linen-impregnated handle providing extra grip when wet. Wertz recently completed a $200,000 Kickstarter campaign and has 2,000 pre-orders. Find out more about Beluga Razor
Mortal Ski Co.

Mortal Ski Co.

Ron Gerdes and Mark Branham, Founders

Ron Gerdes started Mortal Skis to manufacture skis that fit the icy, man-made, often less-than-ideal snow conditions typically found on Midwest slopes. Mortal Skis will also be looking at ski supplies, like wax, that could also be better adapted to Midwestern conditions. Find out more about Mortal Skis
Paper Acorn

Paper Acorn

Jessica Wolf, Founder

Paper Acorn, a six-year-old company run by Jessica Wolf, has been selling folded paper objects through Etsy and Crafty Supermarket and is expanding into producing DIY kits. Find out more about Paper Acorn

Past Participants

2014 Class

Point Cut Studios

Point Cut Studios

Ken Addison, founder

Blink- studio level live video control simplified. Find out more about Point Cut Studio


Natalie Mathis and Quincy Robinson, co-founders

3DKitbash has experience in toy sculpting for digital files they provide online, but are diving back into the physical toy world to produce a line of collectible vinyl sports-related toys. Find out more about their launch of Monster Mascots


Tim Karoleff, founder

Ampersand was founded with a simple goal: to create pleasurable yet practical products that would make people smile. Today the mission is the same as they continue to produce quality goods that make life a little better for you and your loved ones. Find out more about Ampersand
Ohio Valley Beard Supply

Ohio Valley Beard Supply

Patrick Brown and Scott Ponder, co-founders

Purveyors of the Finest in Men’s Beard Supplies. Find out more about Ohio Valley Beard Supply

2013 Class

Hatchet Guitars

Hatchet Guitars

Adam Jonovski, founder

Travel size guitars that play like instruments, not toys. Find out more about Hatchet Guitars
Wool Shop

Wool Shop

DJ Corney, founder

Quality, responsibly produced knitwear. From happy sheep, using the colors mother nature gives. Learn more about Wool Shop

Find out ways to partner with First Batch today!

Learn More



First Batch is run out of the historic Moerlein cold storage / Apex Furniture building. Located in the Brewery District of Over-the-Rhine, the area offers the right mix of history and industrial character with the palpable excitement of growth and new businesses. Its the perfect place for starting a company making physical products.

A Cincinnati Made Program

Cincinnati Made is a non-profit effort to promote, connect, and grow small batch manufacturing in Cincinnati.

Major Funding By

First Batch is made possible through the generous support of the the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

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First Batch wins SBA Accelerator grant

$50,000 GRANT TO CINCINNATI MADE, LEADING ACCELERATOR OF PHYSICAL PRODUCTS DEVELOPMENT AND SOUTHWEST OHIO MANUFACTURING ANNOUNCED AT WHITE HOUSE DEMO DAY   CINCINNATI, OHIO – $50,000 Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition awards that included Cincinnati Made ( for its First Batch business accelerator were announced at the White House Demo Day today. First Batch supports physical product startups and regional manufacturing. Its award was one of just two to Ohio entities.   Applications were judged by more than 40 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. A first panel of judges reviewed over 400 applications and presentations. A second panel of judges evaluated finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the winners.   Cincinnati Made helps to promote and grow Cincinnati’s physical products eco-system including design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing resources. Its First Batch accelerator helps entrepreneurs get new products from prototype to first run production, learn to create and run businesses, and promotes Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky manufacturing. It was co-founded in 2013 by Matthew Anthony, who holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the nation’s #1 ranked Industrial Design program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. Anthony also received the 2015 Young Urbanist Award from UC’s Community Design Center.   One of a small number of U.S. business accelerators exclusively dedicated to physical products, First Batch has had an exceptional summer. In June, after announcing the winners of its annual design and manufacturing competition, it received $75,000 from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank...

New Co Wrap-up

New Co. Cincinnati’s first year provided many diverse members of Cincinnati’s professional ecosystem with intros and insights to a number of important and innovative companies in this city. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to visit every organization hosting a session so for those who may have been interested in First Batch’s but couldn’t, here’s some key points of the session. Manufacturing in Cincinnati: Cincinnati is an area ripe with manufacturing capabilities and manufacturing here plays a critical part of Cincinnati’s economy. As Cincinnati grows its technological portfolio, it’s easy to focus on the invisible and forget the prevalence of manufacturing  but as it turns out, making things has historically been a pivotal point for Cincy commerce as raw materials and manufactured goods were shipped to and out of Cincinnati through the Ohio and Licking river. While tech is great, Cincinnati is built for builders and holds great opportunities for physical product entrepreneurs. First Batch Participants: This year First Batch has been working with 4 unique and innovative participant companies: Beluga Shave Co., Paper Acorn, Mortal Ski Company and AVA. Mortal Ski Company Mortal Ski Company is a Midwestern ski manufacturer for Midwestern skiers built with quality, passion, and with the skier in mind. They produce skis specifically designed for Midwestern snow and weather skiing conditions.   Paper Acorn Paper Acorn creates pre-constructed, uniquely designed 3D paper crafts and gift boxes as well as do it yourself crafting kits for the same designs. Jessica has been selling these products very successfully so far and hope to scale the manufacturing to keep up with demand.   Beluga Shave Co. Beluga Shave’s single...