27 Aug

Transform Cincinnati Announces Six Finalists to Advance to September Marketplace

Finalists to Present Bold, Game-Changing Ideas to Potential Investors;  Investors May Register to Participate Through September 28

Cincinnati, OH – August 27, 2015 Transform Cincinnati, a new initiative to connect bold ideas to improve Greater Cincinnati with people who have the potential to make significant investments in our region, has announced the six finalists selected to present their ideas at the Transform Cincinnati Marketplace on September 30.

Transform Cincinnati connects individuals who have the financial capacity and motivation to effect dramatic change with not-for-profit and for-profit entities whose ideas can have a lasting impact on the quality of life in Greater Cincinnati. Transform Cincinnati itself does not provide funding, but is creating a marketplace where potential investors and bold ideas from $1 million to $10 million can be matched.

Transform Cincinnati received more than 150 applications earlier this summer, which were reviewed to identify the 29 applications best fitting the organization’s criteria. The Transform Cincinnati review panel, comprised of a cross section of community leaders representing civic, not-for-profit, business and government organizations, then carefully reviewed the proposals and voted to advance six finalists.

“Our goal is to elevate ideas that can effect change our community to investors with the ability to push them forward,” said Transform Cincinnati founder Dick Rosenthal. “Through the diligent effort of our community review panel, we are advancing six proposals that have the potential to transform the vitality of our community.”

Finalists for the first Transform Cincinnati Marketplace and their submitting organizations are:

  • Activate Ziegler Park!: The plan re-imagines Ziegler Park on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine (OTR) as a true community recreational resource. By leveraging government and private funding, the existing park will be expanded and renovated into five acres of community civic space, including neighborhood green space, a new deep-water swimming pool, multi-use recreational field, children’s playground, public parking and more. Applicant: Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC)
  • Cincinnati Neighborhood Equity Fund: Creates a Cincinnati Neighborhood Equity Fund of “patient capital” to accelerate jobs and redevelopment of urban communities outside of Over-the-Rhine, starting in Walnut Hills. Walnut Hills has already seen initial redevelopment and it is believed new equity can jump-start high-risk neighborhood development and revitalization, much like it has in OTR. CDF will support the fund by advising on financing, investing its own capital and leveraging other funding sources to complement this investment. This project could involve philanthropy and loans or a combination of both. Applicant:Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF)
  • Venture Building Studio and OPA! Labs: Establishes a consumer health care venture studio (OPA! Labs) – a model already tried in other cities – dedicated to attracting the best health innovators and talent to the region to incubate, nurture and then commercialize ideas. The program builds on the region’s existing health care strength to further establish it as a national magnet for health care innovation. Applicant: Cintrifuse, in collaboration with The Health Collaborative
  • End Youth Homelessness in Cincinnati by 2020: Homelessness among youth frequently ends in suicide, substance abuse and other negative consequences. This project envisions no homeless youth in Cincinnati. The plan develops a Walnut Hills multipurpose center offering housing and services appropriate to youths’ needs while they work through skill-building and a support plan to transition to independent adulthood. It includes an emergency homeless youth shelter, new units of permanent supportive housing, and a range of services that focus on getting youth into housing and off the streets. Applicant: Lighthouse Youth Services
  • Precision Cancer Care: Revolutionizing Cancer Outcomes in Cincinnati: The project leverages breakthrough discoveries in genomics, drug discovery, informatics and biological model systems and brings them directly to patient care – which will help rank Cincinnati among national leaders in new and personalized advances in cancer care. Breakthrough scientific discoveries made through the project are expected to be shared globally. Applicant: UC Health/UC Cancer Institute
  • A Down Payment on the Preschool Promise: This initiative creates the strategic foundation for the educational future of children through Cincinnati Preschool Promise (CPP). While still in development, CPP hopes to ensure every child in the region has access to two years of high-quality, affordable preschool regardless of income – something no other city has done. This project seeks to lay the groundwork, so CPP can ramp-up its implementation immediately if voters approve a ballot initiative in November 2016. This is a potential game-changer for Cincinnati, a city in which more than 50 percent of children are born into families below the poverty level. Applicant: 4C for Children

Concepts to be Presented at Transform Cincinnati Marketplace; Investors May Still Register

The Transform Cincinnati Marketplace gathers prospective investors in a private forum on September 30 to hear presentations from finalists. Potential investors will have the opportunity to commit to a project through grants or loans, but are not obligated to do so.

Since many transformative ideas were among the semi-finalists, background on the semi-finalists will be shared with potential investors at the Transform Cincinnati Marketplace.

“The range and creativity of these ideas – from self-sustaining green spaces to new approaches to tackling hunger and poverty through collaboration and innovative ways to brand and market sectors such as the arts are just outstanding,” said Rosenthal. “While not all can be presented, we want to make them available because we believe they have tremendous merit and are worthy of consideration by investors based on their own interests and passions.”

Individual investors who are interested in participating in the Marketplace may register at www.transformcincinnati.org/investor through September 28 or by calling Transform Cincinnati at (513) 651-1200.

About Transform Cincinnati

Transform Cincinnati connects individuals who have the financial capacity and motivation to effect dramatic change with initiatives that will have a lasting impact on the quality of life in Cincinnati and the eight surrounding counties. Learn more at www.TransformCincinnati.org.


Rick Miller
Rick Miller Communications

Allison Ryan
Rick Miller Communications