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Minority entrepreneurs to share knowledge at StartupCincy event

Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 10:10:05-05

CINCINNATI -- Less than a year ago, Ricardo Grant launched his new online business with an idea and a laptop. 

Grant is the CEO of CrownMob, an online marketplace. 

"It is designed specifically for black hair- and skincare products," he said. 

With help from Cintrifuse Downtown, the business has taken off. 

"Things just started going viral," Grant said. "Retailers started finding us."

That's why StartupCincy is hosting an event Tuesday night called "Future History Now," to share knowledge and tech connections with minority startups. 

Eric Weissmann, the vice president of communications, community and economic inclusion for Cintrifuse said the event is "about showing that the doors of Union Hall, this epicenter for entrepreneurship in downtown Cincinnati, is really open for everyone."

The thinking behind minorities and innovation is very popular right now. It's even a theme in the new superhero movie "Black Panther." The movie depicts the innovative advances of an imagined African nation, Wakanda. That's music to the ears of tech entrepreneurs in Cincinnati, according to Bjorn Simmons with Cintrifuse.

"Technology and innovation has really become a center of gravity for, not only for countries to become successful, but for people to find their identities," Simmons said. 

Finding money remains an obstacle. Less than 1 percent of venture capital goes to African-American business owners. 

The Future History Now event begins at 6 p.m. It's free and open to the public. Successful minority entrepreneurs will be there to share what they know. Click here for more information.