Submitted by Centrifuse
“Managing a business is no small feat––there isn’t a lot of spare time to go around. That’s why we’ve talked to the experts and discovered the best tech for empowering small businesses to grow and succeed,” said Maurice Coffey, head of Cintrifuse and executive-in-residence from Procter & Gamble. Coffey and Dani Clark of Untold Content organized Nitro! Bootcamp for members of the StartupCincy community.
NITRO! Bootcamp, offered a few weeks ago at Cintrifuse in Over-the-Rhine, was a free first-of-its-kind event set to power up small minority and women-owned businesses. The goal is to provide access and training on top business technologies. The tech tools were chosen to give the businesses an upper hand in today’s market. J.P. Morgan Chase was the lead sponsor and funded acquisition of the software that was provided at no charge to all attendees.
Cintrifuse chose 25 businesses for a full day event of training sessions on powerful technology tools such as Xero, GSuite, Gusto, Primary Hosting and StartBlox. There was an expert trainer provided by each technology company. Participants were given the technologies in advance so that they could bring some experience as well as questions to the training sessions.
“The high-intensity curriculum was the perfect battery to get a small business into gear to build and to surpass all expectations in business,” said John Opoku, founder and president of DUBTEL, a small tech company in West Chester. “Among the numerous benefits of attending this event is that it is the perfect platform on which to network with local businesses and with local reps for national businesses who steer and support the event.”
To apply for Nitro! Bootcamp, the minority or women-owned business had to have more than one employee and meet a certain revenue criteria. The 25 businesses chosen ranged from a catering business, Edibles-N-Such that has been in business for 35 years, to fresh startups. While most were from the Greater Cincinnati Area, some entrepreneurs such as Veronica Blue – whose company helps businesses to increase and monetize their Internet presence, took the time to drive down from Cleveland and attend Nitro!
Nitro! attendees were greeted with opening statements from high-profile guests such as State Senator Cecil Thomas and State Rep. Sedrick Denson. The message was clear: Ohio is calling, pushing, and providing for technology as a solution for accelerated growth and kickstarting of minority-owned businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area. Alex Derkson, J.P. Morgan Chase’s vice president of global philanthropy, encouraged entrepreneurs to try new technologies and stay ahead in their fields in order to be competitive and grow.
“Keeping other small businesses going and thriving is part of what DUBTEL does,” added Opoku, “so taking part in NITRO! Bootcamp is part and parcel to our mission.” Opoku explained that having the input and tools offered by NITRO! and its many partners gave DUBTEL a direct look into how the company can help small businesses streamline their processes, track accounting transactions and communicate more effectively.
In addition to lead partner J.P. Morgan Chase, NITRO!’s partners included the African American Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and The Urban League of Southwest Ohio. Thanks to all of the partners involved, NITRO! Bootcamp was able to provide attendees with a veritable powerhouse of business tools.
Tech Partners of the program gave talks on business tech that can give small businesses the leg up they need to really kickstart their success. This year’s partners included Google Suites, Xero, Fuze, Gusto, Primary Hosting and StartBlox; each partner had an experienced, knowledgeable representative in attendance to give a comprehensive look at what each partner could do for small businesses.
One of the Nitro! trainers was Shelly Bell of Google Suites. She serves as one of eight Google Digital Coaches working to bridge the digital divide for Black and Latinx business owners.
“Nitro! gave our multi-media company, Sesh Communications, a real boost in technology. We were a little leery to take on new technology, but what a difference it’s making!” said Walter L. White, Sesh Communications. Among the numerous benefits of attending this event is that it is the perfect platform on which to network with local business and with local reps for national businesses, who steer and support the event. NITRO! Bootcamp was steered this year by companies like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Cintrifuse, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Greater Cincinnati Urban League and several other businesses and outfits.