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Startup Cincinnati: Mason Tech Center

Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 09:39 AM EST
MASON, Ohio (Tiffany Wilson) -- A recent study shows Cincinnati ranks high when it comes to Twitter trends. It's just a part of the Queen City's recent tech success. The momentum is spilling into the suburbs and the City of Mason is wooing talent north.

From the outside, the Mason Tech Center looks like any old office building. Initially Top Gun CEO, J. Steven Osborne, wanted to buy it for his company but the space was too big and too expensive. Then the City of Mason approached. "They said, let us help you acquire that building, we'll help you with some funding via a loan and to repay that loan you can let us use the square footage that you're not using to help us attract some high tech companies to the City of Mason," Osborne said.

So far, six companies have taken advantage of the grade A office space leased at deep discounts to tech startups. "The value of this kind of stuff for an entrepreneur who's looking to create jobs and start a business is just immeasurable," said Phillip Ogilby. He bootstrapped a business out of his basement for three years before receiving CincyTech funding. In May, he moved his company, Cloud Takeoff, into the Tech Center. Ogilby said the space helped him make new hires. "It really helps us compete with some of the big players for some of these highly in demand tech jobs that we're hoping to fill here."

Fellow startup founder Rod Robinson said working out of the Tech Center allows him to focus on building his business, Connxus, not logistical headaches like buying office furniture. "We didn't have to over-think anything. We just said what we needed to make our lives easier."

Michele Blair with the City of Mason sees it as a win-win. "This is an economic development model that we're committed to and we want to continue to explore what the next pieces are." Osborne added, "We've had a lot of local cities in the state actually tour through here for its uniqueness and how incredibly well it's worked." The better the Tech Center works, the more high income jobs for Mason and the more success for startups.

Mason officials say the Tech Center is ahead of schedule and they project it will have 200 employees soon.
Startup Cincinnati: Mason Tech Center


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