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Main Street Ventures Awards over $256,000 of Equity-Free Funding in Fourth Quarter

CINCINNATI— Main Street Ventures is pleased to announce the largest group of grant recipients to date from its final grant cycle of 2021. It is an exciting time for the Startup Cincy community and Main Street Ventures as we continue to see more exciting businesses begin their journey in our Region.

Over $200,000 in grants this quarter were awarded to female founded businesses. These grants were made possible because of Cincinnati City Council’s provision of $1 Million to Main Street Ventures from the American Rescue Plan Act, a bill passed in 2021 to assist the economic health and recovery of the United States brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funds received by Main Street Ventures are specifically focused on increasing our grant support programming for Women-Owned small businesses.

“I’m proud that City Council unanimously supported these stimulus dollars for the Main Street Ventures initiative to support female entrepreneurs. Data shows that closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship helps create more stable households, healthier communities, and stronger local economies. Supporting women-owned businesses has a direct impact on children and families and the impact of this program can benefit our city immensely.”- Liz Keating, Cincinnati City Council Member

Main Street Ventures provides two different types of funding; Launch and Leap Grants. Launch funding provides emerging, pre-revenue businesses at the Prototype or Product stage (showing clear evidence of direct customer engagement validating the business model and product) with $5,000 - $10,000 of equity free funding to increase the odds of reaching the Market Entry stage and beyond. Leap funding provides promising, revenue generating businesses with $10,000 - $30,000 of equity free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of survival. The companies receiving Launch Grants are:

  • Areni Rose: Areni Rose creates custom shoes made with high-quality materials tailored exactly to your measurements.

  • Perceive Now: Perceive Now is an online platform that allows tech entrepreneurs and scientists to quickly access business and research intelligence extracted from millions of scholarly articles and patents.

The companies receiving Leap Grants are:

  • Brown Bear Bakery: Brown Bear Bakery specializes in thoughtfully created pastries and desserts featuring a variety of sweet and savory options made with local ingredients and guided by the seasons.

  • Financial Fitness App: The Financial Fitness App empowers employees through personal budget and investment training - putting a CFP Professional in everyone’s pocket.

  • Honey Child Artisan Pops: Honey Child Artisan Pops creates delicious, superfood popsicles.

  • Lucca Laser Workshop: Lucca Laser Workshop is a woman-owned machine shop and studio focusing on natural, laser-cut gifts, supplies, and decor.

  • Mixicles: Mixicles produces botanically infused ice designed to naturally flavor and chill any spirit, wine, beer, or other beverage.

  • Nettie Pickleball Co.: Nettie is a pickleball brand bringing well-designed, affordable, and retro-inspired gear and apparel to the casual pickleball player.

  • Paktli Foods: Paktli is a puffed ancient grain snack inspired by the Mexican Alegria.

  • Sweet Mae’s Cookie Co.: Sweet Mae's is a premium stuffed cookie company with a southern accent.

  • The Arepa Place: The Arepa Place is a small, fast-casual restaurant that specializes in delicious Colombian and Venezuelan dishes.

In total, Main Street Ventures awarded over $256,000 in equity-free grant funding this quarter. These recipients will go on to use this funding to execute their respective plans to take their businesses to the next level. From technology platforms to equipment, the funding from Main Street Ventures continues to go directly into the local economy through the StartupCincy community.

About Main Street Ventures

Main Street Ventures is working to become the community-funded initiative that makes entrepreneurship possible for everyone in Greater Cincinnati, by supporting entrepreneurs with what they need, when they need it: Capital, Connections, and Education. We look to support all good ideas and founders, but with a particular focus on women and minority entrepreneurs who have been historically under-represented in the startup community.

For more information, visit

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