P&G Vets Open Branding Accelerator


A handful of Procter & Gamble veterans are hoping to turn Cincinnati, Ohio into consumer marketing’s Silicon Valley with The Brandery at its heart. Described as “a seed stage consumer marketing venture accelerator,” the founders include Dave Knox, who is P&G’s brand manager for global branded entertainment products.

The Brandery opened shop three weeks ago with a call for submissions for its first class of branding start-ups, with the first round of submissions closing yesterday. Five winners will each receive $20,000 seed funding; the three month launch program; access to industry mentors including Knox; and a chance to pitch to VCs and angel investors.

The quid pro quo for seed monies is 6% equity to The Brandery which has 5013C non-profit status. As the chosen start-ups make their exits into the marketplace that equity will be used as operating capital for the incubator.[more]

As MediaPost notes, two contenders who tweeted their submissions are VenueAgent and BrainRack. VenueAgent helps people reach the venue of their dreams – but will also will fill spaces vacated at the last minute. BrainRack uses its Twitter page, @BrainRack, as a sounding board for new ideas whereby innovators can earn money and get attention in the process.

Similar to Capital Factory, TechStars and Dogpatch Labs business model, The Brandery will put laser focus on branding and consumer marketing. Their philosophy is basic: “If your start-up is consumer focused, you must be brand focused.”
One caveat: the start-ups must be willing to remain based in Cinci after their three-month bootcamp. Staying close to P&G HQ made sense, says Knox, because “The Brandery is really built on the strength of many of our personal relationships…The thing that was personally most exciting was seeing Cincinnati’s ‘extended family’ want to be involved.  In the marketing industry, there are tons of folks who have been coming to Cincinnati for years to meet with P&G, Kroger, Macy’s or any of the other major companies who call Cincinnati home.  Those folks were some of the ones most willing to step and really help with the program.”

Winners will receive notice on August 16 and begin the program August 30. Pitches will be November 18-19.

One note: an earlier version of this article stated that The Brandery was a project of P&G, but that isn’t the case, Knox tells us.

In an email, he informed us: “Brandery is not being launched by P&G. Several of the co-founders (including myself) are P&G employees, but this is not a P&G program.  Instead, it is a non-profit by a group of Consumer Marketing professionals who have a vested interest in helping Cincinnati’s start-up scene.  It is supported by Agenda 360, which is a community effort between the public and private sectors of Greater Cincinnati (http://cincinnati360.com/).”

Duly noted; best of luck with the venture, Dave, and keep us posted as it moves forward.