America’s first business accelerator dedicated to physical products and local manufacturing.

About First Batch

First Batch is the nation’s only business accelerator dedicated to physical products and local manufacturing. As the #1 manufacturing region in the #3 manufacturing state — and the nation’s consumer marketing center — Cincinnati is the ideal place to develop, manufacture, and market physical products.

Most startups have solved a particular problem, but have not overcome the scores of barriers to business success. First Batch helps you turn physical product prototypes into finished, locally-manufactured products – and turn those products into sustainable businesses.

On completion, 2016 participants will have inventory, sales, and revenue. Winners of our annual spring competition occupy our 10,000 square foot Over-the-Rhine workspace for a five-month residency that provides design, manufacturing, and operating expertise, plus mentors, funding, and the knowledge needed to help create successful products and run sustainable businesses. First Batch is led by experts from America’s #1 industrial design program, Fortune 50 companies, world-class manufacturing and marketing firms, and the area’s vibrant startup ecosystem.



First Batch provides four months of rent at the Losantiville design collective space. This gives companies not only desk and meeting space, but also access to a workshop and prototyping tools.


We aim to connect each company with a set of mentors and advisers unique to each product and business type. We have access to a deep pool of local talent well versed in bringing new products to market.


One of the main goals of the program is to provide direct connections to Cincinnati-based manufacturers that can bring your product to scale. But we also aim to connect to the necessary legal, design, business, packaging, and logistics support that goes along with producing and selling at the next level.


Each company receives an $8,000 production budget to be used with local manufacturers in the process of scaling and creating their next step in production.


  • January – Early Applications  OpenJanuary 15th to April 31, 2017
  • May — Finalists are interviewed, narrowed, and present in person to a jury from related fields. Selected companies notified late May
  • June — Program starts June
  • November — Program ends with A public demo event attended by business leaders, venture capitalists, and many entrepreneurs


  • Receive up to $10,000 worth of assistance for manufacturing development
  • Workspace in a 10,000 square foot industrial office space with prototyping tools.
  • Tailored business learning for physical product startups
  • Up to 8 entrepreneurs will be selected for the 2016 program
  • Commit to work full-time to the 5 month process

Competition Criteria

  • Quality of the product idea and prototype.
  • Strength of the entrepreneur(s). Teams with a broad range of skills and experience have an advantage.
  • Understanding of the marketplace and strong reasoning for why it needs manufacturing scale
  • Commitment to running and scaling their business full time
  • Willingness to do business and to manufacture prototypes and products in Southwest Ohio.
  • Willingness to learn from experts on all facets of products development and collaborate on decisions.
  • Ability to spend at least 20 hours per week at the First Batch workspace.

Find out ways to partner with First Batch today!

First Batch at Losantiville Design Collective


First Batch is run in a 10,000 square foot shared use office/production space on the fourth floor of the Apex Furniture/Moerlein Ice House. It offers the flexibility to have classes, speakers, and desk space in half the space while still able to receive and warehouse larger shipments and build prototypes on the other half of the same floor. Located in the Brewery District of Over-the-Rhine, the surrounding area offers the right mix of history and industrial character. We’ve got many food options at Findlay Market and breweries like Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein, and more new options a short walk away. It’s the perfect place to start a company and be around others making physical products.