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Cincinnati Innovation District expands focus on attracting more minority-led start-ups and underrepresented entrepreneurs

The Cincinnati Innovation District (CID) is expanding its physical footprint with a focus on attracting more minority-led start-ups and underrepresented entrepreneurs — an effort that will be led by one of the nation’s top female venture capitalists, officials announced today.

Candice Matthews Brackeen, Founder and Executive Director of Lightship Foundation, said her organization will establish its headquarters in the CID and convert two properties into collaborative spaces for students, artists, designers, entrepreneurs and minority-led start-ups.

“It’s important that there be dedicated spaces where the local community can engage with the innovation economy,” Matthews Brackeen said in this article in Cincy Inno. “We’re excited to be part of the movement here in Cincinnati toward including all entrepreneurs in access to the district and its resources.”

State and local officials applauded the efforts. The Brackeens founded Lightship Capital to invest specifically in underrepresented entrepreneurs, and its $50 million inaugural fund is the largest fund dedicated to Midwest, minority-led start-ups. The Wall Street Journal named Matthews Brackeen to its top 10 list of women venture capitalists for 2020.

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