COVINGTON, KY (WKRC) – The City of Covington unveiled Innovation Alley Thursday night at its fourth annual Upstart event.
Covington is benefiting from a creative boom right now, so much so that the city has created an Innovation District. There are 19 startups in the area and the newly named alley is between Washington Avenue and Russell Street.
“The thought is to help create a little synergy with people–it’s a cool place to work, it’s a cool place to live, it’s a cool place to go have a beer, there’s a craft brewery right around the corner. We think it’s a good asset for all of Greater Cincinnati and it’s the kind that attracts the type of people and the types of businesses we’d like to have more of in our region,” says Trey Grayson, president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Many startups choose to get their businesses off the ground in the Tri-State, and plenty of them decide to stay even after they’ve had success.
Wyzerr is one of them. Founder and CEO Natasia Malaihollo says her company makes artificial intelligence to help businesses make intelligent decisions. She relocated to Cincinnati from Los Angeles to go to The Brandery. It wasn’t in her business plan, but she decided to stick around. She says the Ohio Valley is giving Silicon Valley a run for the money.
“The startup community is so different out there. It’s equally as competitive out here. There’s the same brilliant founders, brilliant ideas, but I think people care about friendship, about relationships, about each other and each other success a lot more out here,” she said.
UpStart celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit in Covington. It’s sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation and Kentucky Innovation Network at Northern Kentucky.