FounderCon, Welcome to Cincinnati

Charlie Key
Oct 16, 2016 · 3 min read

Having an event like FounderCon from Techstars in Cincinnati is a big deal. It’s the first time Techstars has held an event in a city where they do not have an accelerator. (You can read more about this from John Hill.) This event is an opportunity for all of the Techstars alumni to get together for a few days of learning, networking, deal making, and fun. This means more than 600 startups will descend on to the town that I call home — most of whom have never been to Cincinnati. This is exciting!

My company, Losant, is in a unique position because we’re actively going through the Techstars IoT program in New York City. So, I feel like I at least have some responsibility to welcome my colleagues, friends, mentors, and more to Cincinnati. Welcome. I know that we have rolled out the red carpet for you. We always do. While not a giant city, we have everything needed to not only be successful in the entrepreneur world but to show you a good time.

While you’re in town for this week, here’s a few things I’d recommend. Pay attention to the architecture, especially in Over-the-Rhine, where the facades are beautiful early German and Italianette. Open your eyes to the fantastic artworks that are strewn across dozens of buildings in the city (a couple of my favorites are on Liberty St). Drink a local craft beer and learn why beer and beer making is deeply rooted in the Cincinnati story. Take a ride on the new streetcar — it took a lot to get it here. Walk through Washington Park and admire the amazing Music Hall. Meet the kind and hard working people of the city. Oh and don’t forget to try Skyline Chili and some Greater’s Ice Cream.

After you’ve had a great time in our wonderful city, please tell other people about your experience. This will matter more than anything else. Our great town needs to be known and seen by more.

Charlie Key

P.S. Here are some of my favorite food and drink places. I do love my food and drink.


  • 1215 Coffee and Wine Bar (best coffee in town and great wine selection)
  • Sundry and Vice (interesting fun cocktails)
  • Goodfellas (go upstairs, great drinks, Moscow mule is fantastic, great Bourbon selection)
  • Lackman (beer spot & cocktails, I drink a Negroni there)
  • Rhinegeist (craft brewery, you’ll likely be there for party one night)
  • Liberty’s Bar and Bottle (great craft beer and wine selection, chill local spot)


Fancy stuff

  • Sotto (probably need reservation or sit at bar with a few peeps, Italian, my favorite restaurant)
  • Mita’s (Spanish tapas and dishes, phenomenal, might need reservations)
  • Boca (great Italian, pretty fancy)
  • Jeff Ruby’s (steakhouse)

Medium Fancy

  • Salazar (don’t miss, easy place to do a dinner or lunch)
  • Pleasantry (good smaller plates)
  • Abigail St (Mediterranean small plates, my wife’s favorite spot)
  • A Tavola (Neopolitan pizza place)
  • Quan Hapa (Asian fusion, owned by a dear friend)


  • Pho Lang Thang (Vietnamese Pho, ohhh so good, in Findlay market, great lunch spot)
  • Taste of Belgium (waffle and chicken decadence, don’t do this everyday)
  • Bakersfield (tacos, best margaritas in town)
  • Nation (burgers and beers)
  • Gomez (hole in wall Mexican, literally a hole in the wall)
  • Eli’s BBQ (in Findlay Market, big fan of the ribs myself)
  • Holtman’s Donuts (just the best)

Charlie Key

Written by

Co-founder of @LosantHQ. On a mission to enable the world to easily and securely build connected experiences using the Internet of Things.

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