Launch Dayton is a collaborative effort to connect entrepreneurs and business owners to peers, resources, and supporters, and to tell the stories of our region’s thriving startup community. This community exists to support and inspire Daytonians who are starting and growing businesses. Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity.
We’re doing this by building an intentionally inclusive community that celebrates and supports all entrepreneurs.
We’re building this community by designing an easily accessible environment, high-caliber programming and services, and a connected network of champions, mentors and resource providers, enabling all entrepreneurs to succeed in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
People + Culture = Everything
Entrepreneurs come first.
Culture is built on trust.
Networks and resources are shared quickly.
Social capital is just as important as financial.
Maintain a give first mentality.
Be Radically Inclusive
Diversity takes intentionality.
Always look to invite new people.
Connect people across networks & boundaries.
Telling the Authentic Story of the Community
Focus on hope, possibility, restoration, & generosity.
Successes are celebrated and failure met with support.
Highlight people demonstrating the community ideals.
Launch Dayton partners believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity. They are building this community by designing an easily accessible environment, high-caliber programming, and a connected network of champions, mentors and resource providers, to enable all entrepreneurs to succeed in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you want to learn a new skill, improve on an existing one, or just meet some amazing people, there are plenty of events to choose from in Dayton’s startup community.
Launch Dayton is a collaborative of entrepreneurial resource providers that support the Dayton region’s startup and small business community. Launch Dayton partner organizations believe everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to determine their own economic prosperity. Our shared goal is to create an intentionally inclusive startup community that serves all of our region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. We work together to support & promote all Daytonians building businesses by building a community that is easy to access, designing high-caliber programming, and connecting entrepreneurs to a network of champions, mentors, and resource providers.
The list of Launch Dayton partners is always growing! Current collaborators include Parallax Advanced Research, Entrepreneurs’ Center, Downtown Dayton Partnership, Dayton Kiva, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Powerhouse, Dayton’s Minority Business Assistance Center, CO-OP Dayton, Trotwood Chamber of Commerce, Technology First and Women in Business Networking powered by the Better Business Bureau.
Yes! There is room for everyone in the Launch Dayton community. At our events and in our online community, you will find makers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, company executives, mentors, resource providers, business coaches, nonprofit leaders, researchers, engineers, innovators, investors and champions. You’ll find tech startups, Main Street businesses, social enterprises, food & beverage companies, restauranteurs, brick-and-mortar shop owners, e-commerce retail startups, software developers, SaaS companies, medical experts, defense leaders, artists, creative entrepreneurs and professional service providers. We welcome founders and champions of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages and industries.
Aspiring entrepreneur with a business idea? We can connect you with a program to help you launch.
Ready to scale up? We can connect you with pitch opportunities.
Want to meet other entrepreneurs who get it? Check out our calendar of upcoming workshops & networking events.
Not an entrepreneur yourself, but want to buy local and shop small? Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up with the latest startups and local businesses you can support.
No, you do not have to be in the City of Dayton to be part of the Launch Dayton community — Launch Dayton partners serve the whole Dayton Region! The Dayton Region encompasses an eight-county metro area that includes Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Preble, Clark, Darke, Shelby and Champaign counties. Live or operate a business in Trotwood, Clayton, Englewood, Vandalia, Tipp City, Troy, Piqua? You’re welcome here. Springfield, Yellow Springs, Xenia, Fairborn, Beavercreek? We’d love to have you. Oakwood, Kettering, Centerville, Springboro, Miamisburg, West Carrollton, Moraine? We’ve got you!
We’re also open to working with businesses located beyond the region who want to expand and tap into our Launch Dayton community. Operating in Columbus or Cincinnati, but feel more synergy with the startup community in Dayton? Let’s talk. Located across the country, but looking to reconnect with your hometown in the Dayton Region? Let’s explore the opportunities.
Across the Launch Dayton community, we have tried to organize resources based on the type of entrepreneur they are designed for and the stage of business where the resource will be most useful.
What type of entrepreneur am I?
We have designated four types of entrepreneur:
Solopreneur. Also think freelancers, side hustlers, consultants. You’re a team of one & you like it that way.
Main Street. Also think restaurant owners, retailers. You have a physical, brick-and-mortar storefront. You have a primarily local target market/customer base.
Socialpreneur. Also think non-profit leader, B-corp founder, mission-driven business. Generating profit isn’t your only business objective, you also want to have a social impact.
Scalable. Also think innovative, high-tech, growth-focused. You’re dreaming big, with goals to sell across the state, the country, the globe. Your business model doesn’t require you to personally make or provide every product or service you sell.
What stage of business am I in?
We have designated 4 stages of business:
Idea/Inception. You’re an aspiring or brand new entrepreneur. You have an idea for a business and are wondering exactly how to start. You’re looking for general business 101 information and workshops.
Protoype/Market Intro. You’ve started building a business around your idea. You’re developing your business plan, your business model, your minimum viable product (MVP). You’re seeking feedback from users and first customers.
Rollout. You’re doing the thing. The paperwork is done and you’re incorporated. You’ve got an actual product or service. You’re starting to make sales and seal deals.
Growth. You’re looking to expand. You’re generating consistent revenue. You’re eyeing new markets, new customers, new product and service lines.
Some of the programs offered by Launch Dayton partners are specifically for scalable companies. But what do we mean when we say “scalable company”? How do you know if your company is scalable? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
(& remember — there is nothing wrong with operating a business that isn’t scalable! Small, local businesses play a vital role in our local economies.)
Do your customers exist beyond the local market where you are physically located and have initially launched?
Can your business operate without you?
Are you making or creating something unique through your business that can be protected through intellectual property laws or would be hard for someone else to replicate?
Do you want to serve a statewide or national-wide market?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then you’re operating a scalable company.
Not sure if you should answer yes or no? Let’s break down some scenarios.