2018 Year in Review: January – June

We’re ringing in the New Year by taking a look back at some of the biggest stories and most interesting headlines from 2018! Catch up on small business news from the first half of the year below.

January 2018

Versa’s 37,000 square foot first location near Grandview was the first in what would become the year of coworking. Local startup SHARE hit the road looking towards the future of transportation with shared, scheduled rides that fill a gap between on-demand services and public transportation. A growing enterprise rebranded to better reflect the evolution from hobby to business as Re:work Furnishings became Edgework Creative. Insurtech company Bold Penguin proved their solution in 2017, and set their sites on growth in 2018 for their technology platform that reduces the time that it takes to go from quote to buying in commercial insurance. Social enterprise CAREcutz shared more about their mission to connect hair stylists with individuals with developmental disabilities with SocialVentures.

February 2018

Voted one of Columbus’ top local products by Columbus Underground readers, North Country Charcuterie graduated to their own production facility near Grandview. Downtown welcomed a new retailer to Gay Street with the addition of Gilded Social: The Fancy Occasion Shop, outfitting Columbus’ bridesmaids and more. COSI President & CEO Frederic Bertley sat behind the mic for an episode of the Columbus Chamber’s cbuzz podcast discussing his move to Columbus, science’s prevalence to everyday life, dinosaurs and more. Electric Eye talked niching down with an agency that has one goal: grow a business’ online sales with Shopify. Coworking continued to make headlines with Spaces signing up for 42,000 feet in Short North and Hopewell opening Downtown.

March 2018

The company that could be Columbus’ next unicorn, Root Insurance became the first insurance company to offer a discount for self-driving cars. Putting a name and a movement to the way many the city’s businesses already operate, Columbus welcomed its Conscious Capitalism chapter. Rev1 partnered with investment fund Tamarind Hill Partners to bring an infusion of early-stage capital to Columbus with a symbiotic relationship of offering Series A rounds to follow Rev1’s seed-stage investments. ECDI created a stepping stone for its excelling Food Fort clients with Food Fort 2.0, catering to businesses that need more time in the kitchen.

April 2018

LOUD Capital made a statement with the location of its Arena District office while creating a space for its for its high-growth portfolio companies to work. Local screen printer Tonic Studios celebrated five years with a name change and a move that tripled their production space in an area of Fifth by Northwest that’s home to a hub of local businesses. Uniqueness defined coworking news for the month. Zora’s House opened Columbus’ first coworking space designed for women of color. Licking County’s first coworking space, creative COOP expanded to accommodate more entrepreneurs in Granville. COhatch launched its makerspace, The Madery.

May 2018

The Metropreneur’s Top Startup of 2017, DACA Time showed its tenacity, discussing DACA’s ongoing legal battle, the psychology of being “illegal,” the importance of advocacy and more. Think twice before reusing that online photo – BYLINED outlined the Do’s and Don’ts of using photos from the internet. Startup Week 2018 provided valuable insights for entrepreneurs, like three main components to shaping your business’ brand. 110-year-old prosthetics manufacturer WillowWood moved into the innovation space to diversify its revenue stream, launching WillowWorks, an early-stage investment company offering capital, advisory services and commercialization support. ECDI client and personal trainer Rokki Bonner shared more about her journey opening her own studio, Personal Fitness Navigators.

June 2018

How do you keep a brand relevant after 50 years? Debbie Penzone discussed the bold moves that are taking PENZONE Salon + Spa in a new, unified direction. 2018 saw things change for advertisers on Facebook and before partner categories were shut down in September, businesses were facing a wait and see approach to the effects. Franklinton’s coffee shop at coworking space welcomed new owners as Cova Cowork at Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op. COhatch brought coworking to the mall with its takeover of The Pub at Polaris.

CLICK HERE to read part two: 2018 Year in Review: July – December

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Susan is the editor of TheMetropreneur.com and a reporter for ColumbusUnderground.com covering small businesses and entrepreneurs in Central Ohio. She also manages the social media for the publications. Susan holds a degree in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing from The Ohio State University. She sits on the board of the Central Ohio Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and loves coffee, whiskey, cooking and spending time with friends and family.