2015 Year in Review: July – December

Don’t miss our recap of the first half of the year, found here! We have even more highlights, issues to tackle and businesses changing industries that made headlines in the second half of 2015.


Buying local or supporting local are oft-heard phrases, but Designing Local is focused on figuring out what makes a place special and designing the streetscape or landscape around it. Cocktail connoisseurs were gifted with an option of local simple syrups with Root 23’s tasty flavors. Businesses have a new option for funding as Columbus works toward designation as a Kiva City. Columbus-based greeting card studio Design with Heart is touching a nationwide audience with its LGBT-focused and universal love themed cards. And, one more for the coworking mix! National chain Industrious set up a Columbus location.


Two more Columbus businesses presented industry-changing solutions. CrossChx is taking on the complex world of healthcare with a tiered solution, including a platform for identity resolution that’s compacted some 36 million medical identities so far. Include Fitness‘ revolutionary machine makes fitness accessible for everyone – and really means everyone. A heavy-hitting panel of local entrepreneurs discussed the ins and outs of Columbus’ startup scene. Rev1’s Concept Academy is helping businesses with one of the most crucial and difficult steps of the startup process – market validation.


Does your business have a plan for handling irregular income? Telhio had three tips to keep things in-check. Olivera Bratich shared the story of how Wholly Craft became an outlet for artisans on the cbuzz podcast. treetree’s success provided a prime example of what can happen when a business niches down. Paul Proffitt penned a thought-provoking opinion piece about the lack of startup capital in Central Ohio…which was followed by the story of a Columbus-based business that couldn’t better exemplify the issue. Oh, and add another delivery option to the mix. Postmates came to Columbus.


Mmelo mixed some mouthwatering marshmallows. Chalk another one up to coworking with the addition of Sugarcube in Grandview. Discovery District spa Replenish bloomed with some help from EDCI. Pixel Park’s bright space looks like a blast to work at! (How about that Mario and conference room table!) To gear up for our Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards, we profiled some of Columbus’ great social enterprises. Learn more about Pearl Interactive Network, CleanTurn, Design Outreach and Unchained. And, CivicHacks started the world’s first B-celerator.


Another coworking space! But this time, focused on creatives. Check out Studio 595. Groove U Founder Dwight Heckelman shared more info about his recently established music school pumping out career-ready graduates. Venture for America’s innovative program is helping college students get hands-on experience at startups and put them on the path to entrepreneurship. 2Reveal is doing some neat things with 3D animation. Smart phone garage door opener Gaarageio found success with Amazon.


Virtue Salon Owner Melanie Guzzo discussed the importance of building a culture. ContentVia offered the power of a marketing department for a startup – and had a few things to say about crowdfunding campaigns. Can you believe this office transformation? Check out On-Target Design’s New Albany Space. ECDI shared the story of a refugee that has gone on to build a successful tire business in Columbus.

Looking ahead to 2016…it’s going to be a banner year for small businesses in Columbus. In my two-and-a-half years as staff writer, we have never had more businesses to cover and ideas for stories than have been steadily coming in over the last several months. 2016 should start off with a bang with a stockpile of businesses ready to share their stories.

See you in 2016, Columbus small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs!