Main Street Ventures’ funding programs support local entrepreneurs in the idea/prototype and revenue stages with equity-free business start-up funding, rather than traditional investments.
This no-strings attached funding model supports:
Grants allow founders to take bold ideas to the next level without investor limits.
Supporting good ideas across all spaces encourages innovation in our community.
Accessible, debt-free funding creates opportunities for other financial support.
Launch Funding provides emerging, pre-revenue businesses that have a Prototype or Product (showing clear evidence of direct customer engagement validating the business model and product) with $5,000 - $10,000 of equity free funding to continue development and prepare for market entry.
Leap Funding provides promising, revenue-generating businesses with $10,000 - $30,000 of equity-free funding to scale their community impact and increase the odds of long-term survival. Funding is awarded to businesses that demonstrate the potential to continue to create jobs and opportunities in the Greater Cincinnati Region.
Learn Funding provides support for organizations and events that strengthen and connect the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These can include entrepreneur support organizations and other groups that foster resource collaboration and the development of STEM talent.
Eligibility & Requirements
Applicant MUST be a business entity (C-Corp, S-Corp, or LLC) with a Federal Tax ID (EIN).
Industry Focus Areas:
Retail Storefronts - Ex. Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Retail Shops, etc.
Manufactured Goods - Ex. Consumer Packaged Goods (Food / Beverage), Clothing, Sporting Goods, etc.
Technology Companies - Ex. Hardware, Software
*Please note the company examples included above are not an exhaustive list of eligible companies.
Business Entity MUST be located in the Greater Cincinnati region (Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties in Ohio; Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn County in Indiana). Grant requests from other regions will NOT be considered.
Businesses MUST show customer demand and strong progression since the founding.
Funding requests MUST focus on specific growth projects. MSV defines a growth project as a step that will help accelerate your business growth.
MSV Grant Funding is designed to help businesses scale by covering key Direct Costs, not General Operating Expenses.
Examples of Direct Expenses that ARE suitable for Grant Funds: Key pieces of equipment, Packaging Support, Technology Product Development, etc.
Examples of General Operating Expenses that are NOT suitable for Grant Funds: Existing Payroll, Rent, Insurance, Marketing, Legal Fees, etc.
Businesses MUST explain the impact of Grant Funds on the business OR the Cincinnati Region.
Special Consideration will be granted to
Women and Minority-Owned businesses
Businesses that can show matching funds from other sources
February 1, 2024
Interested in learning more about our Grant Programs? Register for an virtual information session below!
March 25, 2024
July 1, 2024
Special Funding Grants
Main Street Ventures is proud to partner with generous sponsors to provide Special Leap Grants with more specific criteria. Applicants for these Grants must match ALL criteria above but, if they meet more specialized criteria listed, would be in a potentially smaller pool of applicants and have a greater chance of success in obtaining funding. Use the standard Grant application and check the box where indicated to be considered for one of these Special Grants.
Northern Kentucky Entrepreneurship Fund
in collaboration with Blue North and Horizon Community Funds
Blue North has established the Northern Kentucky Entrepreneurship Fund with Horizon Community Funds in an effort to support the work of entrepreneurs in Northern Kentucky.
One of the key initiatives of the fund is a partnership with Main St Ventures to increase Leap & Launch grants made to entrepreneurs who call Northern Kentucky home. Through funding from Main Street Ventures and matching dollars from The Durr Foundation to the Northern Kentucky Entrepreneur Fund, this Funding Grant will be awarded to startups or small businesses that are located in Northern Kentucky (Boone / Campbell / Kenton Counties).
To be considered, please select that you are a Kentucky Business at the end of the Launch or Leap Grant Application!