Founder Feature: Mikel Larson of HydroLabs


Meet Mikel Larson.

Founder and CEO of HydroLabs.


"Some of the best advice I've ever received was that if I wanted to found a startup, I should go work at someone else's first. I spent the last 6 years doing just that, and now its time for my own!"

HydroLabs aims to bring data-driven hydration guidance to everyday athletes and fitness buffs that previously were reserved for only the most serious of amateurs and pros.

Q: What makes Cincinnati a great place to start a business?

A: The community is large enough to have connections to big international companies, but still small enough that you can quickly get connected and noticed.


Q: How did a grant from Main Street Ventures impact you and your business?

A: Since we have bootstrapped this company to date, we've been incredibly lean. A nice little example: to produce some of our materials we need to blend some components together. Today we do that with a Kitchen-Aid stick blender I took from my kitchen.


Main Street Ventures has enabled us to move on from using shared space and tools that were not quite right for the job. Now we can use purpose-built tools that dramatically increase our ability to make (and sell) high-quality products. No more Kitchen-Aid blender.


Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?

A: Our team is still really small, and I tend to flow where I am needed. One day I might spend working on the business model, the next making patches, and the day after that working directly with athletes.



Q: What is a lesson you've learned that has shaped your work?

A: I'm still trying to learn how to filter the noise! There are thousands of advisors, blogs, books, and podcasts that will tell you how to do what we do. You have to find the right help that resonates deeply with you and your business.

Q: What's next for HydroLabs?

A: We plan to launch our MVP this summer. We still have plenty of work to do, but I could not be more excited!