Home » Ask Me About | Laura Randall-Tepe

Ask Me About | Laura Randall-Tepe

Executive Director, Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub

by Elizabeth Miller Wood

ASK ME ABOUT: My new role in the Cincinnati region’s innovation ecosystem.

YOU WERE NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IN JUNE TO SUCCEED FOUNDER BILL TUCKER. HOW DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE PRIME YOU FOR THIS POSITION? I’ve been a nonprofit leader for 10 years, but in 2017 I co-founded a startup. We were using sensor technology to help seniors stay safe at home. We went through an accelerator, so I’ve done the work and I’ve pitched to funders. I know it’s crazy hard, but I also know there’s nothing more exhilarating than building out an idea that can make a difference.

FLYWHEEL FOCUSES ON HELPING SOCIAL ENTERPRISE STARTUPS. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN THEM IN ADDITION TO REGULAR STARTUPS? Social enterprises grow the local economy just like other startups and they make our community a more sustainable and just place to live. We call it the double bottom line. Our Sustainable Cincy business founders are creating products and services that support a healthy planet, and our Elevate Equity founders are solving for systemic race and gender bias.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU HOPE TO ADVANCE THE FLYWHEEL MISSION UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP? As our accelerator programs grow, we’re able to attract the most talented startup founders. The next step is to enhance the way we connect them to the talent and capital around this region that they’ll need to launch, grow, and scale their businesses.