Cincinnati’s HCDC Builds on Record-Setting 2021 with a Fresh New Brand

cincinnati skyline and Alloy logo

How Alloy Development Co. plans to be more visible and impactful

One of Ohio’s longest tenured business and startup resources has a new look and new financial backing that indicates the beginning of a new era. Cincinnati’s HCDC, formerly known as the Hamilton County Development Co., is now Alloy Development Co., the organization announced earlier this March. For Alloy leaders, the name change signals a fresh new direction that should lead to even greater impact for the businesses they support in the Cincinnati region and beyond.

“We’re not going to change how we get things done, but on a surface level I think you’re going to see us making more noise in the startup, economic development and lending scene,” said Antony Seppi, Director of the Alloy Growth Lab, formerly HCDC Business Center. “We see this as an opportunity to have a new look and feel to create more noise in the space. We’ve been doing this for 30-plus years now and people still kind of scratch their heads about what we do, and we’re changing that.”

The newly formed Alloy describes itself as “a marketplace where organizations, businesses and communities can find the resources they need to grow.” They provide access to capital, advice and partnerships for startups of any size, and now have more capacity for funding than ever before. Alloy continues HCDC’s work as an SBA lender, and as part of its rebrand the organization announced that it had acquired and merged with Access Business Finance to bolster their lending capabilities. It’s all part of a new era that signals a more bold approach from Alloy.

“The HCDC name felt geographically limiting to Hamilton County — there was some name confusion in the market with 3CDC and we wanted to get away from acronyms, which feel very governmental,” said Marketing Director Trisha Sefakis. “We wanted to showcase that we’re stronger together and that we add strength to businesses, ideas and communities. That’s where Alloy came in: alloys add strength when combined together. So not only do we add strength to our businesses and community, but we’re very collaborative. We have so many partners who we work with to make for stronger ideas.”

Fortunately for Alloy, a name change doesn’t mean starting from the bottom. They have a wide range of companies on their roster of clients, and those who had previously worked with the HCDC understand the impact they’ve made over more than three decades.

“They are a valued partner with extensive connections to private and state organizations,” said Jamey Webb, director of business development and marketing with Cincinnati’s 212 Environmental. “Their ability to connect small businesses to each other and larger, more established companies and to inform this community about resources many wouldn’t otherwise be aware of has been critical to the success of many startups in Cincinnati.”

In southwest Ohio, Alloy knows they’re in an ideal location to boost businesses in a “really united startup scene where everyone works well together for the collaborative good.” And they’ve already been a part of that surging startup scene. Last year, HCDC set records for startup funding and SBA lending. Now, they’re using their new name to build on that positive trajectory and enhance what the organization is already accomplishing.

“We’re doing record numbers right now, and this only carries that momentum forward,” Seppi said. “It’s easy for an organization to say, ‘Well, we’re stumbling along, maybe we should rebrand.’ But that’s not us. We’re capitalizing on this momentum and riding the high of 2021 to move forward with this new brand.”

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