TechOhio’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

From tech to nature, Ohio startups can localize your holiday shopping

young adults exchanging gifts

Holiday shopping can be pretty stressful!

How will you get the right gifts? Can you support local businesses while you’re doing it? Will you have to break the bank? What if I’m looking for something more personal than a gift card or generic electronic device?

Fortunately, TechOhio is here to help with our annual holiday gift guide!

We assembled some gift options from all around the state that will help fill a gap or two in your shopping list, all while supporting companies doing great work right here in the Buckeye State.

We’ve started the list, but be sure to help us finish it by reaching out on our social media channels!

Happy holidays from TechOhio!

For the Interior Decorator

For those looking for that last, perfect piece for their home, Whiskertin might fit the bill. This Akron startup creates gorgeous custom lighting fixtures, offering everything from vintage Star Wars skateboard lights to modern faux chandeliers. They can even take an item lying around your house — a family heirloom or collectible, for instance — and turn it into the newest star light fixture in your home.

For the Home Office Dweller

Even post-pandemic, many of us are still spending a ton of time in home offices that we never thought would be a permanent solution. That’s a problem that Cincinnati startup Porvata can help solve. These custom office furniture makers create ergonomic desks, storage solutions, chairs and more, helping people create a comfortable, focused office space that looks great.

For the Vintage Gamer On the Go

For many, video games are a childhood love, something that a less free time has pushed to the side in busy adulthood. But Akron’s TinyCircuits can help bring a bit of that nostalgia and gameplay back. Using an open-source platform, this startup designs, develops and manufactures tiny electronic games that anyone can play, and that fit in your pocket or on your keychain.

For the Aspiring Gardener

What if you could beautify your yard while helping your local ecosystem and environment? That’s the dual mission of My Home Park, a company working to bring native plants back to yards across the country. This Cleveland startup assesses your yard and sends you plants that grow naturally in your location, can support local bee populations and more. For those looking to get their hands in the dirt, they could be the perfect fit.

For the Not-So-Fashionable

Not everyone has a knack for fashion — but what if you had an AI assistant to keep you looking sharp? That’s what Cladwell offers: tech that can provide an on-demand stylist. This Cincinnati startup helps simplify decision-making for users while learning about their style and curating outfits from their closet. You never know if someone will like that sweater you thought about getting them, so why not let the AI take over?

For the Environmentally-Conscious Artist

Traditional paints are beautiful and easy to find — but they may not always be the best for the planet. That’s why Ohio startup True Pigments is creating paint made from the very compounds that pollute our water, “reclaiming” both. Their first color set is made with pigment derived from iron oxide extracted from Ohio waterways, creating both a brilliant look and an impact that you can feel great about.

For the New Parent of a Future Genius

From the moment they’re in school, parents do everything they can to set up their children for success. But what if you could make an impact even in the first year of their lives? That’s what smallTalk believes they can achieve. The smallTalk app, developed in Cleveland, exposes children to multiple languages before they’re even a year old, helping their brains develop faster and setting them up for actively engaging with multiple languages later in life.

For the Tattoo Fanatic

The experienced tattoo recipients among us know that caring for tattooed skin is extremely important. That’s why Cleveland’s Mad Rabbit is creating products made exactly for that purpose. The company got a huge bump thanks to an appearance on Shark Tank, and now collaborates with tattoo parlors, events, festivals and more to create a connection with the community and get their products in the right hands.

For Those in Need of a Multi-Purpose Bag

Anyone packing for a trip or leaving for the day with a variety of items to carry understands the importance of having the right pack for a job. So what if you could have multiple at once? That’s what Dayton startup Bowerbags has created, calling their products “the LEGO of backpacks.” These modular products serve as five separate bags that transform into one “do-it-all-super-bag” with unlimited carrying combinations, perfect for anyone from busy parents to first responders to service men and women.

For Doll Lovers

Toys aren’t always representative of all of us, but Healthy Roots is changing that. Cincinnati entrepreneur Yelitsa Jean-Charles was inspired to create a doll company that celebrates Black women and helps young girls navigate and learn about their natural hair. If you know a girl who wishes she had a doll that looked more like her, Healthy Roots has just the solution.

For the Environmentally Friendly Gadget-Lover

If you’re shopping for an avid camper or even a tailgater, Cincinnati’s GoSun can offer the next generation of solar technology. The company makes breakthrough solar appliances that are designed to help people live a more resilient and independent life, offering everything from portable ovens to coolers.

For the Fastidious Driver

Does someone on your list love to pamper their car, always hitting oil changes when they’re due and constantly keeping it shiny? If you’re in the central Ohio area, Columbus startup Vohnt can help. They offer food delivery-style car services like detailing and tire rotation, but they do it while you sit in the comfort of your own home.

For the Forgetful Ones

We all need a little help remembering, sometimes — and what’s worse than not knowing your passwords? This is the problem Cleveland’s Everykey helps solve. This startup has developed the world’s first universal smart key that replaces your passwords and keys. It even uses military-grade security to keep your peace of mind.

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