Tim Metzner

Starting Up the Next Generation

UC alumnus returns to alma mater to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs

March 7, 2017

When asked how he chose his profession, Cincinnati entrepreneur Tim Metzner, Bus ’05, often jokes that it was the other way around.

“Honestly, I think it mostly picked me,” he says. “I always knew I wanted to someday be an entrepreneur. It just so happened that one of my first interviews for summer internships was with a web tech startup company called SparkPeople.”

Metzner would spend the next 10 years working for the online health and wellness startup, becoming vice president of marketing and helping turn SparkPeople into the largest weight-loss and fitness website in the U.S. That experience would transform his initial interest into a lifelong passion.

“I quickly fell in love with the world of tech startups because of the potential to be part of building meaningful companies that could literally change the world,” Metzner reflects.

Since then, he has co-founded two different organizations committed to turning the ideas of others into reality: Differential, a software development studio startup meant to help innovators launch new ideas; and OCEAN Accelerator, the world’s first faith-based startup accelerator devoted to supporting and training aspiring entrepreneurs.

Tim Metzner’s experience in UC’s Lindner Honors PLUS Program put him on an entrepreneurial path in the world of tech startups. He has also made it a priority to help the UC Business students following in his footsteps.

Metzner’s interest in helping today’s thinkers and innovators get their ideas off the ground doesn’t end there. The graduate of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business Honors-PLUS program also spends time at his alma mater, mentoring tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. As one of a growing and diverse network of 150+ alumni, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, lawyers and other professionals in the Entrepreneurship Volunteer Program of UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (CEC), Metzner serves as a mentor to Innovation and Technology Commercialization students, providing counsel to the university’s many budding entrepreneurs and trying to remove barriers to their growth.

He is also actively involved as a guest speaker at UC and a judge in UC’s Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch Competition (IQ E-Pitch). As a key member of this university-wide contest, he challenges tomorrow’s innovators to communicate their ideas more effectively. For his work with UC students and faculty, Metzner was selected one of the CEC’s Mentors of the Year, along with fellow alumnus Tony Shipley as well as Bill Haman of Queen City Angels and SCORE.

Metzner is committed to accelerating the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greater Cincinnati.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of our potential to become one of the best places in the country to start a tech company,” he says.

If you’d like to join Metzner and other UC alumni who are helping UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization build tomorrow’s Cincinnati entrepreneurs, contact the CEC at ecenter@uc.edu, volunteer here, or spotlight your own entrepreneurial venture here.



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