Inspiring Underrepresented Innovators with Derrick Braziel of MORTAR
Play • 35 min

Why do stories matter to the innovation process? What values can be instilled in innovators who share stories? How do innovation leaders inspire creators to tell and share their success and failure stories? Derrick Braziel is a 2019 Obama Foundation fellow and a co-founder of MORTAR Cincinnati, an entrepreneurial hub supporting minority and underrepresented entrepreneurs. Derrick started MORTAR because he realized people in Cincinnati, and all around the nation, have great ideas but aren’t necessarily connected to the best tools and resources for starting  businesses.  

Their mission is to offer non-traditional entrepreneurs the opportunity to use their inherent talents to not just make a dollar, but to positively participate in the rise of Cincinnati. We discuss how collaboration, paired with skillful storytelling, can support this mission and bridge the resource gap. This gap exists between investors and entrepreneurs; students and quality education; and ultimately, between communities and what is considered valuable. MORTAR helps make Cincinnati a diverse, economically inclusive community that has ranked as a top growth center for innovation in the United States and one of the best places to be a minority entrepreneur. With world-class resources and a network of startups, BigCos, universities, and venture capitalists, Cincinnati’s growing innovation ecosystem is an inspiration to cities across the nation. 

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