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Noel Gauthier of Losantiville

Meet Noel Gauthier, Founder of Losantiville.

How did you come to be an entrepreneur?

To fulfill a need. Upon graduation my partners and I wanted a place where we could run our individual business, yet maintain a collaborative atmosphere where we could pool our resources. We had seen models like this work in other cities and felt Cincinnati presented a great opportunity to start one here. Most of us have backgrounds in Product Design, the majority of those graduated from the DAAP program at UC. We wanted to build a space that would attract those wanting to strike out on their own, whether that be their own consulting work or furniture brand, but was low risk enough to accommodate the shoestring budgets of aspiring entrepreneurs.

What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?

Making it past our first year. We knew there was a need, but we had to feel our way around to find the solution. As designers we have a tendency to try and solve every potential problem could imagine, so we had to learn to focus on the problems we actually had. After that first year we expanded into a bigger space and accepted more members. After our second year we were faced with the exciting problem of how best to continue to grow.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?

Cincinnati is a great place to be a startup. The combination of great talent from surrounding universities, the concentration of global companies downtown, and a strong manufacturing base make for an area where you really can find whatever resources you may need. There is also an emphasis on entrepreneurship here that is very exciting to be a part of. Receiving a Commercialization Award from the first Cincinnati Innovates helped me decide to start my own business here in the city. Several of our members have benefited the ArtWorks Springboard classes, we were even honored to show National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman the space.

What inspires you?

Seeing our members succeed. Design is a very competitive field and it takes a lot of personal risk to strike out on your own. By working cooperatively our studio can overcome obstacles or pursue opportunities we would not be able to do individually. When that translates into success for our studio and members, we know we are doing something right.

What companies or founders do you admire and why?

I am pretty mesmerized by Saul Griffith. The breadth and brilliance of his work impress me every time I see his next new thing. I also pay a lot of attention to Jason Fried of 37signals, his recommendation to be "bootstrapped and profitable" has been a mantra at Losantiville since day one.

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