Western & Southern Joins the 1819 Innovation Hub

Western & Southern Financial Group •
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Western & Southern Financial Group is the newest Fortune 500® company to join the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub.

James J. Fitzgerald, senior vice president and chief information officer at Western & Southern, led the effort to further enhance and expand the company’s longstanding partnership with UC.

“Innovation will be the lifeblood of a growing and economically vibrant Greater Cincinnati,” said Fitzgerald. “We must do all we can to attract and produce the top talent, cutting-edge technology and capital necessary to unleash our region’s potential.

“We have been actively involved in innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the community for many years, and we are proud to join in UC’s efforts.”

Western & Southern joins several industry-leading partners at the 1819 Innovation Hub, including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, KAO and altafiber.

“Western & Southern has been a pillar and pacesetter for this community for 135 years,” said Ryan Hays, UC executive vice president and chief innovation and strategy officer. “Their global reach and local roots make them a perfect fit for the 1819 Innovation Hub. We’re thrilled to partner with them to advance their innovation agenda here in the Cincinnati Innovation District.”

Western & Southern has helped lead efforts over the years to position Cincinnati as a fertile location for entrepreneurs and startups. In 2020, it partnered with Cintrifuse, JobsOhio and Fifth Third Bank to launch FinTech Frontier, a Cincinnati-based collaboration to drive innovation in financial services.

The 1819 Innovation Hub is the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District. The first innovation district in the state, the CID was launched in 2020 by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted as a historic partnership among JobsOhio, UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The CID seeks to accelerate the growth of talent, research, innovation and entrepreneurship across the region.