CincyTech Announces CEO Transition: Mike Venerable to Advisory Role, Emma Off Appointed CEO and President
After seven years as CEO and President, Mike Venerable is stepping down from his role at CincyTech, culminating seventeen years at the region’s leading seed stage investment fund. He will be succeeded in those roles by Emma Off, a partner with Thompson Hine, with deep expertise in private capital markets and advising key stakeholders. She will start in this new role effective January 8, 2024.
Venerable joined CincyTech in late 2006 as a consultant, working with founding CEO Bob Coy to build a regional seed fund and fill a critical capital gap for local startups and research spinouts. Since the launch of CincyTech’s first fund in 2007, the organization has invested $87 million in 90 startups, attracting more than $1.7 billion in co-investment, including more than $1 billion in venture capital. CincyTech has catalyzed more than $4 billion in enterprise value to date. Venerable will continue to support CincyTech’s portfolio of investments and the team as an advisor.
“When regional civic leaders came together to create CincyTech more than twenty years ago, they saw the region’s potential to grow scalable startups that would create jobs and grow our economy,” said Venerable. “I’ve been honored to be a part of this organization’s growth and impact. I’ve always believed in the great collaborative mission of CincyTech and I’ve been inspired by the founders, inventors, and researchers who start new companies. Literally, hundreds of people and scores of organizations have contributed to our work. New leadership is critical to unlocking even more of our regional potential, and I am confident that Emma will be a generational leader for the organization.”
Emma Off joins CincyTech after more than a decade of legal practice, most recently at the national law firm Thompson Hine. She is a seasoned mergers and acquisitions specialist who has served as an indispensable advisor to high-growth companies, venture funds, and the founders, investors, and Boards that support them. Her experience representing clients in the life sciences and emerging markets space aligns with CincyTech’s mission.
Off, a Cincinnati native has been actively involved in the community through her leadership in organizations such as ArtWorks, ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Off has earned a number of accolades in her career including current awards, “Lawyer of the Year” in Cincinnati and Chambers USA, “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” and selection to Legal 500’s inaugural list of the top 250 M&A lawyers in the U.S. Off also serves on the Board of the local chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.
“I began working with the team at CincyTech early in my career at Thompson Hine. I saw first hand how investing in novel technology, like the world-class genetic testing that was commercialized by Assurex Health in Mason, Ohio, can transform an industry and impact countless lives. Succeeding Mike as the CEO and President of CincyTech is an opportunity for which I am deeply grateful. With the support of our world-class team, I look forward to expanding CincyTech’s role as a driver of economic development and continuing our mission to transform regional startups into world-class high-growth companies.”
CincyTech Board Chair Brendon Cull, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Regional Chamber, emphasized CincyTech’s essential contribution to the region’s economic character in announcing the transition in leadership. "Mike Venerable’s time at CincyTech saw a transformation in the formation and scaling of regional startups. He was the first to recognize the need to plan for the next chapter of the organization’s growth and identify a new leader. His enthusiastic support for Emma as that new leader was critical in our decision.”
He added, “Emma Off is a leader in our community and brings an appreciation and understanding of CincyTech’s accomplishments and assets. She has deep business experience, passion, and collaborative leadership that will fit perfectly with CincyTech’s mission. The Board expects Emma and the great team at CincyTech to drive billions more in economic impact in the coming years.”