Innovative Businesses in Central Ohio | Innovation During a Crisis


A Spotlight on the Innovative Spirit of Central Ohio Businesses

As pretty much every aspect of our professional and personal lives have been upended, we are sticking to our mantra that it is essential to have Perspective, Patience, and Innovation now more than ever.

Whether we are counseling our clients or our kids, we continue to impress the importance of keeping a proper perspective on what is happening and maintaining patience, knowing that we will make it through. And innovation? Well, it turns out that it’s everywhere! We are working with our clients to be innovative in their space, as appropriate, and are loving all of the ways that local businesses are rising to the challenge, as well.

Take a peek at some of our favorites:

roll: Bicycle Company 

Founder Stuart Hunter started roll: to encourage more people to experience the positivity that riding bikes brings, and give people the opportunity to find their own ride. With this focus on connecting people, it should come as no surprise that Stuart and his team completely pivoted their business model in light of COVID-19 to ensure that connectivity goes on, even during a time of social distancing. It turns out that #RidingIsntCancelled

In 5 days our crew have doubled down on their commitment to each other and our community. Launched Pick-Up and delivery for our service business. Built a fully functioning ecommerce site at for our shops. Wrote and implemented brand new processes for curbside pick up and check-in. Reset our sales team to offer phone and chat support. And pulled together like a freight train. We’re not through it, we’re not perfect, but we’re in it together and I couldn’t be any prouder.

– Stuart, on LinkedIn


Opening their first restaurant in Cincinnati in 2010, FUSIAN’s mission is to “Connect people through collaboration, culture + cuisine.” As a destination for an engaged and inspired dining experience, they work to empower people to expect more. So when confronted with the nearly complete shutdown of the restaurant industry, owners Stephen Harman, Josh Weprin, and Zach Weprin, were faced with the challenge of “fighting through it any way that we can.”

Thus, the rebirth of FUSIAN. Because, as they see it grocers are slammed, restaurants are closed, and FUSIAN delivers food. So in addition to offering delivery of their regular menu items – delivery that they are offering at reduced rates and free on Fridays – they are working on FUSIAN Meal Kits and FUSIAN Grocery delivery, as well. They are also keeping their focus on the community by donating a meal to community kids with every $50 gift card purchase. #HereToServe

Watershed Distillery and Kitchen & Bar  

Making gin since 2010, Watershed was founded on the principle of community. In addition to wanting to live in, work in and contribute to the community in which they grew up, founders Greg Lehman and Dave Rigo wanted to form a community of their own. So, what happens when that community is all but shut down?

When everything started happening, we wanted to find a way that we could reach out to our community, still offer the comforts that they know us for, so we came up with these cocktail kit ideas that would pair with the spirits that we actually offer.

Andrew Schmitt, general manager of Watershed Kitchen and Bar

So in these uncertain times, Watershed is doing what it does best – connecting with its community. In addition to offering its customers make-at-home cocktail kits, and keeping their bottle shop open daily, they have entered into the hand sanitizer business to help meet the growing demand. They have made 200 gallons of the liquid sanitizer that hospitals and first-responders use, donating it to several groups including Nationwide Children’s Hospital. #SupportLocalBusinesses

Trinity Homes 

Building homes since 1963, Trinity Homes understands that all families are different, but all want a place to live that fits their lifestyle and budget. They provide semi-custom homes in every price range, in some of the most vibrant communities throughout Central Ohio. Because they know that your community – wherever or whatever that community is – is what’s really important.

While Columbus has been consistently ranked as one of the hottest home markets in the nation, not even near-record-low mortgage rates can completely overcome the social distancing required by the government to slow COVID-19. So it was time to get innovative about how to help people find their forever home and stay healthy and safe at the same time. Welcome to virtual home tours, hosted by some of your favorite agents! #VirtualTour #OpenHouse


Established to help align companies’ tools, amenities, and environments to the preferences of the people who work there, Hopewell develops technology that can improve their business’ work experience. In addition to developing technology, they also have laboratory locations that serve as coworking extensions for partner companies and their teams. The result of these improvements to the work experience? “Fewer crappy days.” 

While certainly not the only company offering coworking space, Hopewell’s mission is to go beyond the traditional coworking concept of providing physical space. And COVID-19 is certainly forcing everyone to re-evaluate their overall work experience, as many have moved to remote working with only a matter of days to prepare. These extraordinary circumstances, it seems, is where Hopewell has the opportunity to thrive.

To help people who may be isolated at home, Hopewell is thinking outside the box and hosting remote work sessions with music provided by live DJs.

People are realizing the idea of creating mental and physical space is a challenge. If you design it like a fitness class, people can put this on their calendars. People can say, I’m going to create the space and the time for a work session, and let their family know they’re working.

Brian Zuercher, Columbus CEO Magazine

And the added bonus? It is also a way to support the local music community while they are unable to put on live, in-person shows. #WinWin

These are truly inspiring ways that companies are navigating to a new normal during this time and managing to not only survive, but thrive. Do you know of a company stepping up in these extraordinary times? We would love to hear their stories so that we can continue to spotlight those businesses that make up the fabric of our communities.