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New Organization in Covington Aims to Help Local Startups

Republic Bank has announced that it is sponsoring and partnering with a new Covington based organization, RePhil Enterprises, which is designed to advocate, support and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem through community building to help startups grow and prosper.

Republic Bank has agreed to $5,000 sponsorship of the organization. Because of this investment, more local entrepreneurs and startup companies will have access to a community network of businesses and organizations that will provide them with support and resources, said George Hagan, executive director of RePhil Enterprises.

“For Republic Bank, sponsoring and partnering with RePhil is a chance for our bank to invest in the local business community by providing resources to these companies,” said Jason Payne, vice president at Republic Bank.

Built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, RePhil Enterprises is a new concept designed to help support current and new entrepreneurs with geographically focused services, resources, and space that will help young entrepreneurial enterprises succeed.

“We are beyond grateful for Republic Bank’s sponsorship and commitment to support the local eco-system of start-ups,” Hagan said. “The bank’s support will help build more connected and collaborative entrepreneurs who ultimately will build a better community.”

RePhil Enterprises is first partnering with Connetic Ventures, a micro-venture capitalist fund that is primarily designed to attract the region’s most innovative and promising startup companies and talent. Founded by Brad Zapp, Connetic is the only seed stage micro-venture capitalist fund in Northern Kentucky. Connectic and RePhil teamed up together because they shared the same vision of growing and supporting the local entrepreneurial community.

George Hagan, a successful businessman, nursing-home executive, developer, and investor, saw a void in resources and connections among these entrepreneurs after they received investments of venture capital. He noticed that these entrepreneurs needed more community support and resources, and that is how RePhil Enterprises was born.

“RePhil was founded by a grant from Connetic Ventures seeing the need for an organization to do the social good for these startups,” said Brad Zapp, founder of Connetic Ventures.

With the birth of RePhil Enterprises, organizations such as Connetic can now focus more on its core competency of growing its investment portfolio and increasing its opportunity for better investment returns, while Rephil can focus on the providing local connections to support the entrepreneur.

“RePhil Enterprises is able to coordinate connections with the startups and the local business community,” Hagan said. “Coordinated access is critical to both the self-starting entrepreneur and valuable community businesses like Republic Bank.”

Connetic Ventures and RePhil Enterprises offices are located in a recently renovated historic building in the 900 block of Madison Avenue in Covington. It is a collaborative open space in which entrepreneurs can work. RePhil brings in local community leaders and business people and lets them set up shop in these offices, which gives entrepreneurs access to these individuals, where they can get to know them and ask them questions in a relaxed, informal setting.

Republic Bank’s Payne, as one of RePhil’s partners, sets up his laptop in the Connectic/RePhil offices about once a month, providing banking knowledge and expertise to these startup companies.

“Most entrepreneurs are great at their craft but they aren’t necessarily rooted among business partners and potential clients,” Payne said. “By helping them on an individual basis, I can help them connect with other service providers, or potential clients, which can potentially advance their business model. Quite honestly, I enjoy seeing innovators succeed. I enjoy helping them realize their vision. It’s thrilling.”

“Republic Bank is a great partner for RePhil because we are a community-minded and an innovative bank,“ he continued. “We provide compelling small business products that the entrepreneurs can access. Our business-banking platform provides individual personal service for each of our bank offerings. We can give them the right advice and the right product that will make their company more efficient.”

Payne said he would encourage almost any business in Covington to consider partnering with RePhil. “RePhil’s network provides expertise and resources that enriches the Covington business community as a whole,” he said. “When entrepreneurs win in Covington, all businesses in Covington benefit.”

- Staff report/Photo provided