Cincinnati News Startups

Cincinnati Startup LISNR CEO Gets Governor’s Appointment

Rodney Williams, CEO of Cincinnati Startup LISNR, Named To UC’s Board Of Trustees

Just two short years ago we took the video above of LISNR CEO Rodney Williams pitching the McDonald’s South By Southwest Accelerator Competition.

LISNR started in 2012 in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. It was all the rage in the local startup community. The company was founded as technology to unlock special content from music. They’ve expanded upon the technology to become a method of transfering data using ultrasonic tones, inaudible to the human ear. This technology is being used to trigger anything and everything from event ticketing, to instant replay, to rewards, and even providing special content at live events.

LISNR-Williams-top Cincinnati Startup LISNR CEO Gets Governor's Appointment

“I believe everyone in this room has a smartphone, that’s why you’ve been hearing so much about proximity based triggers” Williams told the room at that pitch competition, before showing a laundry list of technologies attempting to be the next big thing in proximity based triggers. He went onto say that those technologies are “… falling short, they have limited range, they provide inconsistent connectivity and even drain batteries…”

LISNR provides a technology that can be deployed by any device with a speaker and a microphone. This makes the technology easy to deploy and cost effective during deployment. It’s also very efficient and because the tones are inaudible, no one realizes it’s even there.

The startup has seen significant growth and has teams in Cincinnati and Silicon Valley. All the while Williams has stayed very engaged in the startup community in Cincinnati. Williams has been called a natural leader by many and his inviting personality and his eagerness to teach other entrepreneurs has caused him to become a major catalyst in the city.

That’s why Ohio Governor John  Kasich has appointed Williams to the Board of Trustees at the University Of Cincinnati. UC is the largest university in the greater Cincinnati area with 44,300 students and an endowment of $1.6 billion.

Rodney Williams possesses a unique combination of corporate experience and close connections to Cincinnati’s burgeoning startup community,” UC President Neville Pinto said in a statement. “His accomplishments and experience in innovation and entrepreneurship as the co-founder and CEO of LISNR will be tremendous assets to guide our university.”

“My perspective is not coming from what Cincinnati or UC was,” Williams said. “My perspective is what (the university) can be and maybe more importantly what it should be.”

Williams is a native Cincinnatian. His appointment began March 10, 2017 and runs through January 1, 2026.

Source: Cincinnati Business Courier