Derrick Braziel

Co-Founder & Managing Director, Mortar

Cincinnati, OH

Accelerate Collaboration, Prioritize Equity, Shift Capital  |  Community Economic Development, Incubator / Accelerator, Technical Assistance

Derrick is cultivating entrepreneurship – with a focus on the Black community – in a city historically ranked as one of the worst in the nation for African American economic opportunity.

Derrick is the Co-Founder & Managing Director for MORTAR in Cincinnati, Ohio. This role includes identifying, initiating, and deepening relationships with various community stakeholders and providing opportunities for external partners to support local entrepreneurs and their ideas. Previously he was the director of civic projects for Lewis & Clark Co, a project manager at StriveTogether, and started an Indianapolis non-profit called Dreamapolis. Derrick is a board member of the Charter Committee of Greater Cincinnati, a member of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet, a member of the Education and Entrepreneurship Taskforce, and serves on the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional R&D Taskforce as well as the Metro Future’s Taskforce. Derrick was born in Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Wittenberg University, and currently lives in Cincinnati. He is the proud of son of two first-generation college graduates and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science.


  • Supporting 65 entrepreneurs from three neighborhoods in less than two years
  • Opening two pop-ups in two communities, including a 10,000 sq. ft. space
  • Organizing three “pitch” night events with over 500 people in attendance
  • Leading organization of the minority tech movement in Cincinnati, culminating in an event with 200 Cincinnati leaders