RedHawk50 honors companies led by Miami University grads; public nominations sought

OXFORD — As the number of successful business startups by Miami University graduates rises, school officials have decided to honor the dozens of entrepreneurs who first learned about the ways of commerce in its classrooms.

Miami officials recently announced the formation of a new recognition — RedHawk50 — a new program to annually identify, recognize and celebrate the 50 fastest-growing companies founded or led by Miamians.

And the public – along with Miami students, staff, graduates - will also have a chance to participate in the nomination process with the first class of inductees into the RedHawk50 to be celebrated during a gala event in the spring of 2024.

Miami alumni have created many businesses, including some nationally high-profile companies such as “Mad Rabbit,” whose two Miami-degree holders and founders were featured on the TV program “Shark Tank.”

“Entrepreneurs propel the economy forward,” said Miami University President Gregory Crawford.

“Miami prioritizes entrepreneurship by preparing our graduates to innovate and create products and services that elevate society and expand job markets. RedHawk50 offers an opportunity to celebrate the incredible impact of Miamians in the business community and serve as a vehicle for these leaders to pass their insights on to the next generation,” said Crawford in the school’s announcement.

This impact, said school officials, affirms the university’s reputation as a launch pad for business leaders.

In recent years, Miamian-founded/Miamian-led private, high growth companies raised a combined $10.6 billion in venture capital and growth and private equity in fiscal year 2021-2022, including 16 companies that closed rounds of at least $50 million.

And Miamian-founded/Miamian-led private, high growth companies accounted for the creation of 18,404 new jobs, the creation of 12,070 new jobs and a $1.1 billion impact to Ohio’s economy, during that same period.

Miami, which besides its main Oxford campus also has regional campuses at Hamilton and Middletown as well as a learning center in West Chester Twp., is Butler County’s largest employer.

Nominations for RedHawk50 can be made online and are open now through August 15. Go to for information.

The Top 50 fastest-growing companies nominated and chosen will be notified in December 2023 and invited to an evening reception and awards gala in March 2024.

Jenny Darroch, dean of Miami’s Farmer School of Business and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership, said “we are very proud of our Miami entrepreneurial community and look forward to recognizing, honoring and celebrating them at the inaugural Redhawk50 event.”

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