In 2016, CNN reported that minority-led and women-owned businesses had a high likelihood of obtaining business funding in Ohio. Cleveland-based nonprofit JumpStart invested only in tech firms within this demographic for three years. They planned to do this for 20 firms and focused their efforts on small companies with fewer than six employees. They pledged to ensure each firm received half a million dollars in funding. The aim is to create greater diversity in the technology industry.
If that sounds like good news, consider that JumpStart is not the only source of funds for new businesses. In fact, Forbes reports that the amount of venture capital funding passing through Ohio is higher than it has even been in the state’s history. In 2016, Ohio saw a 46% increase in investments over the prior year to a total of $470 million. To add to this, Ohio’s capital city now ranks as the top U.S. city for scaling startups.
Since 2013, venture capital funds in Ohio raised almost $1 billion in new capital. Most of this money was raised by investors in Columbus. This caught the attention of business moguls, including Howard Schultz and Jeff Bezos. Some experts believe the state’s focus on research and innovation may be paying off. Well-known institutions in this field that call Ohio home include OhioHealth, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University.
Not everyone fancies the idea of moving to the Midwest for business opportunities. The harsh winters and new social policies may deter a lot of people. However, with incentives like a 10% lower cost of living than the national average, more entrepreneurs may feel compelled to move to the Buckeye State.