December 9, 2019

Hey tech people, the Buckeye State wants ya!

Venture capital investment in Ohio boomed from $432m in 2013 to $1.16B in 2018, and the Buckeye State has quietly become a hotbed for startups that make everything from connected cars to health care products

So, you want to work in tech but could pass on the San Francisco rent? Well, consider the Buckeye State — the latest, greatest center of the boom in the Silicon Prairie (read The Hustle’s full story about the Silicon Prairie here). 

I know, I know — no mountains, no ocean, lots of Ohio State fans — but you can buy a whole house in Columbus with like half of what you need for a down payment in SF.

The startup scene in Ohio is booming, and companies are making everything from health care products to connected cars. Venture capital investment in the Buckeye State has also shot up — from $432m in 2013 to $1.16B in 2018.

Why all the investment in… Oh-hi-oh?

Partly because people are working together to foster growth in tech across the private and public sectors. The Ohio Third Frontier Commission, a state government initiative, approved around $77m to support tech startups and has invested more than $2B since 2003.

And instead of boxing each other out for talent, venture CEOs in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati are collaborating by meeting up and sharing tips on what’s working in their respective cities. Aw, how Midwestern! (They even have a running group text.) 

Ohio’s big 3 cities are in growth mode 

Especially Columbus: It’s one of the fastest-growing Midwestern cities. 

But calling Ohio “the new Silicon Valley” would be an exaggeration. The whole Great Lakes region (including Ohio) got 3.6% of the $130.9B of venture capital invested in the US during 2018. Compare that to the West Coast, which won a whopping 61.7% — the most of any region by far. 

Still, being able to live in a house without roommates sounds tempting.

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