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Entrepreneur Resources

Overview

A Haven for Entrepreneurs

The Columbus Region has a proud tradition of developing small enterprises into high-growth businesses and Fortune 500 companies. L Brands, Cardinal Health, Wendy’s and a host of other companies were started by passionate entrepreneurs from right here in the Columbus Region.

With affordable business costs and a collaborative community, the Columbus Region is increasingly being recognized as a startup city to watch. In 2016, the Region was named by the Kauffman Foundation as the number one city for startups to go to scale—as demonstrated by CoverMyMed’s recent $1.1 billion exit. The company’s exit—the Columbus Region’s, and Central Ohio’s, first billion dollar exit—shows the maturation of the Region’s startup scene and the ability for tech startups to flourish here.

Noted as a magnet for tech companies, the Columbus Region has a variety of resources available to assist entrepreneurial enterprises to start and grow their businesses, including an increased availability of venture capital. A growing number of local funds and accelerators like Rev1 Ventures and Drive Capital provide Columbus startups with the financial resources needed for continued growth. In 2015 alone, Rev1-assisted companies generated more than $160 million.

Columbus 2020 and a number of other organizations work together to help accelerate the development of ideas into companies and companies into engines of job creation and technology investment.

Rankings

Resources for Columbus Entrepreneurs and Startups

Funding

Drive Capital
Drive Capital invests in innovative technology, healthcare and consumer companies in the Midwest.

Dublin Entrepreneurial Center
DEC provides services to support start up ventures in Dublin and the surrounding area, and promotes an environment that increases deal flow for potential entrepreneurial and technology development.

Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)
The Economic and Community Development Institute addresses the needs of very small business owners in the creation and expansion of microenterprises. The Institute fills a gap in the credit industry by offering loans ranging from $500 to $150,000 to underserved entrepreneurs through its revolving microloan fund program.

Innovate New Albany
Innovate New Albany is a business incubator in New Albany that boasts more than 16,000 square feet dedicated as a hub for startups and entrepreneurial activities, designed to create a flow of ideas and interconnectivity.

NCT Ventures
NCT Ventures is a venture capital firm founded by entrepreneurs. They are passionate about people and believe that an idea is only as good as the entrepreneur tasked with turning that idea into a great business model.

Ohio TechAngel Funds (OTAF)
The top angel investor network in the country, OTAF supports early-stage companies. The Ohio TechAngel Funds are interested in engaging qualified entrepreneurs who are developing promising, high-growth Ohio businesses, predominantly in the life sciences, information technology, and physical sciences market sectors.

Reservoir Venture Partners
RVP targets investments in companies with an emphasis on healthcare, information technology and clean technology. RVP supports portfolio companies with dynamic guidance to entrepreneurs in all key aspects of operations, governance and strategy. RVP manages two funds with an initial investment generally between $500,000 and $1 million, up to $4 million.

Rev1 Ventures
Rev1 Ventures helps entrepreneurs build great companies. With the capital of a VC and the connections of an accelerator, Rev1 supports startups through the first phases of growth to increase their probability of success. Their team of experts leads an ongoing, data-driven process that ensures entrepreneurs develop products people want, and companies people need.

Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center
Ohio Christian University in Pickaway County has been awarded a $2.5 million competitive grant to establish the Southern Gateway, which will provide training and technical assistance to local entrepreneurs and develop small businesses.

Mentoring

CCAD MindMarket
MindMarket, located on the Columbus College of Art & Design’s downtown campus, is comprised of three functions, including an incubator created to provide the mentorship, business coaching and professional services needed for art- and design-based ventures to launch.

Columbus Idea Foundry
The Columbus Idea Foundry offers a community workshop space committed to teaching people who want to learn and providing tools and technology to people who want to make. Available tools include a woodshop, metal-working, welding, and blacksmithing stations, CNC ShopBot, laser cutter and engraver, 3D printers and fine-art stations.

Cultivate
Cultivate offers workshops and networking events, startup coaching and all-inclusive workspaces in Grove City.

Dublin Entrepreneurial Center
DEC provides services to support start up ventures in Dublin and the surrounding area, and promotes an environment that increases deal flow for potential entrepreneurial and technology development.

Innovate New Albany
Innovate New Albany is a business incubator in New Albany that boasts more than 16,000 square feet dedicated as a hub for startups and entrepreneurial activities, designed to create a flow of ideas and interconnectivity.

Marysville Entrepreneurial Center (MEC)
The MEC is Union County’s center for innovation and entrepreneurial development. The MEC is available for those looking to develop a business concept, business plans, marketing techniques and business strategies. The MEC also provides office space and flexible workspace and is the location of a number of educational seminars, programs, Jellies and networking events.

Ohio Business Gateway – 1st Stop Business Connection
1st Stop Business Connection provides free state-level information needed to start a business in Ohio or continue on your entrepreneurial journey.

Ohio Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College (SBDC)
The SBDC provides entrepreneurial development assistance and high-end business consulting to startup and emerging business owners free of charge.

The Ohio State University Technology Commercialization Office (TCO)
TCO serves faculty, researchers, students and clinicians by turning their inventions, ideas, technologies and research into business opportunities and products that make an impact in the local and global marketplace.

QStart Labs
QStart Labs is a firm dedicated to launching new tech ventures that provides startups an experienced technology development and startup advisory team made up of entrepreneurs, designers, nerds and investors.

Rev1 Ventures
Rev1 Ventures helps entrepreneurs build great companies. With the capital of a VC and the connections of an accelerator, Rev1 supports startups through the first phases of growth to increase their probability of success. Their team of experts leads an ongoing, data-driven process that ensures entrepreneurs develop products people want, and companies people need.

SunDown RunDown
SunDown RunDown brings entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and talent together through educational programming, monthly workshops and quarterly venture showcases. It also partners with New Albany’s Innovate New Albany.

Tech2Market
Tech2Market is a not for profit corporation formed to provide assistance, guidance and mentoring to emerging technology ventures, tech entrepreneurs, inventors, investors and tech industry insiders.

Women’s Small Business Accelerator
The first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to helping women business owners develop concepts and launch their business models to thrive and grow, WSBA provides office space, education and mentoring.

Office Space

400 West Rich
Whether you prefer a chair at one of the large handmade tables, a newly designed cubicle, or private office, a membership to 400 West Rich’s coworking space will provide you with free wifi, printing and copy services, a conference room, unlimited coffee, tea, snacks, and 24/7 access for all.

CCAD MindMarket
MindMarket, located on the Columbus College of Art & Design’s downtown campus, is comprised of three functions, including an incubator created to provide the mentorship, business coaching and professional services needed for art- and design-based ventures to launch.

Columbus Idea Foundry
The Columbus Idea Foundry offers a community workshop space committed to teaching people who want to learn and providing tools and technology to people who want to make. Available tools include a woodshop, metal-working, welding, and blacksmithing stations, CNC ShopBot, laser cutter and engraver, 3D printers and fine-art stations.

C|Suites Executive Offices
Located in Franklin County’s Gahanna, C|Suites offers virtual and office packages that can be tailored to fit the specific requirements of a client.

Cultivate
Cultivate offers workshops and networking events, startup coaching and all-inclusive workspaces in Grove City.

Dublin Entrepreneurial Center
DEC provides services to support start up ventures in Dublin and the surrounding area, and promotes an environment that increases deal flow for potential entrepreneurial and technology development.

E.V. Bishoff Co.
Bringing your business a combination of elegance and affordability in downtown Columbus, a variety of traditional and nontraditional office spaces are available including executive suites, team spaces, studios and more.

FABRIC

Coming in late 2017, FABRIC will be a hub of resources for independent fashion designers including studio space, a fabric outlet, photo studio and retail store.

The Horton Building
The 45,000+ square foot Horton Building is on the campus of the Central Ohio Aerospace & Technology Center in Licking County’s Heath. The LEED-certified, environmentally-controlled clean rooms have easy access to Boeing capabilities including 3D prototyping and virtual manufacturing lab.

Industrious
Located in the Short North Arts District, Industrious offers 10,000 square feet of efficient, modern workspaces overlooking the Columbus skyline. Common areas, a mother’s space, concierge service, local treats and free access to the Pizzuti Collection are among its conveniences.

Innovate New Albany
Innovate New Albany is a business incubator in New Albany that boasts more than 16,000 square feet dedicated as a hub for startups and entrepreneurial activities, designed to create a flow of ideas and interconnectivity.

Marysville Entrepreneurial Center (MEC)
The MEC is Union County’s center for innovation and entrepreneurial development. The MEC is available for those looking to develop a business concept, business plans, marketing techniques and business strategies. The MEC also provides office space and flexible workspace and is the location of a number of educational seminars, programs, Jellies and networking events.

The Perch
The Perch provides a collaborative, high-quality shared office environment for small businesses and start-up teams wishing to centralize their business activities in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus.

Qwirk Coworking & Collaboration
Qwirk is a coworking space that offers office and meeting space as well as networking and educational events. Located in Columbus’ German Village, Qwirk is free to the public on Fridays.

Rev1 Ventures
Rev1 Ventures helps entrepreneurs build great companies. With the capital of a VC and the connections of an accelerator, Rev1 supports startups through the first phases of growth to increase their probability of success. Their team of experts leads an ongoing, data-driven process that ensures entrepreneurs develop products people want, and companies people need.

The Salt Mines
The Salt Mines is a coworking space that gives members free use of conference space for meeting with clients or events, during business hours or otherwise.

Studio 595
Creative coworking space designed to offer open workspace, meeting areas for brainstorming and presenting work, and breakout areas for chats with fellow studio mates.

Women’s Small Business Accelerator
The first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to helping women business owners develop concepts and launch their business models to thrive and grow, WSBA provides office space, education and mentoring.