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Columbus as a tech magnet has strong draw

Financial support and proximity to OSU helping Columbus attract entrepreneurs from far and wide

It took more than Battelle. It took more than CompuServe. It took time and the lure of money and a helping hand.

But, undeniably, Columbus is quietly becoming a tech-company magnet.

Just a decade ago, “If you were an entrepreneur, you had to figure it out on your own,” said Victor Thorne, managing director of strategic development at Columbus 2020, this area’s economic-development agency.

“Back at the turn of the millennium, there wasn’t that support.”

Thanks to the state’s Third Frontier Project, which helps fund tech companies, along with incubator TechColumbus and the venture-capital Ohio TechAngel Funds, 174 technology companies have received a helping hand. And some that began elsewhere have pulled up stakes and moved to central Ohio to take advantage of the area’s resources and funding options.

Some were actively recruited by TechColumbus, while others have been part of the business incubator’s accelerated-development program.“Now, if you’re an entrepreneur, you have a place to go; people to mentor you; resources to do all your legal/accounting in an affordable way; strategic partners to accelerate your growth,” Thorne said.

“This was a flyover state. Now they’re landing here and spending time — and looking for their next investment, here in Columbus.”
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