5 Reasons to Start a Technology Business in Columbus

It’s been a hectic and very rewarding first quarter at 1275 Kinnear Rd.

We formally announced our rebrand from TechColumbus to Rev1 Ventures, introduced an exciting new website, and completed improvements to Rev1 Labs (previously SpringBox Labs incubator).

We love the cool look of our new logo, business cards and signage, but the thing that we are most excited about is how our new name reflects our dedication to helping entrepreneurs build great companies, and our expanded engagement in the fast-paced venture development industry.

Ecosystem for Entrepreneurs

tom-walker
Tom Walker

Columbus is a great place to be a venture development firm that’s laser-focused on startup success because this region is such a terrific place to start a high-tech company.

1. Startup companies can receive hands-on how-to from venture experts before they spend time, money and creative energy building products no one wants to buy. Concept Academy, an intense three-day course with extensive out-of-class assignments, teaches entrepreneurs market validation and how to collect customer feedback and modify the company direction and features accordingly.

2. The Columbus corporate community engages to help entrepreneurs succeed. Columbus is home to more than 300 corporate managing offices, including 15 Fortune 1000 companies.

As an example of the access and support that these corporations bring into play, 37 corporate partners engage regularly with Rev1 portfolio companies to match startups’ solutions with local corporate needs. That means direct help, including introductions and open doors that result in signing up first customers and beta sites locally (8 in 2014).

3. Columbus has a bubbling community of entrepreneurs whose startups and products are earning national recognition. Print Syndicate, a Columbus-based design, marketing and technology company, made the Forbes 2015 List of promising high-growth, privately-held companies with under $300 million in revenue.

InfoMotion Sports Technologies was named a Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 Best of Innovations Awards honoree for its 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball.

In March, Inmobly finished in the top three in the South by Southwest Accelerator Competition.

4. Columbus has a continuum of seed and early stage investment capital. This region has an expanding venture capital network, including Rev1’s $45MM+ under management, and more than 200 active angel investors.

The world class research institutions here, such as The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio Health, have committed early stage capital to fund technology spinouts.

5. Columbus is a great place to live and work. Publications in the know, from Forbes to Time Magazine to NerdWallet.com and Thumbtack.com, praise the affordability (cost of living here is 17 percent lower than the U.S. average), livability and just plain fun of putting down roots here.

And if five reasons aren’t enough, here’s one more. The players in Columbus’ startup ecosystem—entrepreneurs, research institutions, investors, the state, and especially corporations that are located here—are all in this game.

There’s a recognition that by connecting all the assets in our own backyard, we can build an innovation district with Midwestern work ethic and values to rival either Coast.

Startup companies get slammed with so many firsts: first product, first customer, first investment capital, first employees, first revenue and on and on.

Here in Columbus, we’re all putting shoulders to the wheels of innovation to help amazing entrepreneurs build products people want and companies people need.

SHARE
Previous articleKj Studios Manufacturing Products to Enhance Work Station Functionality
Next article4 Things to Look for in a Relationship with Your Financial Institution
Tom Walker has been a leader in entrepreneurship and turning innovation-based discoveries into commercial opportunities for more than twenty years. As President and CEO of Rev1 Ventures, Tom applies his experience as a seasoned founder and manager of venture funds and entrepreneurial initiatives to accelerate Central Ohio’s innovation economy. Tom organized his first angel investment group and seed fund in the late nineties and has been involved with angel, seed and early stage investing ever since. He’s advised numerous states and the Southeast of England on the creation of high impact entrepreneurial ventures. He is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Handbook, an easy-to-understand step-by-step guide to commercialization for entrepreneurs with big ideas.