ECDI Playing Big Role in Columbus’ Vibrant Startup Scene

We already knew that Columbus has just been named the “Most Intelligent Community in the World.” Now, we find out that another national ranking has rated us most improved as a community for startups.

The Kauffman Foundation found that Columbus now ranks 12th on the 2015 Index of Business Creation. That is a full 10 spots higher than last year’s ranking, and miles ahead of Cincinnati and Cleveland (32nd and 35th respectively).

If you have been following our social media, you know that #ECDIworks. It is through generous donors and community partners, like the City of Columbus and the Franklin County Commissioners, that ECDI becomes a part of this vibrant startup community.

ECDI continues to take the lead in driving the Columbus small business community by offering loans ranging from $500-$350,000. In addition, we have assisted over 5,000 entrepreneurs, loaned over $25 million to over 1,200 businesses, and created and retained over 4,500 jobs via our comprehensive suite of programs.

“This new national ranking reflects the emphasis we place on growing and strengthening our small and emerging businesses,” said Franklin County Commission President Marilyn Brown, who serves on the Columbus2020 Board. “We’ve been telling everyone that Franklin County is a great place to start and grow a business, and this national recognition demonstrates the truth of that statement. Smart + Open = great new businesses with sustainable wage jobs. I’m proud of our public and private partners who focus every day on making Franklin County the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

“ECDI is providing small businesses the tools they need to be successful in Columbus,” said City Council President Andrew J. Ginther. “Access to capital, developmental resources, including the Women’s Business Center, as well as encouragement and advice all increase the chances of a business surviving the critical first years of existence. And when small businesses thrive, all of Columbus wins.”

ECDI’s recent participation in Columbus Startup Week sponsored by Chase proved how diverse and motivated entrepreneurs are in our hometown. A packed week of events highlighted the industry and innovation that’s thriving in the area. From how-to’s to success stories, the small business community showed its support and interest in each other.

Brad Hobbs, second time restaurateur and owner of The Walrus, a brand new kitchen and pub house in the Red Brick District downtown that opened this summer, commented, “Columbus’ vibrant community of entrepreneurs is supported through unique resources like ECDI.” Olde Town Tavern, Hobbs’ first concept, located on Oak Street in Olde Towne East, and The Walrus are each positioned in emerging neighborhoods that want and need quality experiences for residents and recent transplants.

Columbus continues to rake in accolades across the country. No wonder Forbes named it the “Best Opportunity City” last year. The real story is on every doorstep of these techies, chefs, developers and retailers. Discover Columbus.