Ted Ford leaving TechColumbus

TechColumbus announced Tuesday that President and CEO Ted Ford is leaving the organization at the end of the calendar year.

Ford was at the helm for six years. The TechColumbus Board of Directors has already launched a search for his successor.

“We’ve made tremendous progress, both as an organization and as a region,” he says. “I think it’s time to pass the baton to the next leader and to look for ways I can help advance other initiatives that accelerate our region’s growth.”

Ford was recruited in 2005 by the leaders of The Ohio State University, Battelle, and Chemical Abstracts Service to quarterback the merger between the Columbus Technology Council and the Business Technology Center, a process that resulted in the formation of TechColumbus.

The merger created a unified organization with the critical mass and resources to accelerate the growth of the regional technology economy.

In addition, OSU’s science and technology affiliate, SciTech, co-located its offices with TechColumbus on the university’s West Campus, making TechColumbus Center a one-stop shop for technology-based economic development.

“Ted has been an outstanding leader over the last six years,” says Steve Allen, CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and chair of the TechColumbus Board.

“When we formed TechColumbus in 2005, only a handful of people were even talking about the role technology could play in the growth of Central Ohio’s economy,” he continued. “Today, TechColumbus is recognized as one of the best technology advocacy organizations in the country and has been instrumental in mobilizing our region behind tech-based economic growth. Ted’s leadership has been central to making that happen.”

During Ford’s tenure as president and CEO, TechColumbus emerged as a major force for economic growth in the region. Under Ford’s leadership, TechColumbus:

  • • Raised more than $43 million in state and local matching funds to accelerate the creation and growth of new technology startups in the region. Those funds enabled TechColumbus to find, coach, and finance dozens of new startups that have gone on to secure follow-on investment and to provide support and assistance to more than 1,200 other companies regionwide.
  • • Supported the expansion of the Ohio TechAngel Fund, the largest angel investor organization in the nation and a major source of follow-on capital for technology startups.
  • • Won national recognition for the region as a rising tech-based economy. TechColumbus was awarded the State Science and Technology Institute’s 2009 national award for building entrepreneurial capacity.
  • • Worked with Columbus business and higher education leaders on the launch of Columbus2020!, a regional economic development strategy that builds on the strengths of TechColumbus and increases efforts to retain, expand, create and attract companies to the region.
  • • Led efforts to quadruple the TechColumbus membership base and grow signature events, such as the TechColumbus Innovation Awards, an event that recognizes achievements in science, technology, and business.

Ford says it is premature to announce his future plans.

“I love this community,” he adds. “Columbus is really poised to move onto the national and international stage in a big way. I am looking forward to contributing in other ways.”

Photo by Adam Slane.