TechLounge: Central Ohio Technology | Entrepreneurs | Innovation
The gist of Heather's conversations were:
"While making small chat at various networking events and parties, the conversation always turned to location. I’d proudly explain that I live and work in Columbus, OH. Without fail, people would quizzically look at me and then ask when I was moving to San Francisco or New York."
I've heard this story, and experienced it, since I started in the business development space in the late '90's. First things first...People in Silicon Valley are going to think the sun rises and sets on them pretty much regardless of who they are talking to. They think Austin is a cow town so you can only imagine what they would have to say about a Midwest city. Having said that there is a huge perception issue about Columbus and the Midwest in general. I think that typically we are more modest when we discuss our accomplishments. While it is difficult to believe things are so much better now than they were even five years ago it is amazing.
Here are a few things that I know are happening:
The great thing about Columbus is that we have a strong base of young, smart people at our local educational institutions like The Ohio State University. Most places have nothing like OSU to generate talent. It is critical that we support these young entrepreneurs because they are the people that will build the companies that you will talk about on your next trip to the coast. They have the luxury of indulging their passion and we need to foster that passion.
The other nice thing about Columbus is that there is no lack of desire to help these young entrepreneurs. While we may not have the VC dollars of a Silicon Valley we do have investors and advisors that are willing to provide guidance in company building to augment the domain expertise of the young entrepreneur. One of the exciting new opportunities available to the young start-up is Wake Up Start Up. This monthly gathering of entrepreneurs, supported by the Office of Technology Commercialization, is a great opportunity for an early stage company connect with someone that has sat in the big meeting before and sold products.
So what are your thoughts? What are the Columbus successes that the world should know about?
Spread the word.