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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Midwest’s newest tech hub on the rise: Columbus, Ohio, is the centre of attention

Columbus, Ohio, is rapidly rising as the central tech hub for the Midwest. Like Silicon Valley holds its crown as the centre for large tech enterprises, Columbus is on its way to being in the same category. It started with millions of dollars poured into the area as the Olentangy and Scioto rivers came together, making the “Test City” a place full of opportunities.

Investors keen on developing tech are always one step ahead of new business decisions as it’s what keeps them on top of the curve. It doesn’t matter where you are. Tech will flourish, and its surrounding will only evolve. It reflects perfectly in Columbus, Ohio.

The “Test City, USA” is the home of The Ohio State University, making it an exciting place for hiring fresh graduates. On the other hand, San Francisco, New York, and Seattle usually dominate the American tech industry. You’ll find the largest tech companies at those locations. Startups and even established multinationals are finding the tools required in the Midwest. Over $3 billion was injected by Venture capitalists in the last 20 years into subsectors of tech. They were mainly focused on healthcare and insurance startups.

Investment grew remarkably in the previous four years and especially during the pandemic.

From 2019 to 2020, investment went from $583 million to over a billion. From this batch, half is invested in a healthcare company called Olive, and another one is an autonomous robotics company called Path Robotics. In 2022, already $110 million fuelled startup companies in Columbus, Ohio.

Once, these opportunities were only available at centralised coastal locations, also known as “the rise of the rest.” Only nontraditional tech centralised platforms were spread across the globe. Now big tech such as Intel, Facebook and Amazon already have plans for Columbus. On the other hand, Intel came late to the party but with big news. They planned to create two chip factories outside the city, which will employ over 3,000 people on-site and planet more indirectly. Those investments turned out quite profitable as Olive is now valued at over $4 billion and made headlines with CvoermyMeds, acquired by McKesson Corp. It was developed in 2017 for $1.4 billion, the first $1 billion exit in Central Ohio.

The European Union and the United States have many facilities that empower tech companies. They create business opportunities and jobs and reshape the economy. As the location is still in its early stage of development, living cost is low compared to other tech hubs. Madison Mikhail Bush, CEO and founder of Point, an app for nonprofit organisations, along with Columbus native, said: “It was a little rocky.” But turned out to be okay.

Getting the attention of venture capitalists in Columbus was not easy a few years back. GiftHealth’s Potts discussed the funds setting up the area for success and “improved by leaps and bounds.”

The Ohio State University (OSU) board set up a $100 million fund in 2012 to support the startup ecosystem divided into multiple funds. This shows how far they are willing to go in future-forward ventures. When the coronavirus hit us, the new centre for tech connected many large businesses and startups quickly, and it became clear that this was a subject to pursue.

Columnists and researchers predict that Columbus will be a beacon of light on the map within the next five years. Many people are trying to accommodate in the central hub, but they will also benefit from the newly opened opportunities. Ohio state technology commercialisation and Innovation District is getting the attractive factor it deserves. Over 17,000 displaced chemical workers may also find great options at the future central tech hub in the Midwest.


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