In the highly competitive and ongoing work of the investments industry to help redefine the U.S. economy, venture capital firms have expanded their focus beyond what opportunities are right next door to include those of a larger regional strategy. Key economic sectors and technologies require a broader-based resources approach in order to grow companies, industries, and jobs. Such investment activities include not just access to funds but also resources that encourage innovative new companies, entrepreneurship, and venture capital formation.
In Ohio, four firms having a strong local presence and a regional focus are Central Ohio’s Drive Capital; Southeast Ohio’s Athenian Venture Partners; Northeast Ohio’s North Coast Angel Fund; and, Southwest Ohio’s Cintrifuse.
- Based in Columbus, Drive Capital was founded in 2012. The firm raised an initial $250 million fund and then added a second $300 million fund in 2016. Investments are targeted towards innovative technology, healthcare, and consumer companies in Ohio and the Midwest. For additional information about Drive Capital, see www.drivecapital.com.
- Based in Athens, Athenian Venture Partners was founded in 1997. Investments are targeted towards information technology, digital health, and health care companies. With a presence in three states, Athenian is able to pursue opportunities in Ohio, the Midwest, and the Southeast and Southern West Coast regions of the U.S. For additional information about Athenian Venture Partners, see www.athenianvp.com.
- Based in Mayfield Heights, North Coast Angel Fund, was founded in 2006. Investments are targeted towards information technology, bioscience, advanced materials, and electronics and controls companies. For additional information about North Coast Angel Fund, see www.northcoastangelfund.com.
- Based in Cincinnati, Cintrifuse was founded in 2012 and its initial fund was $57 million. Cintrifuse was created by Cincinnati’s business community, including stalwart companies Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and Western Southern who depend on Cintrifuse to help them source innovation for their business and to grow the region’s start-up ecosystem. For additional information about Cintrifuse, see www.cintrifuse.com.
In addition to venture capital funding, these entities have a network of resources for start-up and existing companies. And, each has extensive connections to assistance and support funded through Third Frontier, Ohio’s $2.1 billion tech-based economic development initiative to accelerate the creation and growth of investable and scalable technology and tech-enabled companies.