Columbus, Ohio is fast becoming one of the country's newest tech hubs. A Midwestern city with one of the highest concentrations of higher education in the nation, with 52 college and university campuses, Columbus is also an extremely livable city with a much lower cost of living than cities like San Francisco or New York City.
As reported by Purpose Jobs, "in Columbus, Olive raised $400 million just seven months after raising $225.5 million and reaching unicorn status. Other notable funding rounds out of Columbus include Path Robotics’ $156 million, Forge Biologics $120 million Series B, and Lower’s historic $100 million Series A round.
In Ohio, VC funding surpassed $2B in September 2021 according to PitchBook. In 2020, that number was only at $1.13B. While about 66% of that funding has gone to startups in Columbus, Cincinnati had some major wins this year, too. Coterie Insurance just raised $50 million and CinCor Pharma raised a historic $143 million Series B round."
Tech Crunch continues, "Columbus has also caught the eye of enterprises, including Facebook, Amazon and now Intel, which announced earlier this year that it will build two chip factories outside of the city that will provide 3,000 company jobs and many more thousands of indirect jobs. Meanwhile, therapeutics company Amgen announced last November that it is building a new biomanufacturing facility in New Albany, one of Columbus’ suburbs, providing 400 jobs for assembling and packaging medicines.
All of this activity, plus a low cost of living, availability of a young, skilled talent pool and public/private partnerships eager to support entrepreneurs, research and innovation, is why TechCrunch has chosen to spotlight Columbus’ growing startup scene."
Historically, "venture capitalists injected over $3 billion into the city over the past 20 years, particularly in healthcare and insurance startups, according to Crunchbase data. Investment into the city startups started picking up around 2017 and really peaked in 2021. That's when investment essentially doubled, going from $583 million in 2020 to just over $1 billion, with half of those dollars going into two companies: healthcare technology company Olive and autonomous robotics company Path Robotics.
So far in 2022, $110 million has gone into Columbus startups. Olive is now valued at over $4 billion and is among Columbus success stories like CoverMyMeds, a healthcare software company that was acquired by the McKesson Corp. in 2017 for $1.4 billion, which represents Central Ohio's first $1 billion exit. Root Insurance, which raised over $800 million since 2015, went public in 2020. Other notable raises include Forge Biologics' $120 million Series B round, which was thought to be Ohio's largest Series B to date. Forge plans to add 200 new jobs by 2023," as summarized by Tech Crunch.
In all, Columbus is joining an overall increase of tech companies starting business in the Midwest, and the ecosystems of community that follow. Every year that passes, more students graduate with the skills needed to create businesses in the modern world. Columbus benefits from a concentration of academic institutions, and financial institutions are now following.