Talk about the right place at the right time.
There is a palpable energy in Columbus these days. Whether you’re having a conversation at Mission Coffee or just notice the perpetual apartment construction, it’s clear that Columbus is growing. In fact, Columbus crossed the 2 million mark for population in the metro area just this year.
The Ohio State University, already one of the largest universities on the planet, is growing with it’s largest applicant class this year and a record setting year of fundraising.
The city is home to five Fortune 500 companies and the largest makerspace on the planet. We are growing in the healthcare industry with major players like Cardinal Health, CoverMyMeds, and CrossChx. And according to VentureOhio, Columbus office space is 40% less expensive than Chicago and 60% less expensive than New York City.
Columbus ranks Number 1 in scaling startups, as well as as Number 4 for entrepreneurial growth according to the Kauffman foundation. Behind OTAF (the largest angel investing group in the Unites States), Rev1 Ventures, NCT Ventures, and Drive Capital, we are attracting more and more startup companies and entrepreneurial talent.
The best basketball player on the planet celebrates winning a championship by wearing an HOMAGE shirt, and the Columbus Crew played for the MLS title this past year. Our Governor just mounted a Presidential bid!
But the true reason I love being in Columbus during this time isn’t because of any of these fun stats. I love Columbus because anyone can be a part of this growth and expansion. If you can muster the courage to send an email, make a phone call, or show up to an event, you can get involved and contribute.
Two groups I am incredibly fortunate to work with are Startup Weekend and the Create Columbus Commission. These two groups and countless others (Startup Week, Independents Day Festival, GiveBackHack,Transit Columbus, Columbus Songwriters Association to name a few) drive change and growth in Columbus via incredibly talented and driven individuals. And you can get be a part of that!
One would be hard pressed to find any major city the size of Columbus or larger that offers the same access to change makers. The folks driving change on any front are open-minded, collaborative individuals working to push this city forward. You can work shoulder to shoulder with these individuals and become one yourself.
Those individuals committed $90M in private sector funding if Columbus won the first ever Smart City Challenge with $50M at stake from the USDOT and Vulcan Inc. (which we then did win). That’s $140M to develop Columbus, Ohio, to be the benchmark for smart city and innovation in the United States. We’re talking autonomous vehicles, public Wifi, a consolidated transit pass, and more. How cool is that?
Even the New York Times and National Geographic are loving on Columbus lately.
It’s time to stop the rhetoric of, “Columbus can be the next…” and embrace being who we are: a badass, growing city for business and the arts. We are the first and the best Columbus, Ohio. Through our trademark collaboration, we will accomplish things no other city has – you can take that to the bank.
Jay Clouse is a Director at CrossChx, a Technology Startup Focusing on identity resolution in healthcare. Prior to CrossChx, Jay served as Chief Operating Officer of Tixers, a digital ticketing platform. He helped start up the company out of the UpTech Accelerator and grew the company until it was acquired in March 2015 by OneUp Sports.
Jay has served as a Columbus organizer and global Facilitator for Startup Weekend since 2013. Since 2015, Jay has served as a member of the Create Columbus Commission as a forum lead and member of the grants committee. In his free time, Jay likes to write on his online journal and listen to podcasts.
Read Why I Love Columbus: A City on the Rise on Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
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