Columbus, as you will read in the below list of awards, is by far the best city in the Country, and, in fact, the World. Unlike every other major city in the world, Columbus, Ohio, has not peaked.
Many cities have seen their heyday and fallen from grace and faltered in their recovery.
Columbus, however, has the best library in the country, the best zoo in the country, the best science center in America, and America’s largest University. This may have led it to being known as the one of the 7 Smartest Cities in the World and why we won the U.S. Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge. By an act of congress, Columbus became home to the only National Veteran’s Memorial and Museum in America. We have so much potential. We may not be as pretty as Paris or Venice or even New York, but Columbus has personality.
Columbus has been named:
· One of the top 6 “Arts & Culture” Cities – beating out San Fran and NYC!
· Number ONE Opportunity City according to Forbes
· 3rd Happiest City in the Country (according to Instagram)
With all these awards, it is no wonder that National Geographic did a feature story on Why All the Cool Kids Love Columbus, Ohio.
I can tell you, from someone who has grown up in Columbus, moved away twice, and moved back twice, Columbus is a magnet for re-invention and, recently, a hotbed of innovation. I talked about it on my podcast: Entreprenerds.
Home to one of the nation’s largest US Small Business Administration intermediary micro-lender (ECDI), Columbus has become a proving ground for entrepreneurs. Another resource for small businesses, Rev1 Ventures, is the number one seed fund in the region supporting startups and entrepreneurs.
Even Silicon Valley has begun to take notice. Andy Jenks, partner at Drive Capital (venture capital firm founded by two Sequoia Capital veterans), wrote, “Here I am, at Drive Capital’s offices in sunny Columbus, Ohio, and I’m happy as hell about it” after moving his family from San Francisco. He went on to state why Kvamme and Olsen, founders of Drive Capital came to Columbus, “In the Midwest I see and meet entrepreneurs solving real-world problems that they are passionate about. That’s how great companies get built, and that mentality is why I am here ultimately.”
When Silicon Valley money – $300m in Drive Capital’s first fund – come to Columbus, it isn’t just fake news and internet memes anymore.
Jenks ended his article with this invitation, “No matter who you are, I would love to show you this incredible place and introduce you to some of the smartest, most passionate entrepreneurs in the whole world.”
I echo his invitation. Columbus, for all its accolades and recent attention, continues to be a place that you can walk down the street and say hello to neighbors you haven’t met and welcome new friends to town with a potluck and a tailgate.
When I say O H you say I O.
– Daniel White