How Entrepreneurship Grows the Ohio Economy

The role of Entrepreneurship in a thriving economy

Today, we held a lively discussion about the startup ecosystem in Ohio, how it’s grown, and the continued needs of entrepreneurship in our community. We welcomed a panel of startup CEOs, workforce development leaders, and the Secretary of State to the conversation.


  • Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State
  • Pamela Springer, CEO of ORIS Intelligence
  • Rob Underhill, President of Simple-Fill
  • Kim Gayle, Executive Director of i.c. stars * |Columbus
  • Moderator: Tom Walker, President and CEO of Rev1 Ventures

At Rev1, we believe that this is a meaningful dialogue that our community leaders need to have about entrepreneurship and its impact on our state. We know that a thriving ecosystem helps to drive the overall economy. Ohio has made significant progress in the past five years, but we have many opportunities to grow and continue building the startup ecosystem infrastructure and attract talent.

New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation, and almost 20 percent of gross job creation and high-growth businesses account for nearly 50 percent, according to the Kauffman Foundation. Ohio has seen tremendous growth adding $1.065B in new capital, a 296 percent increase over the previous five years. Ohio investors have invested $2.36B of capital over the previous five years. Over 800 companies invested statewide over the last five years. These are incredible growth numbers, but we still have more to do to keep up with our neighbors, like Pennsylvania. There is still a lot for us to do to provide the capital needed to the many companies that are starting up in our state.

Many of us are focused on the talent piece and will be going forward. Not only are we focused on talent attraction, but we need to be focused on training and retaining talent in Ohio. The biggest gap we see is in the tech sector. Diverse tech bootcamps like i.c. stars * |Columbus are starting to chip away at the problem, but we need to do more to fill the growing needs of startups.

We look forward to more conversations around this topic with community leaders. Please watch the video below to hear the entire panel discussion.