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Beyond the Pitch

Here’s why a national investors’ group chose Columbus for their annual workshop

By Evan Weese, as originally published in Columbus Business First

As a founding member and past chairman of the Angel Capital Association, John Huston has been trying to woo the group’s annual workshop to Columbus for a decade.

The trade association’s investors have gathered in Boston, Silicon Valley and several places in between, but never the Midwest. At least until Wednesday, when its two-day event kicks off at Ohio State University with seminars on investing strategy and valuing companies, networking and a keynote from Mark Kvamme of Drive Capital LLC.

“I’m absolutely thrilled for it to come to Columbus,” Huston, manager of the Ohio TechAngels Funds, one of 45 founding groups, told me.

About 150 high-net-worth accredited investors are expected. The association counts more than 12,000 investors and 200 angel groups in the U.S. and Canada.

Huston said Tom Walker, CEO of TechColumbus and a former ACA board member, along with Parker MacDonell, principal of Invergarry Partners LLC and current ACA board member, helped draw the event to Columbus.

But more than that, Huston said, the entrepreneurial community throughout Ohio is building a strong reputation nationally.

“Ohio is well known for the cohesive network. We have eight angel groups, we all play nice, all know each other,” he said. “The only place that would rival us is New England.”

ACA Executive Director Marianne Hudson touted more than just the community of angel investors.

“We see a very nice supporting ecosystem for startups in Ohio,” she told me. “Excellent angels throughout the state, supportive organizations of entrepreneurs like TechColumbus, good accelerators, a major university like OSU.”

And several large corporations are getting into the mix. Attending the workshop (closed to the public) are Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), Dell Inc., Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE:DOW),Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) and Columbus’ Nationwide Insurance and Cardinal HealthInc. (NYSE:CAH).

 

For the original article in Columbus Business First, please click here

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