Struggling to find the resources you need? We’ve put together a list of startup and entrepreneurial resources available in the Central Ohio Region to help you at every stage.
Working as a nexus of entrepreneurship, technology, corporate innovation, and community engagement, Lumos’ accelerator and co-working space provides access to funding and guidance on scaling and innovation.
This 14-week accelerator program takes place here in Columbus and leverages an online curriculum to help entrepreneurs with a social mission go further, faster. SEA Change links individuals to mentors and subject matter experts, as well as provides coaching, capital and other resources. Culminating in a Pitch Day, entrepreneurs leave the program equipped with direct actionable steps to continue moving forward.
Women’s Small Business Accelerator
Formed to help women business owners achieve their business ownership dreams, the WSBA provides support, educational programming, and mentoring to increase the success rate of women’s microbusinesses.
400 West Rich
Located in East Franklinton, 400 West Rich is a manufacturing warehouse turned multi-functional arts complex and co-working space and has grown to house 140 Columbus based artists, craftsman, designers, performers, local startups, and non-profits.
C|Suites Executive Office Space
C|Suites Offices, located in Gahanna, Ohio, are office spaces with the entrepreneur and small business owner in mind. These spaces can be tailored to fit the requirements of the company and client at an affordable cost and at a convenient location.
This new space is designed to meet all of your business needs while located within the community that you call home. COhatch offers spaces for co-working, meetings, private offices, events, and more.
Columbus Idea Foundry
The Columbus Idea Foundry serves as a community workshop, learning center, and creative space to entrepreneurs, inventors, designers, and more. Their resources include training and access to technologies, both conventional and high-tech, and an expansive list of shop resource tools.
Cultivate Grove City
Cultivate Grove City provides companies with coaching, mentoring, networking events, co-working space, and more. This organization is structured as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and serves the community by providing dozens of companies with the startup and small business support and resources needed to achieve success.
Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC)
The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center is a vibrant and energetic community of businesses working together to advance ideas and technologies of startups in Dublin, Ohio and the surrounding areas. They provide access to industry-specific experts, opportunities for shared-services and cost sharing, and numerous community partnerships to promote an environment that increases deal flow and development.
E.V. Bishoff Co.
Located in downtown Columbus, the E.V. Bishoff Co. offices come in a variety of traditional and non-traditional spaces and are provided elegantly and affordably. These spaces include executive suites, team spaces, studios, and more.
Industrious is a modern office space located in the Short North Arts District providing community and convenience to entrepreneurs and small businesses with co-working space, private offices, meeting space, and many additional resources available.
Innovate New Albany
Innovate New Albany serves as the city’s incubator for technology startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Located in the New Albany Business Park, this incubator occupies 16,000 square feet and offers spaces for co-working, private offices, entrepreneurial activities and events. With their convenient location, extensive networking opportunities, and access to venture capital, Innovate New Albany is a hub for local startups, ideas, and interconnectivity.
Located at Columbus Commons Park Downtown, Intelligent Office offers a wide variety of virtual offices and staffing solutions for micro-businesses – locally-based virtual assistants, phone answering, appointment setting, lead capture and other call center services, co-working space, private offices, conference rooms, and mailboxes.
Marysville Entrepreneurial Center (MEC)
The Marysville Entrepreneurial Center was created in 2008 and is focused on fostering grassroots economic development in Union County. Accessible office space, parking, and office resources make it a convenient and sensible option for entrepreneurs in any stage.
Office Evolution has designed their services around understanding the modern day needs, flexibility, and unique challenges of being an entrepreneur. You can gain access to their four office locations or take advantage of virtual resources with amenities ranging from a private mailbox, to meeting space, to phone answering services.
Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Powell, The 44 boasts a newly renovated and spacious layout with private office spaces available. Additionally, these companies in residence will have access to professional mentoring and training opportunities, a shared administrative staff, and much more.
The Horton Building
The Horton Building is located on the campus of the Central Ohio Aerospace & Technology Center in Heath, Ohio. The 45,000+ square foot, LEED-certified space is environmentally controlled and provides access to Boeing capabilities including 3D prototyping and a virtual manufacturing lab.
The Perch is a locally owned, high quality, collaborative shared office space for small businesses, startups, and freelancers located in the Short North Arts District.
The Salt Mines
The Salt Mines serve as a co-working space and community for the Columbus region. Their ample space, device lab, events, and more make it a great place for any independent professional or team.
Qwirk Co-working & Collaboration
Qwirk serves as a place for entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers, and more to work, meet others, and grow their businesses. Their casual, yet professional setting meets the needs of every remote worker.
University Programs and Resources
Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship (APTE)
Held at The Ohio State University, this annual event draws students, community members, and social entrepreneurs from around the globe to explore sustainable solutions to poverty.
Buckeye IP Vault
This marketplace is a gateway to software, apps, copyrights content and non-exclusive patents created by Ohio State University.
Business Builders Club
The Ohio State University’s Business Builders Club consists of a group of passionate students. In this organization, students collaborate with the Columbus Community as well as global organizations in the efforts to foster entrepreneurship.
Columbus College of Art & Design’s Mind Market, located in downtown Columbus, is an open collaborative workspace and incubator. Here, tenants are provided mentorship, business coaching, and access to many professional services, specifically those needed for art- and design-based ventures.
Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Housed at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, this center facilitates entrepreneurial and innovation-based learning, helps to develop new companies, and assists in the development of new products and services within existing businesses.
HackOHI/O serves as the largest hackathon at The Ohio State University. Throughout this weekend long program, over 700 undergraduates will design, build, and create real projects to be presented to a live audience of students, faculty, and tech company representatives. Involvement can provide exposure to a large technology focused network, education, and even cash prizes.
Ohio Innovation Fund: The Ohio Innovation Fund was created with the goal to keep Ohio State University and Ohio University graduates in state and working in jobs with emerging technology. This venture capital fund focuses on smaller startups and businesses with high potential for growth, investing in equity capital.
REACH for Commercialization
Inspiring female entrepreneurs, REACH helps to develop the entrepreneurial capacity of women faculty at Ohio State and beyond. This program was designed to help women faculty and post-doctoral scholars explore commercialization as a means of expanding the impact of their research.
Small Business Development Center at Columbus State Community College (SBDC)
Part of America’s SBDC national network, this SBDC supports 9 counties in the Central Ohio Region and provide entrepreneurs with advising, training, specialty services, and more.
The Point at Otterbein
Partnered with leading organizations in central Ohio, Otterbein’s STEAM Innovation Center combines academics with business and manufacturing needs of the community.
The Ohio State University Accelerator Awards
This program provides funding to help further develop, validate, and commercialize promising technologies over a 3-6 month timeline. Awards are given to multiple applicants each cycle with a maximum amount of $50K per award.
The Ohio State University Technology Commercialization Office (TCO)
TCO works to turn the inventions, concepts, and technologies of faculty, researchers, students, and clinicians into business opportunities and products impacting the local and global marketplace.
Venture Development and Startup Funding
Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund (CALF)
The Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund helps to bridge the gap between early stage entrepreneurs need for capital and traditional funding sources. Provided by the Ohio Third Frontier Program, this program provides investment-validated Ohio companies that are developing next generation products or services with early-stage funding.
Community Capital Development Corporation (CCDC)
Certified by the Small Business Administration, CCDC helps small businesses obtain financing for growth and expansion by helping link small businesses to the best lending resources. Helping provide a competitive advantage to these small businesses, the CCDC is committed to providing low down payments, competitive interest rates, long-term financing, and economic development opportunities.
Drive Capital is a Venture Capitalist firm based in Columbus, Ohio, investing mainly in innovative technology, healthcare, and consumer companies in the Midwest.
Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)
The ECDI works specifically with very small business owners and their needs surrounding the creation and expansion of microenterprises. The Institution offers loans to underserved entrepreneurs ranging from $500-$150,000 through its revolving microloan fund program.
Finance Fund with the SBA
Part of the Small Business Administration’s Community Advantage Pilot Program, the Finance Fund is aimed to help businesses in underserved communities gain access to funding. These loans range up to $350K.
Forge Columbus & Kiva
Forge Columbus works to connect socially-driven businesses with a diverse group of community investors. Additionally, they invest in entrepreneurs by working to build a better Columbus through providing business services, access to capital, and promotion.
Ikove Capital Partners
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Ikove Capital Partners is a venture capital company that focuses on making early-stage investments in technology companies. With an unusually large reach, Ikove has directors, partners, and advisors in numerous countries around the world.
Innovation Ohio Loan Fund (IOLF)
The IOLF helps to provide funding to those who have limited access to capital due to the risks associated with developing new products or services. Focusing on existing companies, the IOLF supports the growth capital needs of existing young companies.
The private non-profit corporation, Jobs Ohio, was created to drive job creation and new capital investment. Their four grant and loan programs work in collaboration to support economic growth in the state of Ohio.
JumpStart Focus Fund
JumpStart’s Focus Fund invests seed capital in tech-based companies specifically led by minority or female entrepreneurs located anywhere in the state of Ohio. These investments are between $250-600K and are given to early stage companies with the capability to leverage and achieve transformational growth.
Loud Capital, based in Central Ohio, is an entrepreneurial collective that provides promising young startups with early stage capital, talent, and professional connections.
Founded by entrepreneurs, this VC firm passionately supports other entrepreneurs financially as well as by providing hands-on operational support.
Ohio Tech Angel Funds (OTAF)
Ranked as one of the top angel investor networks in the country, OTAF engages and invests in early-stage companies with high-growth potential. Market sectors invested in include, but are not limited to, life sciences, information technology, and physical sciences.
This network of seasoned women investors is creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Along with funding, Pipeline Angels also holds a boot camp for new investors and a pitch summit for entrepreneurs who are seeking investments.
Reservoir Venture Partners
This Columbus based venture capital firm works to identify, invest in, and help build early stage information technology companies with an emphasis on the healthcare, IT, and clean technology industries.
Rev1 Ventures serves as a venture development hub to the Columbus Region. Having the capital of a VC firm and the resources of an accelerator, Rev1 supports startups and entrepreneurs from concept through breakeven and beyond.
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)
SVB provides a full range of financial services to companies of all stages and sizes to enable growth and innovation. This high-tech commercial bank has helped fund more than 30,000 startups.
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)
The SBIR program works to encourage domestic small businesses with the potential for commercialization to engage with Federal Research/Research and Development. They do so by providing funding for technological innovation, encouraging entrepreneurs, and enabling socially and economically disadvantaged persons.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling services, and more to small businesses with the goal to help Americans start, build, and grow businesses.
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
STTR expands funding opportunities for federal innovation research and development. They focus on expanding the public/private sectors partnerships to include joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions.
Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF)
The TVSF’s goal is to create economic growth for technologies that are commercialized by Ohio-based companies that were spun out from higher education institutions or Ohio not-for-profit research institutions.
X Squared Angel Group
X Squared Angel Group invests in women-led startups to demonstrate and promote the financial effectiveness of gender diverse management business teams.
Economic Development Resources
This is a team made up of 20 economic development professionals and a group of allied organizations tasked with moving the regional growth strategy forward. Columbus 2020 focuses on job creation, capital investments, and increased personal per capita income within the Columbus Region.
Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Impacting Columbus for over 120 years, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce provides resources for local businesses including business connections, market research, and more.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce
The Dublin Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice to the business and professional community and to organizations of all sizes and industry. Membership with the chamber provides individuals with networking events, leadership development, and more.
Grove City Chamber of Commerce
The Grove City Chamber of Commerce works to help define, develop, and implement programs and services to enhance economic opportunity and create a positive environment for the development and success of businesses. Resources available through the chamber include small business advisory, data resources, and the community network.
New Albany Chamber of Commerce
The New Albany Chamber of Commerce promotes the progress, growth, and improvement of New Albany, Ohio businesses, and the professional and civic communities. The Chamber provides resources such as mentorship, leadership training, access to an extensive network, and more.
Ohio Business Gateway- 1st Stop Business Connection
This resource provides free state-level information needed to start, develop, and/or grow your business in Ohio.
Ohio Third Frontier
Ohio Third Frontier works to transform the state’s economy through accelerated growth of diverse startups as well as early stage technology companies by providing business expertise, mentorship, capital, and talent.
This not-for-profit corporation provides professional resources, mentoring, and more to emerging technology ventures, entrepreneurs, and investors. A few of the professional resources available include marketing, legal, financial and accounting.
Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD)
WELD provides educational courses and networking connections to women to further their individual economic status. Additionally, their efforts help to strengthen women’s leadership skills, strengthening the economic prosperity of their communities that they serve.
Associations/Other Startup Resources
Big Kitty Labs: With their iterative prototype framework, Big Kitty Labs helps build startup concepts and prototypes quickly and affordably. Acting as a development partner, they work with web, mobile, enterprise, and more.
BioOhio: This member-guided service has nearly 400 members that combined employ over 100,000 Ohioans. This broad network works to connect and support Ohio’s bioscience community through networking, advocacy, events, talent, information, and cost savings.
This new community is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and community members with biohacking, indie science, and science education in Columbus, Ohio. CapCity Biohackers are part of the world-wide DIYBio movement and the first established DIYBio group in Ohio.
Central Ohio Food Truck Association (COFTA)
COFTA is an industry association for advocating food trucks owners and operators providing a platform for advocacy, communication, and education for the members and those serving central Ohio.
Central Ohio Minority Business Association (COMBA)
Ohio’s minority and disadvantaged business community is provided entrepreneurial development assistance and business consulting for startup and emerging businesses. COMBA offers training programs, business plan development, branding, minority certification, and more.
CivicHacks works to build businesses that make an impact in the Columbus community in a meaningful and authentic way through engaging millennials, entrepreneurs, and creative knowledge workers.
Columbus Business First Portal
Working in conjunction with ECDI, this portal provides their clients with access to the most recent issues, special publications, and Book of Lists online.
The Columbus Collaboratory is a unique innovation ecosystem where IT and technological innovation are worked on collaboratively, expanding and upskilling Columbus, Ohio’s IT workforce.
Give Back Hack
Acting as a launchpad for social impact, GiveBackHack brings the community together to confront social issues, work towards innovative solutions, establish new businesses, and more.
This program provides a rigorous technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for inner-city young adults and low-income adults. By enhancing the skill set and economic standing of their participants, i.c. stars is able to positively impact the communities on a personal and economic level.
Launch Labs: This small team of engineers, designers, and strategists works with entrepreneurs to develop consumer products and launch them onto the market. With their three-phase process, Launch Labs works to minimize risk and maximize learning.
Ohio Supercomputer Center
This center is fully-scalable with mid-range machines to help accelerate research, enhance computational science expertise, and provide a competitive advantage for small businesses and startups.
SCORE is made up of experienced volunteer business professionals that provide free and confidential advice and mentorship to entrepreneurs on starting, managing, and growing a business.
Over five days, entrepreneurs, local leaders, and community members are brought together to build momentum and opportunity around the local entrepreneurial environment. Startup Week’s goal is to celebrate the achievements of the entrepreneurial communities around the globe and develop and support thriving communities.
This 54-hour experience exposes participants to the trials and tribulations as well as the fun and excitement of being an entrepreneur and launching a startup. Startup Weekend provides mentors, investors, and educational resources through the process to enhance the experience as well as expose the company to individuals that can help to enable continued momentum after the weekend is over.
Startups.co is a startup platform located in central Ohio. This company helps startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses with raising funding, marketing, and professional assistance.
SunDown RunDown works to help entrepreneurs make connections, expand their businesses, and learn though providing pitch events, educational offerings, and other services to help make startups happen.
Taivara helps companies take ideas and turn them into tangible products and revenue. Their product innovation process helps with ideation, evaluation, lean product management and lean product development.
Tech Elevator is a 14 week coding boot camp that can jump start a career as a junior developer. Additional to their rapid development program, Tech Elevator supports their participants’ career goals through their hiring network and Pathway Program.
TechLife Columbus is a Meetup group focused on enhancing the connectivity and collaboration amongst entrepreneurs and tech minded individuals in town.
Venture Ohio helps to ensure adequate capital for startups and foster a collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem within the state of Ohio.
WakeupStartup: WakeUp StartUp is a pitch-event driven by entrepreneurs, creators, and builders interested in constructing high growth companies. Held monthly, entrepreneurs, investors, students, and the greater community gather, providing specific and candid feedback in a welcoming and highly energized environment.
Women Educating Women (WEW)
WEW works to break down barriers for women entrepreneurs by providing educational resources, events, and more, enabling economic viability of women owned micro-businesses.
Women’s Business Center (ECDI)
With the mission of empowering women entrepreneurs with resources and tools to create strong sustainable businesses, the WBC is the only SBA-funded Women’s Business Center in the state. They provide their clients with mentoring, training and workshops, access to networks and more for a low annual membership fee.
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
This groundbreaking program transforms students in grades 6-12 into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout this year long program, students work through the challenges of building a business including everything from generating an idea and writing a business plan, to launching a real company.
Additional Ohio Startup Resources
Bad Girl Ventures
This educational and micro-finance nonprofit supports female entrepreneurs by providing business education, mentors and coaches, and access to debt capital.
This not-for-profit business accelerator helps bioscience startups grow. They provide access to bioscience venture capital, a network of experts, services, and equipment, strategic marketing guidance, and more.
This monthly event serves as a platform for Black entrepreneurs, innovators, founders, and builders to host open and honest conversations about inclusion and diversity within the startup and technology realm. Additionally, ample dedicated time for conversation provides the opportunity to build strong and meaningful connections.
The I-Corps@Ohio program provides Ohio faculty with hands-on training to help accelerate the commercialization of Ohio’s University-based technologies. Some of the resources provided include education, exposure to experienced professionals, and market validation research.
This non-profit accelerator works to foster entrepreneurs, build ecosystems, and impact economies. Through their program, they are able to provide high-impact assistance to diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners on a personal level.
North Coast Angel Fund
North Coast Angel Fund works to accelerate technology startup success and improve the state of early-stage funding in Ohio. By creating a more effective and accessible investing community, entrepreneurs can reach capital and achieve growth.
Queen City Angels (QCA)
This group of experienced entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors are committed to helping grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati, Ohio. Some of the services that QCA provides startups include mentoring, coaching, and funding.
River Cities Capital Funds
River Cities Capital Funds provides high-potential healthcare and IT companies with growth equity and business acumen. Being one of the most active and experienced growth equity funds in healthcare and IT, they currently have nearly $500M under management and more than 100 investments made.
TechGrowth Ohio works with startups in Athens, Ohio and the surrounding areas to help validate opportunities and prepare companies for investment. Their access to experts, alignment of resources to accelerate commercialization, and more help them create an ecosystem for growth.
The Brandery is an accelerator providing mentorship, partnership opportunities and introductions in Cincinnati, Ohio. Beyond these services, The Brandery also provides small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups $50K in funding.
If you notice that we missed something that should be added to the list, send the suggestion to us.