Ohio Venture - OVA Review Newsletter
News from the Ohio Venture Association meeting on September 12, 2014

Keynote Address:

Celebrating the Launch of Venture Ohio

Frank Samuel, Jr.

Venture Ohio

A year and a half ago, OVA entered into a consulting agreement with venture development veteran Frank Samuel to put together a statewide organization advancing entrepreneurship. But at the September OVA luncheon, he noted the idea has been percolating for a lot longer than that. "People have been working on this for a decade at least," Samuel said, recalling an early planning meeting in David Morganthaler's office a decade ago. "Finally we've reached a critical mass."

Morganthaler, the dean of Midwestern VC's, who was an important driver and inspiration behind much of the effort, said in a video played at both the OVA meeting and an earlier Venture Ohio event in Columbus: "We have to keep looking in Ohio for the disruptive ideas…As far as I know, there hasn't been a billion-dollar company created in Ohio since Steris."

"So where are we today?" Samuel asked his OVA audience. "The first thing I look at of course is, do we have customers?" The group has five founding sponsors and nearly 100 members in all. Venture Ohio will have three main emphases: ensuring an ample pool of investment capital, a robust investment ecosystem and effective storytelling.

The state's venture capital ecosystem is healthy, he noted, with strong accelerators and incubators and robust angel networks, including three ranked in the top 4 percent nationally. And the state's Third Frontier program has primed the pump with more than $61 million in recent grants. But, he noted, "Third Frontier and Jobs Ohio have lots of money unallocated that could be put to use building new companies. The question is how."

Storytelling "is something we're beginning to do," Samuel explained. "Going around and talking and listening to everyone—it all yields a story that we all know that we've got great companies. That's a story that we want to tell not only in Ohio, but nationally and globally."

In the end, he's optimistic. "There's a sense of community. We've got all of the stakeholders in the room—not just the VCs, not just the angels, not just the venture support organizations. And that's really powerful. The future is in our control. I think the entrepreneurial sector owns the future, and that's why I'm so excited to be among you here."

More information:

Webcast from the Meeting:

Click on the image below to view the video.

Video Webcast from Recent Meeting

OVA's Video Archive is Online:

OVA is pleased to offer an archive of program videos to its website. You'll find the full video record of most OVA formal programs since 2008 at www.ohioventure.org/events/video-archives/.

Upcoming Meeting Dates:

  • October 10, 2014
    Panel of Incubator Companies
  • November 14, 2014
    Angel Investor Panel

See complete details and registration for these events.

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