The Ohio State University has partnered with Techstars, the largest pre-seed investor in the world, to bring a new accelerator program to Columbus. The organizations will fund the most promising software startups and innovators to drive growth in Columbus and the surrounding region.
Techstars Columbus Powered by The Ohio State University will select 10 to 12 startups and founders from around the world to come to Columbus to access funding, receive training and mentorship, and tap into the combined networks of Ohio State and Techstars. Founders will get help with their product, core customer and market, and go-to-market strategy. A new cohort will be formed every six months.
The program is part of Ohio State’s Center for Software Innovation, made possible by a $110 million gift from the Timashev Family Foundation earlier this year.
“Like so many other immigrants throughout American history, my own journey as an entrepreneur was shaped by the communities that welcomed me. For me, that place was Columbus and Ohio State, who challenged and empowered me to build great software companies,” said Ratmir Timashev, a 1996 Ohio State graduate, serial entrepreneur, and former CEO of Veeam. “Today’s announcement will ensure that this community is continuing to champion our brightest software entrepreneurs, while showcasing to the world all that Columbus has to offer.”
The deadline for applications is November 29, and interested startups can apply on the Techstars Columbus website.
This initiative comes to Ohio at a crucial time as regions outside of Silicon Valley vie for heightened status. Today, 63% of entrepreneurs and VCs view Silicon Valley as the most innovative hub, but just 45% expect it to be so in five years’ time.
“Techstars’ recent State of Innovation Survey shows that more and more founders are opting to build companies in regional hubs like the Midwest,” said Tim Grace, Managing Director at Techstars. “Columbus is an ideal home for software founders worldwide—in large part thanks to Ohio State’s long standing culture of innovation—and this program will continue this momentum by attracting more top entrepreneurs working to solve pressing global issues to the city.”
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