Story excerpt provided by The Columbus Dispatch.
Innovation in America was largely defined by one thing in the 1920s: the automobile. As cars became more and more accessible, registrations grew exponentially and hundreds of businesses emerged to feed our driving culture. In 1926, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, a company dedicated to providing farmers with quality insurance, sold its first policy. That company would later become Nationwide, one of the largest financial-services companies in the world, and an anchor for the Columbus economy.
More than 90 years later, Columbus — with the support and participation of long-established corporations like Nationwide, American Electric Power, Cardinal Health, and many others — is again helping to usher in a new wave of innovation. A new startup economy has emerged in America’s “biggest small town” and a growing community of entrepreneurs are eschewing coastal tech hubs in favor of starting and scaling a business in Columbus. It’s why last year the Kauffman Foundation ranked Columbus as the No. 1 place to scale a startup in the country. And it’s why I wanted to bring my Rise of the Rest tour, an effort to shine a spotlight on successful startup ecosystems, here on Friday.
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Originally published October 12, 2017