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Columbus Ranked #1 on Forbes Opportunity Cities List

In case you missed it last month, Forbes ranked Columbus Ohio #1 Best Opportunity City photo credit: Forbes
in the US. Forbes and Sperling’s analysis took a lot of data into consideration, including median home sales from the first quarter of 2014, unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Community Survey, factoring population growth and a city’s ability to retain Millennials for opportunities.

The Forbes article highlighted several key assets in Central Ohio, including a high concentration of major corporations. L Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch, JPMorgan Chase’s outpost, and the headquarters of Nationwide Insurance, Huntington Bank, as well as an outpost for Alliance Data Systems were all mentioned among major employers in Central Ohio.

Also mentioned was a healthy startup scene and pipeline for venture funding for entrepreneurs. In a recent post, I pointed out that an estimated $400 million has been raised for seed and early stage investments by firms located in Central Ohio over the past 12-24 months. Over the next decade, hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in growing early stage technology companies in our region. These start up companies will tap into the region’s talent base, and provide exciting career opportunities in quickly growing markets.

The 11-county Columbus region is one of the most dynamic and diverse metropolitan regions in the US. Columbus 2020 does a great job of highlighting our region’s strengths. The Columbus Region is known for its value, top-ranked market access and talented workforce. 47% of US population, HQ operations and manufacturers are within a 10-hour drive of Columbus. According to Three Scale Research, the Columbus Region has the greatest market access of any U.S. metro area. The Columbus Region boasts a population of 2 million with a 1.3% growth rate. There are 62 college and university campuses in the region, fueling a young smart workforce. The region is ranked Top 5 Tax Climates in the U.S., according to Ernst & Young and KPMG. Columbus metro tops the list in U.S. for global 500 headquarters. Columbus also made Site Selection’s Top 10 Most Affordable U.S. headquarter locations list.

Central Ohio is at a boiling point, and has a venture and start up community that is positioned for success. For all of these reasons and more, Columbus is not only a top opportunity city to start a career and make your mark; the region is a top place to start a company.

Calvin Cooper is an associate at NCT Ventures and focuses primarily on market intelligence, competitive analysis, portfolio management, and underserved markets. Prior to joining the NCT family, Calvin served in an executive role at OMSDC where he conducted the merger due diligence and integration of two regional non-profit organizations. He has experience in supplier diversity and business development, connecting diverse owned companies to Fortune 100 corporations. He also helped found and launch the MBE Academy in partnership with the City of Columbus. Additionally, he has public relations and marketing experience that includes publishing the Connections Magazine, government affairs, strategic marketing, and branding initiatives. Calvin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University in Financial Economics, and has presented economic research at national conferences.

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