Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan says a visit by West Coast venture capitalists to the Midwest last week has paid its first dividend.
The Comeback Cities tour highlighted entrepreneurs in Youngstown, Akron, Detroit, Flint and South Bend. Congressman Ryan, who sponsored the tour, said Robert Wolf of a fund called 32 Advisors, is pledging $100,000 in new money to a Flint startup initiative as a result of the tour.
Ryan says the venture capitalists know job growth is now tied almost entirely to startups. And thanks to the tour, the capitalists are also discussing investments in Akron.
“They know it doesn’t just happen in Silicon Valley. And there’s a different workforce here, there’s a different culture, there’s different ideas coming out of here. And they want to help and they’re being good people but the reality is they’re going to get first pick and the cool stuff coming out of Akron, the cool companies coming out of Akron.”
Ryan says another benefit of the tour may be Akron-area investors putting money into some of the funds, enabling them to help lure capital back to startups in this region that are good bets.