5 Reasons Why Columbus is the Perfect Location for Your Startup

Why Starting Your Company in Central Ohio is a Smart Business Decision

You’ve done it - you’ve got the great idea that’ll make you millions (or billions... why limit yourself?) and now it’s time to find the perfect city to plant your startup’s roots. With the costs of living and doing business rapidly rising in the SIlicon Valley and large metropolitan areas like New York City, major companies and newbies alike are looking for smaller, more affordable cities to call home. Columbus - the metropolitan gem of central Ohio - was recently named Forbes’ #1 Rising City for Startups and’s #5 US City for Entrepreneurs and Startups. What makes this up-and-coming city so promising for your company? Allow central Ohio’s commercial real estate expert’s - HER Realtors - to break it down for you:

1. Low Cost of Business & Living

crowded city streets

While working to become profitable and established as a company, it’s important to keep expenses as low as possible. That’s why one of the greatest factors many startups look for when choosing a place to plant their roots is a low cost of living. This low cost of living not only benefits the business expenses of a location, supplies, and utilities, but also the employees of the potential startups. Columbus as known for its low cost of living - both in the city and surrounding suburbs - with the cost of living 6% lower than the national average. Additionally, the cost of doing business is 2% lower than the national average. This is due in part to a location close to other large metropolitan areas as well as a tax climate that appeals to business owners and startups.

2. Startup Track Record

group of people working at a desk

Not only is business as a whole booming in Columbus, but the startup scene boasts impressive numbers of its own. With 72 out of every 1000 Columbus businesses being a startup, new businesses are in good company (pun not intended). This startup boom features companies from across various industries - tech, health, fashion, and insurance, just to name a few - all nestled within the dynamic landscape of Central Ohio, providing the perfect balance of urban, suburban, and rural living for product sourcing and testing. Not only are these startups placing themselves within a strong market, but within a region where money and professional networks are on their side, waiting to allocate a piece of their resources to the next big thing.

3. College Presence

ohio state football game

A key to any great startup is recruiting fresh, young talent to help get the company off the ground. As an integral part of the Columbus community (and let’s face it: economy, too), Ohio State University is a large part of what makes Columbus such a great location for startups. Check out some of Ohio State’s rankings from U.S. News Best Colleges and Universities:

  • #17 Top Public Universities
  • #5 Supply Chain and Logistics
  • #18 Most Innovative Schools
  • #12 Finance
  • #30 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs

In addition to impressive academic programs, Ohio State University has an strong alumni network of more than half a million professionals across the world, top-rated NCAA Division I athletics, and strong school spirit that keeps students and alumni in the area looking to spread their talents to growing Columbus businesses. This large, proud university may account for a portion of the 9% growth in working-age population (as opposed to a decline in most midwestern cities). With Ohio State University and a variety of other colleges and universities in the area, Columbus is a hub for recent college graduates and young professionals with immeasurable talents and ideas for the professional world.

4. VC Deals

people in suits working

The real issue many startups encounter is funding. Luckily, the Columbus area is in no shortage of Venture Capitalist Funds, or investments for private equity stake in startups or new and growing companies. Columbus recently put up impressive numbers in Venture Capitalist Deals --- $371 million in the past three years, that is. Since 2013, nearly $1 billion in Columbus VC funds have been raised and more than 70% of that came from Columbus-based investors. What does this mean for your startup? Not only are other startups succeeding in the area, but more and more money is flowing into Columbus-based startups. This market appears to be self-reinforcing as well, with Columbus investors taking note of the successes and continuing to financially back top-rated Columbus startups.

5. City-Wide Infrastructural Investments

bird's-eye view of a city intersection

When business and industry grow in metropolitan areas, one of the greatest questions that arises revolves around whether the city’s infrastructure can handle the growth in population and industry. Luckily, Columbus is gearing up for this growth. Government leaders in the central Ohio area have proposed bills to invest $1 billion into infrastructural improvements, including buildings, roads, sewer, and transportation. Additionally, Columbus just received a $277 million Smart City grant to spruce up its infrastructure for the growing professional population. What this means for your startup, exactly --- you’ll be planting your roots in a city ready to invest in its people and businesses.

With a rapidly growing professional population, full of diversity and new businesses ready to take the central Ohio market to the next level, Columbus is the perfect place for your startup. We’ve got you convinced? Check out these awesome locations in central Ohio to place your startup.

Check out beautiful commercial spaces in the Columbus area with HER Realtors >