In 2012, Northeast Ohio was a popular place for venture capitalists and angel investors to back startup companies. Investments nationally decreased by 10 percent last year, and decreased in the rest of Ohio by 33 percent, according to a study in The MoneyTree Report
and the National Venture Capital Association
But in Northeast Ohio, according to the Northeast Ohio Venture Capital Advisory Task Force, 105 tech-based companies in Greater Cleveland raised $201 million from venture capitalists and angel investors -- a 34-percent increase over the amount raised by companies in 2011.
“We’ve been on an upward trajectory of the number of companies that have been able to raise money,” says Samantha Fryberger, vice president of marketing for JumpStart
. “There’s a strong angel community here and our angels are well organized and well educated.”
In fact, Northeast Ohio has the first and fifth largest angel funds in the country. Fryberger says the diversity of businesses and the number of support organizations attract investors to Northeast Ohio.
“We have a very robust early-stage investment ecosystem right here in Northeast Ohio,” says Clay Rankin, managing member of the North Coast Angel Fund
, which invests in life sciences companies and is the country’s fifth largest angel group. “We’ve been building a lot of momentum in the last six to eight years. We’ve been very fortunate in supporting early stage ventures.”
Citing successful companies like Juventas Therapeutics
, Cleveland HeartLab
and Neuros Medical
, Rankin says it’s no wonder Cleveland is growing in investments. “There really are world class companies being developed right here in our backyard,” he says. “When you have world class companies, you attract support from angel groups.”
Source: Samantha Fryberger and Clay Rankin
Writer: Karin Connelly