Columbus, Ohio’s technology job scene really took off in the early 2010s when the state made investments that enabled entrepreneurs to more easily start companies. Fast-forward to today, and companies of all sizes are attracting talent from all over the country thanks in part to Columbus’ low cost of living and young, skilled pool of talent.
On this special episode of TechCrunch Live, I spoke with three local leaders about who’s hiring, how companies are retaining employees and what the city’s jobs market will look like in the future. The panel included Erika Pryor, founder of EPiC Creative + Design, a marketing coaching and marketing curriculum design company; Alex “Fro” Frommeyer, CEO of digitally native dental insurance company Beam Dental; and Ryan Landau, founder and CEO of Purpose Jobs, a company based in the midwest that connects talent to companies.
The panelists highlight that finding great tech talent is no longer something to be found just on the coasts, but right here in Columbus. The ecosystem has also rallied around companies and people to help them learn tech skills and find new opportunities. And as they mention, a unique aspect of the city is having larger, more established companies creating innovation spaces and investing in helping employees create the next “great tech organization” in their sector.
Looking to the future, the panelists say getting the word out about Columbus’ talent, tech ecosystem and available jobs will be key. As more capital is coming into the space, the city’s ecosystem is leaning into distributing more of that amongst women and people of color as well as a leveling out of wealth across demographic groups so that more companies are created that in turn produce more jobs. They also see external validation in companies like Facebook, Amazon and the news on Intel building facilities nearby, which they believe will inspire other companies to establish a main headquarters, or perhaps a second headquarters, in the area.