COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chris Olsen believes the next great tech firm could emerge right here from the heartland.
Sure, Silicon Valley is home to most huge tech household names (Apple, Facebook, Twitter, eBay and so many more), with New York (Tumblr) and Boston (Trip Advisor) creeping up, but as he sees it, why not Ohio or Michigan?
Hundreds of brilliant engineers are churned out yearly from top Midwestern schools like Ohio State University and University of Michigan. Graduates shouldn't have to leave for California to get funding for their dreams, he says.
So Olsen is literally putting investors' money where his mouth is, with a $250 million fund to bankroll tech start-ups from the Midwest.
"Silicon Valley is great," he says. "But everyone forgets that 40 years ago it was just apple fields and orchards. When we look around the Midwest, we see a lot of the raw ingredients for what could potentially be a great economic driver for tech, which over time will create great industries."