So, this is a presentation about economic development here in Columbus, which is focused
on very small projects. I’m calling this - TINY Columbus.
Tiny columbus is micro economic framework and process focused on very early stage internet
technology startups. Web applications. TINY invests in NON-PHYSICAL THINGS.
So, the pieces of this framework include:
Capital, Infrastructure, and Entrepreneurs (tiny companies)
Capital - I have no idea where the capital would come from. That would be the responsibility
of the commission to package this concept and identify the appropriate sources of funding.
Infrastructure - Academic, research, city and business.
Entrepreneurs, ideas - Restless, bands of young hackers.
What lead me to the conclusion that we need such a framework were my own experience
ﬁnancing businesses and raising capital.
One of the dilemmas some startups face is that VCs only want to make large investments and
small startups aren’t always interested in that. Personal experiences raising capital or not for
that matter. I didn’t have rich friends or family to approach. This isn’t about me, but there are
a lot of smart people with big, potentially high-impact ideas who don’t have rich friends or
Once you take a large investment there is lots of pressure to grow fast, which can cause
design and development errors.
Trend of smaller investments in tech companies because it now costs much, much less to
start a tech company.
SBA confusing, antiquated and complicated. Lots of run around.
Tech Columbus is not geared towards small internet technology companies. I know some
people would argue with that. I’d be happy to argue the fact that our infrastructure is
currently out of touch with ﬁnancing and internet start up cultures on the coasts. I would also
argue that there is little to no investment organizations in Columbus be it angels, vcs or local
government organizations that are equipped to invest in non-physical things like the
So, the goal is to have one simpliﬁed TINY economic development framework that feels cool,
relevant and hip. Distinct direction. Highly magnetic
So who is the audience for this framework??
Two or three hackers who have an idea, and want some money and advice
to get it launched.
The vision for TINY columbus is actually quite simple. NEXT...>
Make the city a magnet for these hackers who have no qualms about putting all their worldy
possession into a backpack and rolling into Columbus to set up shop. Nomadic Brilliant
People. Create an environment where great ideas blossom.
Tiny columbus is micro economic framework
Ideas - Fun, unconventional ideas. How do we bring them out of the woodwork.
IDEATION OVERVIEW - Brainstorm Fest - this could synch up with the “YP summit”
1. Ideas for tech startups are presented and exchanged.
3. Panelists judge ideas
4. Funds are awarded.
5. GOAL - AWARD 20 chunks of cash. Cash is awarded in bunches once a year or two...
So, entrepreneurs and idea people need spaces to work. I love this picture. It’s from a SF
coee shop called - Ritual Roasters. You can walk into that coee shop and at any time there
are a slew of entrepreneurs working on startups. Some of them turn out to do big things.
Some don’t. Columbus isn’t much dierent. Walk into any coee shop in the short north or
grandview during the day and it’s stacked with either students or entrepreneurs working on
projects. Co-Working is a project in it’s infancy - people are trying to establish these types of
collaboration spaces. They will happen with or without the commission.
This is where the cash is dispersed and entrepreneurs are absorbed into the TINY
1. Entity creation
2. Small stakes and terms are established.
3. Boards of advisors.
They need this infrastructure to learn, support and grow their ideas. So, when these little
chunks of cash are dispersed there is an infrastructure ready to absorb these entrepreneurs
and nurture their ideas as desired. In this case the partner infrastructure is made up of - O -
the local university system - B - the local research infrastructure such as battelle - V - local
venture capital ﬁrms who can act as sound boards - P - and lastly private companies in the
retail and ﬁnancial services arena.
Ideas are of course. A dime a dozen. Everyone has them. How their nurtured, how their
executed and how they’re scaled determines their impact.
The hope is that some of these ideas and companies will grow, which a few will most
certainly will with the right entrepreneurs and the right support. If we have 1 or 2 successes
then the project is a success.
As I said in the handout the goal is to utilize the execution framework of infrastructure and
partners to groom the entrepreneurs and their creations to scale the businesses. Scaling
means growing revenues, helping the entrepreneurs raise follow-on capital, hire more talent
build professional boards, etc.
The mission of the commission in relationship to this concept.
Put together the pieces of the framework. Hack it together by any means necessary. Screw it
up. FAIL. Listen to our audience. Make it better. Repeat cycle. Do it again.
TINY TALK - Tell the story and amplify the message of TINY columbus. Blast the 1 or 2
successes that go through the TINY process. Blog it, party it, live it. Think TINY.
“The universe is always
dropping clues along the way.
It’s up to us to connect the dots.”
Personal entrepreneurial philosophy.
TINY underlying philosophy. It’s not one thing that has to be done. Building an infrastructure