Roughly eight years ago, investors Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen left Silicon Valley to open a venture firm, Drive Capital, in Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t an easy decision. Leaving California wasn’t exactly fashionable at the time. In fact, While Olsen had grown up in Cincinnati, the Yale grad had landed at Sequoia Capital a couple of years out of college — a dream job — and had no interest in going anywhere. Meanwhile, Kvamme is a California native who attended UC Berkeley, grew up immersed in the world of startups (his dad was also a VC), and cofounded four companies before himself landing at Sequoia, where among his deals, he led the firm’s investment in LinkedIn.
Even after a series of developments would lead them to take the leap, the early ride was bumpy. There was no venture community. Midwestern startups were still few and far between. More, Kvamme, first lured to Ohio by his longtime friend John Kasich to take an economic development job that he thought would be temporary, was soon deemed a little too cozy with the state’s power players.
Looking back now, it’s a wonder they stayed. Yet it’s because they did that <a target=_blank …read more
Source: Tech Crunch