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Ohio’s Venture Funding Scene Has Taken Off

This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders.

Mon Nov 15 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: Global automakers plan to spend over $500B on EVs and batteries.
  • U.S.: U.S. inflation hit a multi-decade high in October as consumer prices rose 6.2%.
  • Ohio: The federal infrastructure bill is expected to bring more than $12B to Ohio projects.

Global Insights

China’s producer price index (PPI) rose 13.5% from a year earlier, the fastest pace in 26 years. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.5%, the highest since September 2020. Chinese authorities have ordered coal miners to operate at full capacity and have rolled back restrictions on imports as energy costs surge.

A new analysis from Reuters shows global automakers plan to spend an estimated $515B over the next 5 to 10 years to develop and build new EVs. Over 52% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Austria has entered a lockdown for people not vaccinated against the coronavirus.

U.S. Insights

The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, providing a historic investment of $1.2T in U.S. infrastructure.  Over 67% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 57.5% is fully vaccinated. Weekly jobless claims dropped to a fresh pandemic-era low of 267,000 for the week ended November 5, and continuing claims rose to 2.16M from a revised 2.10M during the prior week.  According to the BLS, the number of jobs openings was little changed at 10.4M in September.  Total household debt increased by $286B (1.9%) to $15.24T in Q3 2021.

The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index fell to 98.2 in October, the lowest reading since March. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment index fell to 66.8, its lowest level in a decade amid escalating inflation and growing consumer concerns.  The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.6% in October. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.6% for the 12 months ended in October. The Consumer Price Index increased 6.2% from October 2020, the largest surge since 1990. Core CPI rose 0.6% from the prior month and 4.2% from a year earlier, the largest annual increase since 1991.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

Ohio-based companies have raised over $2.2B in venture funding across all stages, per Crunchbase data – more than double the amount raised in 2020.  Ohio is 95.6% recovered to pre-pandemic economic conditions, ahead of the U.S. at 93.3% according to the Back-to-Normal Index.  The new federal infrastructure bill is expected to bring more than $12B to Ohio projects.  Over 6.5M Ohioans have started the COVID-19 vaccination process, approximately 60% of the eligible population.

Ohio leaders met at Health Education Campus in Cleveland to provide an update on the Cleveland Innovation District’s progress since plans were announced in January of 2021.  The Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland, a strategic project to improve the transportation system and support planned economic development, is now open. Nearly $1B has been invested or is in development within a quarter mile of the boulevard in the last five years. The Cleveland District of the Small Business Administration reported $554.5M were awarded through the SBA’s traditional loan programs in fiscal 2021. Loans to both minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses reached their highest levels since fiscal 2010.

80% of seats have returned to Columbus airports from pre-Covid levels, according to airport authorities. Passengers now have access to 49 nonstop destinations, up from 46 in 2019, and all three New York-area airports that were served nonstop from Columbus before the pandemic will return this month. Ohio’s airports have received more than $163M for airport improvement projects within the COVID airport improvement program. The state’s commercial aviation industry supports 158,094 jobs and contributes $13.2B to state GDP.

FlyOhio held the Ohio Advanced Air Mobility Showcase at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport to display electric vertical take-off and landing technology (eVTOLs), flight simulators, charging stations and more, that are leading innovation in the industry. The Miami Valley continues to be at the forefront in the of this new technology, with simulation and testing occurring daily. FlyOhio’s work to refine low-altitude air traffic management seeks to make Ohio’s airspace among the first in the nation to fly beyond line of sight.

By 2025, One Columbus estimates 65% of jobs will require at least an associate degree or workforce credential. Graduates of Columbus City Schools, with the class of 2022, will be eligible to attend Columbus Community College tuition-free under a new program called Columbus Promise. The three-year, $9.5M pilot is aimed at growing the skilled workforce, and helping make college accessible to diverse students. City officials expect a 25% boost in enrollment and completion at Columbus State.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • General Motors plans to invest more than $46M at its metal stamping operation in Parma. This investment will be used for equipment upgrades and to prepare the facility to support future product programs.
  • Amgen broke ground on a new $365M, 277,000 SF biomanufacturing plant in New Albany.
  • Procter & Gamble has plans to convert 10 acres at its Winton Hills Business Center into a 1.3 Megawatt (MW) solar array with 3,276 panels that when completed will be one of the largest solar projects in southern Ohio.
  • Kroger is one of nine primary investors in autonomous delivery vehicle Nuro. The company raised $600M in funding from its Series D funding round.
  • Century Mold, a New York-based business that designs, engineers, and manufactures products for the automotive industry, will more than double its local footprint and create 70 new jobs as part of a $17M expansion in Monroe.
  • Aeroseal, a climate technology company in Miamisburg, plans to hire 59 employees as part of a $4.5M expansion project.
  • Engineered Profiles plans to expand to southern Ohio with the addition of a 93,000 SF production facility in Lawrence County. The $4M investment will bring 55 jobs to the site over the next 5 years.
  • Valley Foods will invest $4.4M and add 35 jobs as part of an expansion of its downtown Youngstown plant and warehouse.
  • Boise Cascade announced the expansion of its Ohio Valley Building Materials Distribution (BMD) network. A new distribution center will be built on a 20-acre site in Marion, which will include a 100,000 SF warehouse with 13 acres of lumber storage.
  • Textum OPCO, a North Carolina-based company, will invest $4.7M to open a facility for production of its composite materials in Miami Township, bringing over 20 new jobs to the region.
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital is preparing to launch Covid-19 vaccine clinics for children ages 5 to 11 following recent approval from the FDA/CDC.
  • Youngstown State University was selected to receive the 2021 President’s “E” Award for its ongoing efforts to enroll international students, the only university in the nation to earn the recognition.
  • Goodyear Company and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) announced a collaboration to test intelligent tire sensors and prototype tires on SARTA’s fleet of diesel and zero emission hydrogen fuel cell powered (HFC) buses.
  • Cleveland Diagnostics, a commercial stage biotechnology company developing next-generation diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancers, announced that the company has received support from JobsOhio.


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