For decades, the communities to watch for the next batch of disruptive tech companies were along the coasts in cities like San Francisco, New York, and Boston. But that trend has started to change. Today, you’re just as likely to find the seeds of a billion-dollar startup in Cincinnati, Nashville, or Kansas City, and the venture capital industry is taking notice.


Our first guest on today’s episode of the Igniting Startups podcast was among the earliest investors to see the potential in Midwestern tech communities. Chris Olsen was a partner at Sequoia Capital in Silicon Valley when he discovered the incredible tech opportunities going unnoticed in the state of Ohio. He moved to Columbus and founded Drive Capital in 2013, years before most coastal VCs had caught onto the tremendous business growth happening in America’s heartland.

Over the last five years, Drive Capital has invested in more than two dozen Midwestern companies, which have earned a combined $30 billion in exits. In this episode, Chris is joined by Indianapolis-based entrepreneur Mike Seidle, COO of the location-based hiring software WorkHere, to discuss the abundant startup opportunities that remain to be leveraged in Ohio, Indiana, and beyond.

In this episode with Chris Olsen and Mike Seidle, you’ll learn:

  • The two core pillars of impactful venture investing.
  • When to take a risk on an innovative new technology.
  • Why the Midwest is attracting more and more attention from investors.
  • How startups can leverage local talent populations to grow their business.
  • One powerful strategy for finding investors who are right for your company.

Please enjoy this conversation with Chris Olsen and Mike Seidle!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Chris Olsen and Mike Seidle quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

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Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Chris and Mike on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Chris and Mike know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

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What stood out most to you about what Chris Olsen and Mike Seidle share in this podcast?

For me, it’s how startups can leverage local talent populations to grow their business.

You? Leave a comment below.


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