Ryan announces investment from Venture Capital relationships

Staff report


Robert Wolf of 32 Advisors pledged $100,000 to Flint, Mich.’s 1000 Startup Initiative as a result of the recent “Comeback Cities” tour.

U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, and Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California, kicked off their “Comeback Cities” tour last week in Youngstown.

The five-city bus tour took venture capitalists to Youngstown; Akron; Detroit; Flint, Mich.; and South Bend, Ind.

“Our goal is for our young people to have an opportunity here and to connect those out of work to growing industries that provide high wages and security,” Ryan said in a statement.

In February 2017, Patrick McKenna of High Ridge Venture Partners committed $75,000 from the first venture capital group visit to Youngstown.

McKenna pledged $50,000 to Ohio’s Valley Growth Ventures “micro venture capital” fund, which began in 2016 as a partnership between the Youngstown Business Incubator, Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., The Youngstown State University Research Foundation, Mercy Health and the Tech Belt Energy & Innovation Center.

McKenna also committed $25,000 in direct investment to an unnamed emerging private startup technology company at the Youngstown Business Incubator.

“The tour provided a great opportunity for the Youngstown startup community to share ideas with an esteemed group of coastal [venture capitalists],” said Ernie Knight, managing director of Valley Growth Ventures, in a statement. “It provided a real platform for collaboration and ongoing relationships. The partnerships that we are developing will be unbelievably beneficial to the region.”

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