Announced yesterday, six Cleveland technology funds will be investing $100 million in blockchain startups. These accelerators aim to entice early-stage blockchain companies to come to Ohio to develop blockchain solutions for business, government, and more applications.
Leading the way are JumpStart and FlashStarts, both venture capital accelerators based in Ohio. Informally announced on Cleveland.com, this $100 million investment also comes with $200 million in possible tax cuts for companies that partake in Ohio’s “Opportunity Zones” tax exemptions. There will also be $6 million available for blockchain companies by another local venture fund, FlashStarts.
This bullish news was made public by JumpStart CEO Ray Leach this weekend at the opening events of the Blockland Solutions conference. This sold out four-day event hopes to position Ohio as a trend-setter in the blockchain industry. The event featured Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, who gave a talk about how blockchain can improve digital identities.
Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted also appeared at the conference yesterday, and had some good things to say about blockchain companies. He reviewed the InnovateOhio program, which is a plan announced earlier this year that aims to modernize Ohio. Through public and private sector partnerships, the InnovateOhio program aims to use blockchain technology to create secure digital records for things like car titles, insurance cards, license plates, and more.
As Husted said in a speech, “We want to be the state in the Midwest that everybody turns to.” He continues to outline his approach for shaping Ohio:
If you would like government to be more involved in our lives, it’s a good thing for you because if government works better they have more confidence in it. If you’re one of those people that thinks you want government less in your life, that’s good too. It will be disruptive in a way, in a constructive way, that will help create efficiencies, [and] save money.