Calvin Cooper


Venture Capitalist
Sr. Director, NCT Ventures


Downtown Columbus

I love Columbus because…

Columbus is a place where young professionals can make a positive difference in the world. Our city has access to capital, entrepreneurial resources, sound political leadership, educational infrastructure, and corporate centers that provide all of the ingredients necessary to achieve great things. Leaders in public and private sector institutions are also very accessible and willing to provide mentorship, guidance, friendship and opportunities to grow.

An attribute that is unique to our city, broad based collaboration between public and private institutions, is known as ‘The Columbus Way’ and has been the subject of academic case studies. This ‘Columbus Way’ of collaboration is far reaching and the collaborative spirit does not discriminate on age, race, sexual orientation, religious background or socio economic background. It does however require a desire to give and contribute to the betterment of people in our region and beyond. Anyone passionate about learning and contributing to that call has a great shot at making a difference, while growing personally and professionally. It’s a remarkable culture that will help to ensure prosperity in the region.

I believe young professionals are important to our city because…

Young professionals are critical to developing and implementing the policies and programs that are necessary for sustainable economic development. Institutions that do not have strong successors cease to exist, and communities that experience brain drain from losing young professionals to other regions suffer a decline in economic productivity. Young, educated knowledge workers are essential assets for growing companies (especially technology companies), attract capital investment, cultivate art and culture, fuel political advocacy, and enhance the development of communities. Young professionals are the lifeblood of organizations and communities. Our ability to retain and develop them directly contributes to our regional and national interests.

Community Involvement

  • i.c.stars Columbus: Board Member
  • Columbus Music Commission: Board Member
  • Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center: YEx Advisory Board Member
  • VentureOhio: Research Advisor, 2016 and 2017 Venture Report
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council: Co-Author of National Survey on Access to Capital Among Minority Business Enterprises
  • Columbus MBE Academy: Co-founder