A big-hearted fund powered by the
Columbus startup community


START, our region’s first-ever entrepreneur giving fund, is a unique charitable fund aimed at supporting initiatives that are “starting up” something special in the community.


START helps fund BIG ideas that work towards improving the lives and opportunities of the people who live and work in Columbus. START is an ongoing donor-advised fund, set up at the Columbus Foundation. Recipients will be non-profit and charitable organizations, not individuals.


With START, entrepreneurs and startup teams have a collective and efficient way to contribute financially to the very community that supported their innovation.


START will target initiatives in four broad categories. The common thread is “starting up.”

  • Connecting Communities

  • STEM Education

  • Sustainable Food Solutions

  • Workforce Development


Franklinton Farms is a non-profit urban farm dedicated to growing and sharing healthy food, creating beauty, and building community with our neighbors.

The Overwatch Partnership provides mentoring and career development support to the veteran community, while supporting local veteran hiring advocacy efforts.

The Jay Richardson Foundation

The Jay Richardson Foundation (TJRF) is a non-profit organization that focuses on the long-term success of our adolescent youth. With a resounding motto to “breathe life into Team FAMILY”, this unique approach shifts the emphasis from our youth as individuals to a holistic, familial responsibility.


Submit your initiative to be considered:


How to Give

Help the next big idea for helping our community take root and grow. Help START now. It’s easy to find out how good it feels to give.

Contributing Companies

Contributing Individuals

  • Erik Berg
  • Dann Bruno
  • Suzanne Bureau
  • Kristy Campbell
  • David Dillman
  • Jon Eesley
  • Alonzo Edmundo
  • Andrea Ewing
  • Chaz Freutel
  • Bethany George
  • Kathleen Green
  • Mary Grinstead
  • Margaret Groh
  • Ryan Helon
  • Muyang Hu
  • Charles Hill
  • Michael Kindratt-Pratt
  • Ann Kneidinger-Flaherty
  • Ron Landthorn
  • Alison Lopriore
  • Betsy MacDonell
  • Parker MacDonell
  • Mike McCann
  • Trevor McCool
  • Greg Pugh
  • Tim Roe
  • John Schroepfer
  • Ruben Vargus
  • Matthew Veryser
  • Tom Walker
  • Bob Wiggins
  • Terry Ziegler
  • Lora Zotter

Advisory Board

  • Phil George
    CEO & Founder MentorcliQ

  • Rachel Roman
    Director, Talent Management Updox

  • Anthony Reynolds
    Co-Founder & CMO Refill

  • Steve White
    CEO & Founder Clarivoy

  • Shaun Young
    CEO & Founder Ardina/Millenefits

  • Kristy Campbell
    COO Rev1 Ventures


I’d like to participate directly to help make START a success. Can any startup help out? What about serving on the advisory board?

START is seeking broad and diverse participation from Columbus’ community of entrepreneurial founders, teams, and startups. Early advisors have helped us get the fund launched, coming up with a mission and a name. START welcomes additional input and support. To volunteer, contact Kristy Campbell at


What kind of initiatives will START support?

START’S mission is to invest in BIG ideas in the Columbus region that support “starting up.” START is targeting four inclusive categories: Connecting Communities; STEM Education; Sustainable Food Solutions; and Workforce Development.


What’s the process to apply for START funding?

START is in build mode. START has raised over $31,600 and has awarded $15,000 in grants since it’s inception.

The Columbus Foundation manages distributions from the fund.

If you have a good idea for an initiative that will improve our community, we want to hear about it.


How can I donate to START?

Here are the ways to give:

  • Online at Columbus Foundation
  • Via mail at:
    “The Columbus Foundation”
    START Fund of the Columbus Foundation.
    Carter Hatch
    1234 E. Broad St.
    Columbus OH 43205


  • Non-Profit Organization Information

  • Applicant Information

  • In 500 words or less, tell us about:
    • your START initiative for making the CBUS Community better
    • how you would use a START grant and what you would hope to achieve
    • include up to 5 links to any relevant online material specific to your inititiave