Columbus Startup Week - Powered by Chase - May 4-8, 2015
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avatar for John O. Huston

John O. Huston

Ohio TechAngel Funds
Founder and Manager
During his 30-year commercial banking career, John’s positions at banks in five states ranged from Chief Lending Officer to Chief Credit Officer to CEO.  After retiring from banking in 2000 he commenced his business angel activities, forming USPrivateCompanies, LLC which has provided capital to 50+ Ohio entrepreneurs.  He currently is a Director of four portfolio companies.
John was appointed by Governor Taft to the Ohio Venture Capital Authority at its inception in 2003.  The Authority’s Ohio Capital Fund generates high paying jobs by making $150 million of early stage capital available to the state’s most promising technology entrepreneurs. Twenty-six venture firms have already received funding via this program.  When John’s term expired in 2010, Governor Strickland appointed him to the Third Frontier Advisory Board.  Ohio’s Third Frontier Program was initially a $1.3 billion commitment to expand Ohio’s technological strengths and promote commercialization.  By a most gratifying 62% approval rate of the May, 2010 ballot issue, Ohio voters expanded the program by $700 million.
When John launched the first Ohio TechAngel Fund (OTAF) in 2004 with 50 investors, the group became a founding member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA).  Now with four funds and 340 members, OTAF is one of America’s largest angel groups, and has made 65 investments in 45 ventures.  John is also a member of the North Coast Angel Fund I & II, (Cleveland), the East Central Ohio TechAngel Fund (Athens).  He is also a founding member of Columbus-based X-Squared Angels, a group which invests nationwide in start-up ventures with diverse management teams.   He is a member of the Executive Committee of all four of these angel groups, plus serves as Chairman of the ACA’s Ohio Forum of angel group leaders.
John’s not-for-profit activities include serving as a Founding Director of VentureOhio, the trade association providing the unified voice for Ohio’s innovation community. John is well known as the past Chairman of both the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and the Angel Resource Institute (ARI).  They have recognized his contributions by providing him their highest accolade for angel leadership (The Hans Severiens Award).  
John attended the University of Virginia courtesy of the U. S. Navy (ROTC scholarship), graduating with a BA in economics. While stationed as a navy pilot in Georgia he obtained his MBA at night from Georgia Southern University.  John and his wife, Liz, reside in Columbus; their two married children (and three grandchildren) live in San Francisco and Cleveland.  
In increasing order of difficulty, John’s most exciting experiences to date have been bungee jumping, skydiving, aircraft carrier landings, and angel investing.  He’s convinced that the two key drivers of a vibrant economy are growing high paying technology jobs and building entrepreneurial wealth.  Through his angel investments and his leadership of OTAF’s funds, John seeks to spark job growth and new wealth by enhancing the success of angels, angel groups, and Ohio’s most promising entrepreneurs.

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, May 5

4:00pm EDT