Ned Schwartz

Ned Schwartz

On Aug. 3 Venture Connectors hosted Ned Schwartz, partner in Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital, a private investment firm that partners with Midwest entrepreneurs in building long-term, sustainable businesses. He discussed why Drive Capital believes the Midwest region is the best place in the world to build a business and how entrepreneurs can launch a great company right here.

He shared what Drive Capital looks for in a company, examples of businesses that make Louisville and the Midwest region a major hub for entrepreneurial growth, and how communities like Louisville can encourage the creation of venture capital firms like Drive Capital.

Drive Capital’s founders, Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen, hail from the Menlo Park, Calif., venture capital firm Sequoia Partners, which has investment stakes in Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc., among other tech giants. They relocated to Ohio in 2014 to launch a $250 million Midwest-focused venture capital fund. Drive Capital focuses its investments on innovative technology, health care and consumer companies.

A Columbus native, Schwartz predominately focuses on investments in healthcare IT and services. Before joining Drive Capital, he spent five years as an investor at Norwest Venture Partners and General Atlantic, where he invested in MedExpress, Align Networks, Health Catalyst, RiverMend Health, iCardiac and others.

Schwartz got his start as an investor after making copies for the Google IPO as an intern at Credit Suisse. He decided he’d rather help build big companies than read about them. He earned a bachelor‚Äôs degree in politics from Princeton University.