Top Angel Investors in Ohio

Last updated: February 02, 2024

With names like Midwest’s future Techhub, it is no wonder that Ohio is going to become one of the top states for startups in the future.

Similarly, there are hundreds of angel investors in ToledoCincinnatiCleveland and Columbus that might make you feel confused about whom to pitch to. Who is the perfect angel investor or a firm that can provide you with the required funding?

Well, Ohio is home to many venture capital firms, individual investors, and angel networks. However, the following list highlights the top 7 angel investors in Ohio according to their startup fundings and active involvement.

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    Top 6 Angel Investors in Ohio

    Here are some of the top angel investors and venture capital firms that fund startups in Ohio. However, remember that every investor has his own set criteria so it is recommended to do research beforehand.

    Enough said, onto the list now!

    Morris Wheeler

    LinkedIn: Morris H Wheeler | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech 

    Investment Stage: Early 

    Funding startups for over a decade now, Morris Wheeler is an experienced angel investor who funds startups in Ohio. He has founded several tech companies himself and is the current principal at Drummond Road Capital. Ever since his inception, Morris Wheeler has made a total of 61 investments, among which 25 investments are on an individual basis.

    When funding startups, Wheeler focuses on ventures that have the potential to drive growth and are in the early and seed stages. Since he was an entrepreneur himself, Morris Wheeler highly prioritizes the growth potential and funds startups that can at least 3x their growth within the first 2 years of the investment. 

    The investment range of Morris Wheeler ranges from $75,000 to $400,000. Some of his notable investments are:

    Mapistry: Mapistry is pioneering the next generation of industrial environmental compliance management for stormwater, SPCC, and hazardous materials. Their cloud-based platform and mobile app give the world’s leading industrial, manufacturing, and transportation companies full visibility into their environmental and safety operations to make smarter decisions and effectively oversee risk.

    Hammerhead: Hammerhead is a leading cycling technology company and maker of the Karoo 2 cycling computer. The company was acquired by SRAM, one of the world’s leading bicycle component manufacturers.

    PlateJoy: PlateJoy is a company providing a cloud-based mapping tool that allows users to produce maps. Its software platform manages, monitors, and maintains environmental compliance.

    James Nusbaum

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech, Food, E-Commerce, and Healthcare 

    Investment Stage: Early 

    Funding startups in Ohio, James Nausbaum is one of the most experienced angel investors in Toledo. He usually invests in early-stage startups in many sectors.

    During the meetings, Nausbaum often questions entrepreneurs regarding their growth potential and involvement in the tech industry. Startup leaders who have the highest growth potential and are providing solutions can easily secure the investment.

    Once a startup has been funded, James Nausbaum also guides it through mentorship programs and different course-related workshops. He often likes to guide startups at the early stage and help them take successful exits.

    The investment range of James Nausbaum ranges from $100,000 to $400,000.

    Nano Dimension: Nano Dimension is a leading company in the field of industrial 3D printing and additive manufacturing. They specialize in additively manufactured electronics, printed electronics, and micro-additive manufacturing. 

    Shopify: Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company. It provides a cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform that allows merchants to design, manage, and sell their products across multiple sales channels, including web and mobile storefronts.

    Hidrant Inc.: Hidrent Inc. is a platform that connects off-duty firefighters to homeowners who need help with a variety of tasks. The platform allows homeowners to post jobs they need help with, and firefighters can pick up these jobs.

    Terry Tehark

    LinkedIn: (6) Terry Terhark | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech, Recruiting Agencies, and Consumer Products.

    Investment Stage: Early 

    As an individual investor in Toledo, Terry Terhark has funded around 15 startups and is still looking to expand his portfolio. Before becoming an individual investor, Terhark was an entrepreneur and loved to introduce new tech ideas.

    With an identical focus, Terry Terhark always aims to fund tech-related startups that can ease the lives of people. He makes his investments through fundraisers in companies that are attracting attention or also attends startup events to search for a deserving startup.

    Although Terry Terhark is based in Toledo, he still funds startups in many other states including Cincinnati and Cleveland. The investment range of Terry Terhark ranges from $50,000 to $200,000. Among many of his investments, some famous names are:

    StartWire: StartWire is a web-based application that provides automatic updates on job applications. It offers job seekers an automatic application status update from thousands of employers.

    Selective Staffing Inc.: Selective Staffing is a staffing agency that specializes in going above and beyond reading resumes to look deeply into the talents, unique abilities, and desires of every job seeker. They provide flexible staffing services, including temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire placements.

    The RightThing: The RightThing is a premier recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider. They provide RPO services including recruitment and sourcing, interviewing and testing, candidate onboarding, and database management.

    Kevin Love

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech, Healthcare, and Sports. 

    Investment Stage: Early 

    Known for his involvement in sports, Kevin Love has also stepped into the individual investment community and provides funding to Ohio-based startups. Like most other investors, Kevin Love likes to fund startups that are led by entrepreneurs who have had decent experience in the relevant industry. 

    He usually funds health tech and sports-related startups that ease the lives of consumers, also generating profits. Moreover, Kevin Love usually invests through investor meetings and likes to properly understand the idea he is funding.

    The investment range of Kevin Love can range from $100,000 to $200,000. Some of his notable investments include:

    Molekule: Molekule is a San Francisco-based air purification technology company. They provide Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) air purification devices, including Air Mini, Air Mini+, and Air Pro which were recently granted FDA clearance as medical devices.

    OXIGEN: OXIGEN is a bottled water company that offers pH-balanced water with electrolytes and boosted with oxygen. The company aims to provide a better option for hydration that is beneficial for the body and mind



    Website: Home | CincyTech (

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Tech, Healthcare, and IoT.

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 2007, CincyTech is the most active venture capital firm in Cincinnati. The network has a strong focus on funding startups throughout Ohio, with a strong focus on tech-related businesses. Headquartered in Cincinnati, they have funded around 100 startups within 17 years and are still expanding.

    Talking about investment, CincyTech conducts around 3-4 pitching competitions each year, selecting around 7-10 startups. The board of investors focuses on businesses that can generate 5-6x ROI and have the least number of competitors.

    Aside from their investments, CincyTech also organizes many networking events, startup accelerators, and mentorship programs to guide the portfolio companies through different stages.

    The investment range of CincyTech ranges from $900,000 to $4M. Among their investments, some notable portfolio companies are:

    Losant: Losant provides an enterprise IoT platform that allows enterprises to effectively build applications and create solutions that securely scale to millions of devices.

    Enable Injections: Enable Injections produces high-volume wearable drug delivery systems. They have developed the enFuse® On-Body Platform, which is designed to improve the patient experience.

    Peerro: Peerro is a platform for job seekers looking for part-time, full-time, and seasonal work.

    Eikonoklastes Therapeutics: Eikonoklastes Therapeutics is an early-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on rapidly advancing innovative medicines.

    Plug and Play Tech Center


    Website: Plug and Play Tech Center - Plug and Play Tech Center

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Tech, Food, Digital Businesses, Marketing, Healthcare, and Consumer Products.

    Investment Stage: Seed and Late

    Another huge name in the venture capital community of Ohio is the Plug and Play Tech Center. As evident by its name, the VC firm has a strong focus on tech-based startups at the early, seed, and late stages.  

    When funding startups, the investors at Plug and Play Tech Center prioritize ventures that are producing unique software or have an idea with the least number of competitors. The top goal of the VC firm is to boost creativity and unique ideas in the startup landscape of Ohio.

    The investment range of Plug and Play Tech Center ranges from $1M to $50M. Notable portfolio companies are:

    Intellihealth: Intellihealth develops medical technology software to diagnose obesity-related diseases

    UMAMI Bioworks: UMAMI Bioworks is a food manufacturing company that cultivates the future of sustainable seafood 

    Worldover: Worldover is a software company that enables the launch of physical products in worldwide markets

    Wrap Up

    Even when most of the angel investors are inclined towards startups with massive ROI, there are other factors as well. Many angels prioritize unique ideas and believe in guiding startups at the early stages to ensure success.

    Just ensure proper research, look at some decent examples of a pitch deck, and you will definitely secure an investment from the investors. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Why is it important to understand the different stages of startups?

    A: Understanding different startup stages is vital as it helps align startups with suitable funding sources. Early-stage startups need seed funding, while growth-stage startups require larger investments. Tailoring funding requests to match the startup's stage improves the chances of attracting investors who are interested in supporting that particular phase.

    Q: How do angel investors differ from venture capitalists?

    A: Angel investors and venture capitalists invest in startups but differ in their funding sources and investment stages. Angel investors use their funds, while venture capitalists manage pooled funds from institutional investors. Angel investors are more likely to invest in the early stages of a startup when it is still developing its concept and product, while venture capitalists typically invest in later stages when the startup has already demonstrated market traction and growth potential.

    Q: How to secure a warm introduction to angel investors?

    A: To secure a warm introduction to angel investors, always try to participate in startup networks, attend industry events, and actively seek referrals from mentors or acquaintances already connected with investors.

    Building genuine relationships and demonstrating your passion for your venture can also open doors for warm introductions.

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