An exciting announcement yesterday on a new partnership between Franklin County and the Columbus College of Art & Design:

Appreciating and investing in art reaps the benefit of jobs, economic growth, and a better quality
of life for all of Franklin County. We are fortunate to have the Columbus College of Art & Design
(CCAD) – whose mission it is to prepare tomorrow's creative leaders for professional careers –
located in our community.

A high percentage of CCAD graduates start their own businesses. To promote the success of
these entrepreneurial efforts, this morning, Commissioners approved $75,000 for a new
collaboration with CCAD to support the MindMarket Business Incubator Project, which mentors
art and design businesses by providing start-up work space, coaching by business
professionals and industry leaders, entrepreneurial training, business plan assistance and
networking opportunities with capital funders.

The 2013 Benchmarking Central Ohio report compiled by Community Research Partners, the
Columbus Partnership and The Columbus Foundation evaluated the number of entrepreneurs in
Central Ohio as well as the number of small business start-ups and compared those findings
with communities across the United States. Central Ohio ranked near or at the bottom, behind
the cities of Portland (OR), Nashville (TN), Raleigh (NC) and others.

"Franklin County is funding innovating and exciting projects like the MindMarket because we
want to spark and support the entrepreneurial spirit in our community. Franklin County's direct
involvement seeks to reverse the trend of ranking low for both entrepreneurship and start-up
businesses in Central Ohio by investing in a creative class, and jobs for existing residents," said
Board President Marilyn Brown.