An infectious startup spirit makes its way through Columbus.

An infectious startup spirit makes its way through Columbus.

Have you noticed the infectious spirit in Columbus that is especially contagious in the spring? This is the time of year when those who have the bug seek ways to share it with others, and those who haven't caught it already don't want to be inoculated against it.

It is the spirit of brand-new and can-do entrepreneurs.

One of the biggest carriers of the contagion is David All, founder of CivicHacks and creator of Startup Storytellers. A serial entrepreneur himself, All first experimented in April 2014 with sharing successful startup stories while working for an old high school friend's phenomenally successful venture, CoverMyMeds.

Buoyed by the response, All's CivicHacks brought together entrepreneurs with public officials for another Startup Storytellers event as part of national Startup Day in August 2014 at Mission Coffee.

Continued confidence in Columbus' predisposition for spreading entrepreneurship led CivicHacks to schedule a bigger Startup Storytellers in March 2015 at Strongwater Food & Spirits-drawing a crowd of more than 200.

Moving Startup Storytellers to the Columbus Museum of Art for 2016 promised even larger accommodations, but the April 6 celebration of Columbus' business creativity still produced standing-room only attendance. More than 500 crowded the second-floor main event while another 100 took advantage of a concurrent, youth-focused Legends in Training session in the first-floor auditorium.

And it wasn't just the impressive attendance numbers that confirm Columbus' proclivity for sharing the startup spirit. Startup Storytellers has caught on not just with millennials revealing their inspiration but also with established entrepreneurs. Nancy Kramer of Resource/Ammirati, Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and developer Brett Kaufman divulged details their journeys.

Among others, they were joined by lesser known entrepreneurs Zach Weprin, #sushiforlife CEO of FUSIAN; Yohannan Terrell, CEO of branding agency Warhol & WALL ST, and "proud college dropout" Jacob Taylor, cofounder of CivitasNow, an experiential ad agency. If you aren't as familiar with the last three as the first three, just give them time. I had the pleasure of introducing that impressive trio at Startup Storytellers.

Impact data collected from attendees shows an older group was on hand this year-38 percent were over 40 compared to 24 percent over 40 in 2015. Establishment sponsors-the Better Business Bureau Serving Central Ohio and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce-joined newcomers such as Wes Wolfe, enthusiastic new owner of Wolfe Insurance Group.

The BBB was so infected with the Startup Storyteller spirt it partnered with CivicHacks to create the Spark Awards, in conjunction with the BBB's Torch Awards for Ethics. Celebrating millennial entrepreneurs who demonstrate a commitment to character, culture and community, the inaugural Spark Awards went to A & R Creative,Compton Construction andGriffen Hollow Studio.

Testimony for the story-sharing power of Columbus' business creators to infect others comes from Mary Slaback of the Graham School, relating the impact on two students who attended Startup Storytellers' Legends in Training segment. One reversed a desire to leave Columbus and the other heard a message of perseverance that gave him new appreciation for an entrepreneurial parent. "They both feel the freedom now to dream and to dream big," Slaback told All.

And there's another chance to catch the bug. The second Columbus Startup Week, sponsored by Chase, runs May 2-6. Register at columbus.startupweek.co for a full week of inspiration likely to be just as infectious.