"Lead a conversation, a movement and a pledge that focuses on civility and tolerance."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Falon Donohue

Former CEO, VentureOhio; Partner, Narya

About: Falon Donohue leads the nonprofit organization that was created to drive a collaborative statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem and increase access to venture capital for Ohio entrepreneurs. In her role she has appeared before the U.S. Congress twice to testify on behalf of the Midwest venture capital industry.

Appointed by the lieutenant governor, Donohue was named the first chairperson of InnovateOhio, which is looking at ways to use technology to improve the lives of all Ohioans. She created the Ohio Watchlist: Ohio’s Top 50 Startups to Watch and is the host of VentureDinner, an annual celebration of 600 entrepreneurs and investors from across the state.

Donohue publishes the Ohio VentureReport, an annual survey of investment activity. She’s also the founder of NextGen, a peer group for Midwest venture capitalists. Donohue also is the force behind Sadie Ventures, the first female-founded venture capital firm in Columbus.

Outside of work: Donohue supports the City of Columbus Small Business Assessment, Bunker Labs, Ohio State University Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Columbus Chamber, GiveBackHack, Startup Week Columbus, Startup Weekend Columbus and Business Builders Club.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “It’s critical that we plan for a future-ready workforce with access to safe and reliable transportation, housing and resources. We need to double down on the efforts and resources that are being poured into pre-K-12 STEM education, recertification programs and micro degrees. We need to think intentionally about urban planning, density, green spaces and walkable neighborhoods with access to resources.”

Donohue’s idea: “Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.’ In this spirit, Columbus should get organized and lead a conversation, a movement and a pledge that focuses on civility and tolerance that expands to our businesses, our schools, our social media and our communities.”

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