Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ohio State was the only state university asked to invest in former JobsOhio chief's fund

Former JobsOhio chief Mark Kvamme appears to have targeted Ohio State University exclusively among the state's public colleges when pitching his new venture capital fund.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reported last week that Drive Capital, led by Kvamme and business partner Chris Olsen, has received a $50 million investment from OSU.

At least 12 of the 13 other public universities in Ohio have not invested in or been approached by Drive Capital, according to the spokespeople at those colleges.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Ex-JobsOhio chief Mark Kvamme also pitched Drive Capital deal to Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund

Add the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund to the list of organizations that Mark Kvamme has asked to invest in his new enterprise.

Kvamme, a close friend of Gov. John Kasich and former head of the state's JobsOhio development agency, already has a $50 million commitment from Ohio State University.

Police & Fire spokesman Dave Graham said Kvamme and business partner Chris Olsen met with staff members in July to pitch Drive Capital, their Columbus venture capital firm. The pension fund has not pledged an investment but hasn't ruled one out, either.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ohio State University has invested millions with friend of Gov. John Kasich and Gordon Gee, but officials won't share details of the deal

With Brent Larkin

COLUMBUS, Ohio --€“ Ohio State University has invested tens of millions of dollars in a new, untested fund co-founded by a venture capitalist who enjoys close relationships with recently retired university president E. Gordon Gee and Gov. John Kasich.

The deal was done behind closed doors, right around the time trustees changed OSU policy to allow top administrators more leeway over how to invest operating funds.

OSU's commitment to Drive Capital, launched this year by Silicon Valley veterans Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen, is worth about $50 million, sources familiar with the arrangement told Northeast Ohio Media Group. It is unknown who recommended the investment or whether the university sought competing proposals. OSU officials have not provided details or documents that the news organization first requested three weeks ago.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Mike DeWine spent Ohio's mortgage settlement funds -- and stirred a foreclosure prevention debate

When Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine won nearly $94 million from a national mortgage settlement, he saved the largest chunk to demolish vacant homes and spent most of the rest on children services and public safety.

Supporters of DeWine's model say it rightly aims to revive development and property values in neighborhoods hit hardest by abandonment in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.

But some, including the attorney general's likely challenger next year, question whether DeWine spent the money in the manner spelled out in the deal involving the federal government, 49 states and the country's five largest mortgage companies. David Pepper, a Democrat targeting DeWine in 2014, doubts the funds are going toward programs that will prevent future foreclosures or assist those who already have lost their homes.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Presidential prospect Martin O'Malley plants a flag in Ohio by joining forces with Ed FitzGerald

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a potential candidate for president in 2016, offered a boost Wednesday to Ed FitzGerald's campaign for governor, calling the Cuyahoga County executive a rising star in Democratic politics.

"Frankly I think he's a leader of a new generation that's coming up in our party," O'Malley told reporters after he and FitzGerald toured a college mentoring program's downtown offices. "They are not handicapped by the old ideological battles of the past."

O'Malley's visit was to continue into the evening with a fundraiser for FitzGerald and the Ohio Democratic Party at the nearby Ritz-Carlton and is part of his push to elect Democratic governors in 2014. Doing so could forge alliances for a White House bid. But O'Malley sidestepped questions about how his barnstorming might benefit his own ambitions.

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