COLUMBUS, Ohio — Investor and author J.D. Vance has started a new venture-capital fund in Ohio.
Vance’s Narya Capital will be based in Cincinnati, and will focus on investing in startup companies in locations including Salt Lake City, Atlanta and the Raleigh / Durham area in North Carolina, Axios reported Thursday.
One of Narya’s partners is Falon Donohue, an active figure in Ohio’s venture capital scene. She resigned this week from her position leading VentureOhio, a Columbus non-profit that promotes investing in start-ups and access to venture capital in the state, according to Columbus Business First. Donohue leads an advisory board to InnovateOhio, an initiative led by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, while Vance is a member of the same board.
Another partner at Narya is Colin Greenspon, who previously worked with Vance at a venture capital fund owned by famed Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel. Thiel is among the backers of the new fund, Axios reported, as is Battelle, a Columbus scientific research non-profit.
Narya has raised $93 million with a goal of raising $125 million, according to a Wednesday FEC filing.
Vance, an Ohio native, became famous in 2016 after his memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” became a best-seller. He’s made connections in Ohio’s Republican political scene since then, and has considered running for political office, including publicly testing the waters for Ohio’s U.S. Senate race in 2018 before ultimately deciding not to run.
He previously worked for Rise of the Rest, a venture-capital fund focused on the Midwest while splitting time in Washington, D.C. He now lives in Cincinnati. He’s also founded a non-profit that focuses on fighting the opioid crisis in Ohio.
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