Frank Braski, founder of ColumbusMakesIT, has been chosen to lead the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s entrepreneurial work throughout the region.
“After meeting with the sub-committee chairs, it was evident that hiring a CEO had to be our first step and that it needed to be done quickly so that the other objectives identified in the plan could be achieved in the timeframe identified in the strategy,” said Russ Carreker, CEO of Day 6 Outdoors and chair of the Development Authority of Columbus. “It was clear that Frank showed the most immediate promise of making substantial progress on this front based on what had been accomplished over the past three years.”
Braski will assume the title of Chief Entrepreneurial Officer and lead day-to-day activities to accomplish the entrepreneurial goals set forth in Columbus 2025, which aims to reduce poverty and increase prosperity through economic development and other initiatives.
“The Enterprising Culture Action Area is one of five strategies detailed in the plan that have the greatest potential to make meaningful, positive change in the region over the next decade and beyond,” the release reads. Objectives include “strengthening the culture of entrepreneurship in Greater Columbus and expanding resources to open pathways to entrepreneurship for all residents. Success will be measured by increases in the percentage of workers who are self-employed, the number of employees working for firms less than five years old, and increases in incomes for business owners.”
In addition to ColumbusMakesIT, Braski also founded the RiverCity Foundry, a startup business accelerator program, and STEAMuL8!, which encourages entrepreneurial innovation and creative geek culture through MeetUps, hackathons, StartUp Weekends, robotics competitions and drone racing. He also has held numerous leadership positions in technology and innovation at both regional and international financial and technology companies, including Aflac, Synovus, TSYS and IBM.
“We have seen significant progress on a number of fronts with the Columbus 2025 initiative, including a banner year for economic development, a refocused cradle-to-career initiative, investments in better-connected neighborhoods, and a new community brand,” said Billy Blanchard, who serves as chair of both the chamber and Columbus 2025. “With this announcement, we make significant headway in creating an entrepreneurial culture that will drive job growth in our region.”