Why they’re celebrating in Columbus
One of the elements that differentiates IL from conventional media is that when we can, we give you the behind the scenes about how posts come together. With the BEAM Technology story in The Closing Bell, it was a series of tips that led us to pull the trigger. We knew several months ago BEAM had a new investor group and had raised $5 million. We decided to sit on what we knew until we had more details.
About three weeks ago, we learned Drive Capital, a private equity firm in Columbus, Ohio, was investing. But what no one could tell us was, what aspect of BEAM was Drive Capital interested in because BEAM CEO Alex Frommeyer had begun pivoting, entering project consulting.
A week after that, we found out BEAM would be departing for Columbus.
IL has a relationship with the BEAM boys – Alex Frommeyer, Alex Curry and Dan Dykes – dating back to at least 2009. At one point, we shared office space in NuLu. We didn’t want to rush the story and jeopardize their deal. Last week, we learned Drive Capital would be feeding the story of Columbus’ big coup to the business media, hoping for a national splash. We spoke with a Drive Capital media person, who didn’t deny Drive was working with American City Business Journals, the Charlotte-based parent company of Business First.
We were about to get scooped on a story we’d been sitting on for months. Drive’s spokeswoman offered us an exclusive if we agreed to hold our post. In the end, we knew this was no longer a Louisville story. As they say in the military, we were the releasing party, which Columbus Business First makes clear in its post last Friday:
Here’s a business-attraction success to make Columbus smile.
Beam Technologies LLC, the maker of a smart toothbrush, is moving here from Louisville, Kentucky, with plans to more than double its staff after receiving an investment from venture capital firm Drive Capital LLC.
Columbus-based Drive invested $5 million in the company that wants to make brushing teeth a more-engaging experience through its Bluetooth-enabled Beam Brush that pairs with Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.
Despite Beam’s deep ties to the Louisville community, the partners at Drive were able to coax the company and its four employees to Columbus. That staff will grow to eight or 10 by year-end, co-founder and CEO Alex Frommeyer told me.
Karl Marx, who understood capitalism better than any capitalist, once said capital remakes the world in its own image. The cities with aggressive capital formation are going to end up with the talent. End of story.