Q&A with John Huston

How a Self-Described Deal Junky Flunked Retirement.

John O. Huston

New Albany resident John Huston founded The Ohio TechAngels Fund, one of the country’s largest angel investment groups, when he retired to New Albany after a 30 year career in commercial banking.

Why did you move to New Albany?

When we decided to move back to Ohio from Boston, New Albany was the only place Lizzy and I considered. The amenities—library, schools, country club, performing arts center—are exponentially greater than any community of our size. It’s truly a magnet for talented people.

As a business owner what inspires you most?

Spend the morning at Starbucks and you’ll see the diversity of this community from a businessman’s perspective. New Albany is a vibrant community that attracts people of all ages and stages of live. We have an amazing cross section of business people engaged in all sizes of businesses and ranges of industry.

What prompted you to start Ohio Tech Angels?

I’m a deal junky who flunked retirement. What I missed was the interaction with highly motivated, intensely focused CEOs of privately held companies. So, I decided to identify other folks out there like me. I had a series of cocktail parties at the country club and we looked at deals together. It started primarily with New Albany residents.

What has helped New Albany achieve such great success?

Our success has little to do with wealth and everything to do with the energy and experience our investors share with young entrepreneurs. These are not passive investors. They are willing to roll up their sleeves and devote their time and energy to launch new businesses. It’s a thrill to see it.

How would you describe the quality of life in New Albany?

It’s a place that is personally tailored to your desires. You can come home on the weekend and never get in your car. You can walk or bike to the country club, village square or water park. It’s amazing.

What is the one thing that would surprise people about New Albany?

They would be surprised by the wealth of talent we have and the diversity of backgrounds of our residents. It is a wonderful talent pool for companies that do business here. And, there is a very strong sense of community. People look out for each other.

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