Managing director, Heartland Ventures
About: Max Brickman founded Heartland Ventures in 2016 to enhance Silicon Valley startups’ access to Midwestern customers. While pursuing his B.S. from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business from 2010 to 2014 he served as CEO and founder of CleanSlate and Peloton Investors. Through the process of inventing, designing and marketing, Brickman was able to patent and license CleanSlate, a technology that prevents cheating on written exams. He founded Peloton Investors, a Milwaukee-based real estate investment firm that he grew to 450 residential units, at age 14.
As we rebuild following Covid-19, Columbus faces a threat of mass suburbanization and a decline of the urban core.
Outside of work: Brickman serves on several regional boards designed to increase per capita income and entrepreneurial activity. He also is a member of the Jewish Columbus Leadership cohort. In Brickman’s spare time he is pursuing a pilot’s license. He and his wife, Haley, live in the Short North.
What does Columbus need to thrive? As we rebuild following Covid-19, Columbus faces a threat of mass suburbanization and a decline of the urban core. Eliminating the need to commute downtown, more time spent at home (leading to a need for more space) and inability to use downtown amenities are all factors that point to an exodus from the city center. This threat is not unique to Columbus, but we have more to lose. As one of the densest cities in the Midwest, Columbus has one of the most thriving urban cores, allowing for increased culture, diversity and efficiency. … Columbus needs to promote urban development and discourage sprawl.
Brickman’s idea: Large coastal cities are losing much of their value and we’re seeing many people and businesses opt for secondary cities like Columbus. The problem is that many of these people have never spent significant time in the Midwest and are unsure of which city to choose. Through targeted programming Columbus can introduce itself to coastal startups interested in relocation. An annual project could include each Future 50 member leveraging (his or her) network and appeal of learning about Midwestern markets to host one coastal startup in Columbus for a specified two-day period.