Category

News

Elevate Ventures Releases 1H 2020 Indiana Venture Report

By News No Comments

Elevate Ventures Releases 1H 2020 Indiana Venture Report

August 14, 2020

Venture capital investment in Indiana companies was higher in the first half of 2020 than in the first half of 2019 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession, according to a report from Elevate Ventures.

The number of deals increased 74%, to 92 deals, over the 53 deals in the first six months of 2019. Strong pre-seed deal count (<$500,000 rounds) was largely driven by the number of investments made through the Elevate Ventures Nexus Pitch Competition. Seed through later-stage deal counts ($500,000-$10 million+ rounds) remain on par with 1H 2019 activities.

Indiana investment overcame not only the pandemic and recession but also venture capital market uncertainties experienced nationwide in Q2 2020. Only Illinois showed a greater increase among Great Lakes states.

The 1H 2020 Indiana Venture Report provides a mid-year assessment of venture investment activity in Indiana. While the majority of venture capital activity in the state focuses on technology, the report includes all sectors. New to the report this year is a national and regional analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on venture investment.

Other findings from the report include:

  • The majority of VC investors saw deal flow on par with 2019 and anticipate similar results for the remainder of 2020.
  • Despite strong deal count, deal size and investment in Indiana lagged behind other states.
  • The first half of 2020 has already surpassed mid-year activity in many prior years.
  • If current momentum continues, Indiana could exceed 2019 activity in 2020.
  • Deals valued under $500,000 made up nearly 60% of all activity.

Elevate Ventures CEO Chris LaMothe sees the activity as an indication of growth, innovation and new jobs.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected venture ecosystems locally and nationally, we’re pleased to see such a strong start to 2020,” said LaMothe. “However, in order to keep up this momentum, we all need to work together to prioritize entrepreneurship and high-growth businesses across the state, which provide a critical pillar to building successful communities.”

The primary source of investment information used in the 1H 2020 Indiana Venture Report was PitchBook Data Inc. in conjunction with Elevate Ventures’ proprietary deal information and deal data submitted by our co-investment partners. Data was also collected from BioCrossroadsgener8torTechPoint, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Economic AnalysisTax FoundationCrunchbase Inc., the Missouri Economic Research and Information CenterCollision from HomeIndustry Ventures and Sandalphon Capital.

Click to read the full Elevate Ventures 1H 2020 Indiana Venture Report.

Elevate honors Moran-Townsend

By News No Comments

Elevate honors Moran-Townsend

| Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

August 14, 2020

Elevate Northeast Indiana congratulated on its Facebook page last month Marilyn Moran-Townsend for receiving its 2019 Community Champion of the Year honor.

Moran-Townsend’s vision “has created a culture of innovation that will provide businesses in the region with a strong foundation moving forward,” the organization said in a Facebook post.

Moran-Townsend became the first chair of Elevate Northeast Indiana in 2017 and was succeeded in that position last October by Dr. Michael Mirro, a key investor in early-stage and startup companies in Indiana.

Mirro said her efforts were critical to building a deeper entrepreneurial culture for the region and making it top of mind.

Marilyn Moran-Townsend

“Our economy is dependent on a very vibrant entrepreneurial community,” he said in an announcement around the time of the change.

“We need to do everything we can to cultivate that activity and continue to build off of our entrepreneurial culture. We have a lot of support organizations in the region that are helping and Elevate needs to be fuel for all the activities.”

A few weeks after Mirro became its chair, Dan Meek joined Elevate Ventures as northeast Indiana’s entrepreneur-in-residence.

“Dan has experience on all sides of entrepreneurship, not only in coaching startups but also being part of a startup himself,” Mirro said. “A lot of his experience has been in commercialization and medical device startups so it’s natural for him to be here helping entrepreneurs that are in that space.”

In addition to running his consulting practice, Seneca Business Ventures, Meek had served as bioscience commercialization director and venture development vice president for Rev1 Ventures.

At Rev1 he was involved in creating investment funds at OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s Hospital and he led investments in companies spun out from those institutions and from Ohio State University.

While he has specific medical device industry experience, Mirro said Meek’s background has prepared him to help entrepreneurs across many industries.

In addition to medical devices and life sciences, Elevate Northeast Indiana planned to develop entrepreneurship with resources and mentoring in the region’s key industrial clusters of data science, advanced manufacturing and insurance, he said.

Indiana Startups Secure Funding in Second Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competitions

By News No Comments

Indiana Startups Secure Funding in Second Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competitions

April 20, 2020

Sixteen startup businesses from around Indiana have been awarded a total of $680,000 in pre-seed and seed funding by Elevate Ventures to spur growth.

Elevate Nexus pitch competition at University of Notre Dame’s Innovation Park

The 16 were chosen from 58 finalists that competed Feb. 25-27 in the second regional Elevate Nexus Pitch Competitions, which were held at Innovation Park at the University of Notre DameFlagship Enterprise Center at Anderson University and Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.

The competition was established to invest in early-stage Indiana startups with an emphasis on those taking advantage of support resources from higher education institutions in the state. Each company had 10 minutes to pitch to a judging panel in northern, central or southern Indiana.

Regional winners and affiliated higher-education institutions, if applicable, include:

Northern Indiana

  • Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
    • Allervent; Upland; Taylor University
    • Rabbit Tractors; Cedar Lake; Purdue University
    • Lumen Bio; South Bend; University of Notre Dame
  • Seed ($80,000 investment)
    • Blaire Biomedical; Angola; Trine University
    • CODEinCLASS; South Bend; University of Notre Dame

Central Indiana

  • Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
    • Gen3Bio; West Lafayette; Purdue University
    • Multiscale Integrated Technology Solutions; Indianapolis; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    • Probari; Indianapolis; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    • TBB Quality Solutions d/b/a Documentor; Indianapolis
  • Seed ($80,000 investment)
    • BestQuote; Zionsville; Purdue University
    • Spirrow Therapeutics; West Lafayette; Purdue University

Southern Indiana

  • Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
    • Endless Eyewear; Evansville; Purdue University
    • My Gaming Career d/b/a Gamerized; Jasper; Ivy Tech Community College
    • Nature Greens; Indianapolis; University of Southern Indiana
  • Seed ($80,000 investment)
    • The Learning Alliance; Bloomington; Indiana University-Bloomington
    • Sintact Medical Systems; Bloomington; Purdue University

In addition to receiving funding, each company is considered an Elevate Ventures’ portfolio business and gains access to Elevate’s network of advisors and resources.

Each company also earns the opportunity to pitch during the statewide competition where an additional $320,000 will be awarded. The statewide competition will be held virtually on May 19.

NIIC Provides Virtual Resource for Businesses

By News No Comments

NIIC Provides Virtual Resource for Businesses

| Inside INdiana Business

April 14, 2020

The chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center in Fort Wayne says innovation is often times born out of crisis. The NIIC recently launched a virtual resource center designed to support the entrepreneurial community in Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karl LaPan says there will be a new normal for businesses, particularly small businesses and entrepreneurs, once the crisis passes.

Click here to watch how the NIIC is providing virtual resources for businesses

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, LaPan said the pandemic has created a “significant amount of trauma” for businesses.

“With some of these new programs that have come out on economic injury and payment protection, they barely scratch the surface of the profound need that businesses have,” said LaPan. “A number of studies have shown that, just in the payment protection program, there’s almost a trillion dollar need and there’s only about a third of that amount funded in the stimulus bill. So I think for a lot of companies, the funding to get to a safer landing place is a huge issue.”

LaPan says the current situation creates a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to recharge, reset and retool. He says many companies are looking at businesses that they would never have considered before.

“I think it’s important that we pay attention to emotional well-being and self care for entrepreneurs, that we recognize that there will be a new normal; we’re not going to just go back to the way things were. And there’s also a real need to kind of reimagine the businesses in light of maybe some different ways that we’ll be working in the future.”

The NIIC is an entrepreneurial support organization and its virtual resource center provides services such as virtual training and workshops, economic and funding resources, and startup resources.

The organization is also providing free access of its new NIIC Navigator Academy for the next 12 months. The NIIC says any company, organization or micro-entrepreneur in Indiana can use the service to “support their efforts to reset and reimagine their business and to assist them in activating their business.”

You can find more information on the NIIC Navigator Academy by clicking here.

Elevate Ventures Releases the 2019 Indiana Venture Report

By News No Comments

Indiana shows significant growth in venture activity over 2018

February 18, 2020

Elevate Ventures today released the 2019 Indiana Venture Report, a yearend assessment of venture investment activity in Indiana. This report examines Indiana’s economic opportunities and business climate along with examining national venture trends and activity.

“We are encouraged by the results of the 2019 Indiana Venture Report, including a record-breaking year for the state,” said Chris LaMothe, CEO of Elevate Ventures. “Indiana proves to be a significant player among regional and national venture capital activity, and we anticipate more success as we continue to support innovation and drive economic growth.”

The 2019 Indiana Venture Report revealed:

  • For Indiana, 2019 was a record-breaking year for both venture deal count and dollars invested
  • For the first time since 2009, Indiana surpassed 100 in the number of venture deals and over half a billion dollars invested in a given year
  • Indiana accounted for 0.42% of national venture capital invested in 2019, compared to 0.22% in 2018
  • Significant increase in 2019’s venture capital investment was driven by more and larger rounds invested in Indiana companies
  • Indiana recorded 11 venture deals over $10 million in 2019, compared to 5 deals over $10 million in 2018
  • While B2B tech and Central Indiana continue to dominate Indiana’s venture activities, there are emerging sectors and communities where venture community stakeholders are actively pooling resources and/or forming partnerships to support the launch and development of startups

The primary source of investment information used in the 2019 Indiana Venture Report was PitchBook Data Inc. in conjunction with Elevate Ventures’ proprietary deal information and secondary data collected from Elevate Ventures’ key co-investment partners. Data from BioCrossroadsGener8torTechPoint, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic AnalysisTax FoundationCrunchbase Inc., and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center are also incorporated. The Venture Club of Indiana served as a key partner in our data collection activities.

Click to read the full Elevate Ventures 2019 Indiana Venture Report.

Mirro to Accelerate Elevate Northeast Indiana

By News No Comments

Mirro to Accelerate Elevate Northeast Indiana

November 19, 2019

Dr. Michael Mirro, a key investor in startup and early-stage companies in Indiana, has been selected board chair of Elevate Northeast Indiana, a partnership between Northeast Indiana and Elevate Ventures that promotes entrepreneurship.

Mirro succeeds Marilyn Moran-Townsend, who in 2017 became the first chair of Elevate Northeast Indiana. Mirro assumed the role in October 2019.

Mirro said that Moran-Townsend’s leadership was critical to making entrepreneurship top of mind, as well as building a deeper culture for entrepreneurs to thrive.

Dr. Michael Mirro, board chair of Elevate Northeast Indiana

The board will work strategically to deploy resources and mentoring to key clusters in the region, including advanced manufacturing, medical device, life sciences, insurance, and data science to name a few.

“Our economy is dependent on a very vibrant entrepreneurial community,” Mirro said. “We need to do everything we can to cultivate that activity and continue to build off of our entrepreneurial culture. We have a lot of support organizations in the region that are helping and Elevate needs to be fuel for all the activities.”

Dan Meek, who joined Elevate Ventures on Nov. 4 as the regional Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR), will be a great fit to foster innovation and provide the much-needed fuel in northeast Indiana.

“Dan has experience on all sides of entrepreneurship, not only in coaching startups but also being part of a startup himself,” Mirro said. “A lot of his experience has been in commercialization and medical device startups so it’s natural for him to be here helping entrepreneurs that are in that space.”

Mirro said that while Meek has specific experience in the medical device industry, his extensive background gives him the capability to help entrepreneurs across many industries.

Entrepreneurs and others from the 11-county region who are interested in meeting Meek can join Elevate Ventures at a nearby Meet & Greet:

Huntington-Kosciusko-Wabash-Whitley counties: Monday, Dec. 2, 4-6 p.m.; Jo Young Switzer Center, 604 East College Ave., North Manchester. Click to register.

DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben counties: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 4-6 p.m.; Kendallville Event Center, 615 Professional Way, Kendallville. Click to register.

Adams, Allen, Wells counties: Thursday, Dec. 12, 4-6 p.m.; Indiana Wesleyan University—Fort Wayne Education and Conference Center, 8211 West Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne. Click to register.

gBETA Coming to Fort Wayne

By News No Comments

gBETA Coming to Fort Wayne

| Inside INdiana Business

November 20, 2019

Wisconsin-based gener8tor has named the third Hoosier city to host its gBETA programming. The startup accelerator plans to expand the program to Fort Wayne early next year.

Photo credit: gBETA

gBETA Fort Wayne will accept a cohort of five companies this spring, with the program hosting a Pitch Night that will be open to the public in June, at the program’s end.

SEED Fort Wayne, the city of Fort Wayne and Indiana Economic Development Corp. have partnered with gBETA to bring the gener8tor program to Fort Wayne companies.

gBETA is a free accelerator for early-stage companies. Participants receive intensive and  individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the gBETA opportunity to companies who were unable to  participate in the Indy program because they weren’t located in central Indiana,” Chelsea  Linder, gBETA managing director, said. “I truly believe accelerators are the best way to set a  startup on a path to success, and supporting five Fort Wayne companies each year will have a  sizeable economic impact on the region.”

Allen County will be the third region in Indiana that gener8tor has launched programs in and the 18th across North America.

gBETA Fort Wayne’s Spring 2020 program is accepting applications through March. For more information, click here.

Elevate Ventures Adds Entrepreneur-in-Residence

By News No Comments

New hire brings experience in life sciences, product development and new ventures to foster growth in northeast Indiana

October 16, 2019

Elevate Ventures today announced the hiring of a new Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) in northeast Indiana. Dan Meek will start on Nov. 4. Meek is experienced in seed stage and angel investing in the life science and digital health industries.

Dan Meek, Elevate Ventures’ new Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) in northeast Indiana

Meek most recently worked as president for his consulting practice, Seneca Business Ventures, a firm focused on providing strategic value to customers seeking to grow their business. Prior to that Meek was vice president of venture development and director of bioscience commercialization at Rev1 Ventures. At Rev1 Ventures, he led investments in companies spun out from institutions including OhioHealth, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University. Meek was also involved in creating investment funds at OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s.

“I am honored to join Elevate Ventures and excited by the northeast Indiana entrepreneurial community,” said Meek. “With the strong and committed resources in the region, Elevate Ventures and Elevate Northeast Indiana are positioned to achieve great outcomes in company formation, investment and growth. I look forward to moving to the region soon.”

Elevate Ventures and Elevate Northeast Indiana began their partnership in April 2017. The partnership encourages entrepreneurs, and nurtures emerging and existing businesses into high-performing companies. The region is composed of 11 counties.

Northeast Indiana Organizations Launch Website Hub

By News No Comments

Northeast Indiana Organizations Launch Website Hub

| Inside INdiana Business

October 3, 2019

A group of entrepreneur support organizations has launched a new platform to help businesses start and grow in northeast Indiana. The website, FuseNEI.com, was developed as a networking hub with the financial support of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., American Electric Power, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the Knight Foundation and SEED Fort Wayne.

FUSE NEI is an online resource hub and directory, designed to help entrepreneurs connect with Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) in Northeast Indiana.

FuseNEI.com is designed to connect founders and owners of local businesses to a network of resources. The site offers a searchable directory of 13 options that are specific to a need, whether it is business planning, funding or mentorship.

The Fuse calendar feature includes workshop options and other startup education opportunities.

The website’s partners say they designed the site to provide a focused and consistent voice to the region’s entrepreneurship movement.

 “We believe that the more people who have access to this type of information and resources, the more equitable the opportunities are for entrepreneurship,” said Director of SEED Fort Wayne Trois Hart. “Starting a business often runs in families, so where to go for information and help is baked into the startup effort. Providing everyone access to the strong ESO community brings us closer to what we call equitable entrepreneurship, which drives a lot of what we do as your local entrepreneur ecosystem.”

FuseNEI.com is being launched and supported by the following Northeast Indiana entrepreneur support organizations:

  • 1 Million Cups, John Richards
  • 1517 Fund, Nick Arnett
  • 212 at Artlink, Matt McClure
  • Believe in a Dream, Steve Franks
  • Brightpoint Development Fund, Sherry Early-Aden
  • Build Institute (powered by SEED), Trois Hart
  • Electric Works, Crystal Vann Wallstrom
  • Elevate Ventures, Erica Schweyer
  • Elevate Northeast Indiana, Marilyn Moran-Townsend
  • Fort Wayne Community Development Corp., Cheryl Blackman
  • Fortitude Fund, Steve Franks
  • Founders Spark, Aaron Robles
  • ISBDC, Wes Shie
  • Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Robert Warner
  • Junior Achievement, Lisa Kern
  • Ocean NEI, Ben Westfall
  • Own Your Success, Andie Hines
  • Penta Minority Entrepreneurship Center, Cozey Baker
  • SCORE, Mona Dewart
  • SEED Fort Wayne, Trois Hart
  • Start Fort Wayne, Dave Sanders
  • The Build Guild, Abraham S. Parra
  • The NIIC, Tammy Allen
  • The Workbench Fort Wayne, Jon Rehwaldt
  • WEOC, Leslee Hill
  • Wunderkammer, Dan Swartz

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Awards New Venture Champion

By News No Comments

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Awards New Venture Champion

| Inside INdiana Business

September 27, 2019

A Fort Wayne manufacturer that created a tool for CNC machining shops took home top honors from 2019 New Venture Competition, hosted by Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne. Matt Anderson, founder of Anderson Manufacturing Inc., received $20,000 for his business.

Anderson Manufacturing Inc. specializes in the design and manufacturing of a “holding solution” called the Sierra Jaw. Anderson says the jaw allows machine shops to begin the machining process right away without the need to design specialized and complicated fixtures to hold parts during the manufacturing.

Anderson says his device helps small to medium machine shops remain competitive against larger manufacturing companies.

Anderson says with the $20,000 the New Venture Competition, he can expand operations by increasing his marketing budget and purchasing equipment that can help increase production.

Matt Anderson, founder of Anderson Manufacturing. Photo credit: Ivy Tech Comm, College Fort Wayne

“It means everything to have won this competition,” says Anderson. “Everything about entrepreneurship is incredibly difficult, and it can feel like all the odds are against you. But to have people who are willing to fund your company and invest in the future of entrepreneurship is incredibly special.”

He started the company in May 2018. Since then, it has sold more than 300 sets of Sierra Jaws.

Anderson beat out two other finalists in the pitch competition including a video production company and a startup barbeque company.