This week, IU Ventures, Indiana University’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm, will continue its mission of actively connecting new venture founders and funders from around Indiana and beyond. It will do so during one of the busiest weeks of innovation in the Hoosier state.
Back-to-back-to-back major events in Indianapolis, which will be held tomorrow and Thursday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, will introduce high-potential Hoosier startups to prospective investors. IU Ventures will join several partner firms at the events in serving Indiana’s goals to support and advance new business innovation and further the development of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The series of events, collectively called “(Ind)Venture,” includes a venture capital summit, an innovation showcase and pitch contest, and a networking event for founders and investors. None of these events are new; they had previously existed as standalone events. But this year, the organizations driving them decided to team up to spotlight the best of Indiana innovation and entrepreneurship more effectively to leading venture capitalists.
“This week’s events are providing an expanded opportunity to showcase some of the best new startups in Indiana and creating networking opportunities for investors so that we can continue to share up-and-coming deals with out-of-state investors beyond what they may see this week,” said Jason Whitney, chief venture officer at IU Ventures and executive director of the IU Angel Network. “Garnering the attention of those out-of-state investors is an important piece of our ever-expanding startup ecosystem.”
The events include:
- The 2022 Next Level Fund Annual Summit, which will be held on Aug. 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the corporate campus of The Heritage Group. The event, which includes a keynote address from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, will include programming featuring founders and management teams of innovative venture-backed companies as well as leading venture capitalists that invest in these companies.
- The 2022 Innovation Showcase, which will be hosted by the Venture Club of Indiana, Aug. 31 from 11:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Heritage Group. The event will feature pitches from 21 Indiana-based ventures, each of which has already attracted some investment, competing for a total of $20,000 in prize money. IU Ventures is one of the nominating Indiana investors, and the IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI a showcase sponsor at this year’s event, which includes a lunch and expo, as well as a talk by Brad Chambers, Indiana secretary of commerce, CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Kelley School alumnus. Samantha Ginther, former senior associate at IU Ventures and current member of IU Ventures’ new Executive in Residence Program, will moderate a panel at the showcase.
- A VC Speed Dating event, which will be hosted by nonprofit growth accelerator TechPoint on Sept. 1, following a social networking breakfast (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) at the Biltwell Event Center. The event will enable short meetings among investors and entrepreneurs seeking support for high-potential ventures. IU Ventures recently hosted a Founders & Funders Networking event featuring TechPoint President and CEO Mike Langellier, who introduced members of the IU Ventures network to several programs, including the Speed Dating, that can help advance their new ideas and innovations.
Earlier this year, IU Ventures was once again recognized as one of Indiana’s most active professional investors in the annual Indiana Venture Report from Elevate Ventures. IU Ventures, which manages multiple early-stage funds to support IU-affiliated entrepreneurs, made investments in nine Indiana companies totaling $1.2 million in 2021, adding to a growing portfolio that includes around two dozen Indiana companies.
News of the rankings came just after IU Ventures hosted the IU Founders & Funders Network Venture Summit at IU Bloomington, which brought together leading IU-affiliated entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and others driving the development of the university’s global venture ecosystem. The summit was sponsored by Innovate Indiana and presented in partnership with Bridge Bank.
More about IU Ventures is available online.