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July 17th, 2019

New Initiative geared toward Entrepreneurs and Higher Ed Institutions

Indianapolis — Elevate Ventures today launched a wide-ranging “higher-education pitch competition” to nurture Indiana companies and jobs of tomorrow.

Entrepreneurs collaborating through Elevate Ventures will work with higher education institutions throughout the state and have the opportunity to present business plans to panels of seasoned experts to receive funding as well as technical expertise.

“By creating a pitch competition of this magnitude, we hope to light up the public and private higher education system in our state to be catalysts in their communities for commercialization of innovation and entrepreneurship ideas,” said Elevate Ventures CEO Chris LaMothe. “This will unlock the abundance of talent and ideas in Indiana.”

A new program of Elevate Ventures called Elevate Nexus has been formed to operate the pitch competition. Elevate Nexus will be led by Jacob Schpok, an Elevate Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence who currently assists startup companies in Indianapolis and the Lafayette area prepare to receive venture capital investment.

Elevate Nexus will organize pitch competitions and guide colleges and universities with best practices as they develop programs to encourage entrepreneurship. Any higher education institution in Indiana is eligible to participate in Elevate Nexus.

Elevate Nexus is funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund (21 Fund). The 21 Fund, which promotes economic growth and innovation-driven public-private partnerships in Indiana, is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and managed by Elevate Ventures.

“By partnering with Indiana’s world-class university system, the state is helping foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fuels innovative ideas and technologies,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. “With the launch of Elevate Nexus, Indiana will build on regional efforts throughout the state to increase support and resources for entrepreneurs and high-growth startups, providing another outlet for communities to engage innovators and universities while driving economic growth.”

Elevate Ventures is a not-for-profit venture development organization providing investment funding and advice to businesses with potential to grow quickly and attract venture capital. PitchBook Data Inc. ranks Elevate Ventures the No. 11 in early stage investing activity globally, and as the most active venture capital fund in the Great Lakes Region in 2017 and 2018.

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