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Elevate Ventures Announces Five Winners of Elevate Nexus Pitch Competitions, Totaling $6.46M in Investments Since 2019

Indianapolis (October 2, 2023) – Elevate Ventures, a leader in U.S. venture capital, today announced that five Indiana-based startups have been awarded a total of $320,000 in investments as winners of the 2023 Elevate Nexus Statewide Pitch Competition.

Each of the five winners received a $100,000 seed or $40,000 pre-seed investment to propel them as they create high-growth businesses across the state. Representing a range of industries and Indiana communities, the winning companies also join Elevate’s venture development portfolio.

Winners of a $100,000 Seed Investment:

  • Laxis Inc., Newburgh, IN: AI SaaS company led by CEO Eric Xiao.
  • ReproHealth Technologies, Indianapolis: Agtech/Biotech device manufacturing company for cattle led by CEO Jim Donahue and associated with Purdue University.

Winners of a $40,000 Pre-Seed Investment:

  • HUMN Capital, West Lafayette: B2B SaaS human resources company led by CEO Angela Goldenstein and associated with Purdue University.
  • Kinga Safety Inc., South Bend, IN: Personal safety and edtech company led by Founder Ambrose Kamya and associated with the University of Notre Dame and enFocus Inc.
  • Soloist, Bloomington, IN: B2C music technology platform for musicians led by CEO Parker Busick and associated with Indiana University and The Dimension Mill.

(Quotes from the five winners appear below.)

“Elevate is proud to congratulate these five outstanding founders, and we’re excited to watch them pursue their next big milestones,” said Landon Young, who leads the Elevate Nexus program and is the Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Programming at Elevate Ventures.

Applications for the 2023 statewide competition were open to companies that had won an Elevate Nexus competition at the regional level. Twelve regional winners competed in the statewide competition, held on August 29, 2023, during Rally, a cross-sector innovation conference in Indianapolis.

Since 2019, Elevate Nexus Pitch Competitions have awarded $6.46M to 138 Indiana companies, with 14 receiving follow-on investments.

Elevate Nexus is funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund (21 Fund). Several grant and investment programs managed by Elevate Ventures, including Elevate Nexus, are supported by the 21 Fund under the Indiana Economic Development Corp.


“At Laxis, we are dedicated to bringing AI and automation to sales teams to increase productivity and accelerate growth. With this win under our belt, we’re even better equipped to roll out exciting AI features and reach our next milestones.”  — Eric Xiao, CEO, Laxis Inc.

“We are so grateful to Elevate Ventures for their continued support and partnership in our effort to build the best personal safety application on the market. Building a company from the ground up is a difficult journey. Consistent funding and mentorship are critical to the start-up process. The Elevate investment will be used to continue development of the Kinga app, which is designed to empower women and prevent assault.” — Ambrose Kamya, Founder, Kinga Safety Inc.

“This investment enables us to launch our MVP! We’re building AI-powered manager coaching, to maximize team productivity. We’re thankful for Elevate Venture’s support and this continued funding is critical as we expand our customer pilots!” — Angela Goldenstein, Founder, HUMN Capital

“Our team was very excited to participate in the Elevate Nexus Statewide Competition along with other great Indiana Startups.  Winning the regional and then statewide awards allows us to expand our runway and product development. Additionally, other investors are very impressed that Elevate has made such a substantial investment.” — Jim Donahue, CEO, ReproHealth Technologies

“With the NEXUS regional prize, we were empowered to hire rockstar developers to build out our beta. With continued funding from NEXUS statewide, we now have the essential funds needed to forge beyond a beta version and into a market-ready product. Thanks, Elevate!” — Parker Busick, Founder, Soloist