June 22, 2018
INDIANAPOLIS — When PitchBook, the authority on data and analysis around the global venture capital landscape, published its 2017 rankings of investors and service providers, some findings were not surprising. For example, seven of the 10 most active venture capital firms in the world investing in angel- and seed-stage companies are based or have an office in California. And then there was this: Elevate Ventures ranked No. 10 on that same global list.
In 2017 the Indianapolis-based venture development organization invested in 26 Indiana companies during the earliest phases of their development. According to the “2017 Annual Global League Tables,” among investors in the Great Lakes region (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin), Elevate ranked No. 1 with 35 total investments made in 2017. Globally, Elevate also shared the No. 5 spot with five other firms for most active venture capital firm in healthcare devices and supplies (six investments in 2017).
While debate colors the conversation around access to funding in Indiana and the Midwest, Elevate is steadily fueling entrepreneurial ambition.
“Elevate is proving that there is capital available to, and being invested in, startup and scale-up companies in Indiana. This early-stage capital is also co-invested, or syndicated, with other capital sources, getting companies further down the pipeline,” says Kelly Schwedland, Elevate Ventures’ Entrepreneur-in-Residence serving the Central Indiana region. Since Elevate’s inception through the end of 2017, the organization has invested $70.5 million and leveraged $420.7 million in capital, disbursing funding to a total of 249 companies.
Elevate largely carries out its mission through strategic regional partnerships throughout Indiana. These partnerships create an expansive network of influential leaders and individuals dedicated to and engaged in entrepreneurial growth, support and investment. As a result, Elevate’s investment footprint has spread. In 2017, companies that received funding were headquartered around the entire state of Indiana, not just in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Representative examples include:
- Amplified Sciences, West Lafayette, Ind.
- APL nextED, Valparaiso, Ind.
- The Bee Corp, Bloomington, Ind.
- Confluence Pharmaceuticals, Carmel, Ind.
- Curvo Labs, Evansville, Ind.
- Nanovis, Columbia City, Ind.
- Oak Financial Software, South Bend, Ind.
Elevate CEO Chris LaMothe says the rankings help showcase the amount of investment and deal activity we have in our state on the global stage.
“Perhaps another example of Indiana quietly going about its business,” LaMothe says. “Elevate has been very active in pre-seed and seed stage investment. Very few organizations are willing to take that kind of risk — to be high velocity and high volume in terms of the number of companies we are backing. We have the opportunity to drive innovation and entrepreneurism throughout our state, we will continue to be aggressive doing so.”
In addition to establishing official regional partnerships, a longstanding relationship between Elevate and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) broadens the availability of services and opportunities to entrepreneurs in every part of the state.
“As a state, Indiana is committed to building a pro-growth business climate that encourages innovation and cultivates entrepreneurial ecosystems,” said IEDC President Elaine Bedel. “Through our partnership with Elevate Ventures, we are ensuring that Hoosier thought leaders have access to the resources and expert counseling needed to start and grow their dream businesses in Indiana.”
Founders seeking early-stage (angel and seed) funding like the kind Elevate ranked for globally are typically interested in completing product development and identifying their initial product-market fit. Often, they are not yet ready for their first institutional investment from professional venture capital firms, which is where Elevate fills a critical gap.
Companies qualifying for Elevate-managed funds must also fulfill a co-investment requirement. Elevate actively supports startup and early-stage companies to help them secure necessary funding from high-net-worth individuals, angel groups, venture capital firms and other sources.
Elevate’s co-investment requirement is important for two reasons. First, it encourages and allows for more capital sources to invest in early-stage companies in Indiana. This aligns with Elevate’s mission and helps the state of Indiana by drawing increased attention to Indiana’s venture ecosystem. Additionally, it provides market validation to the entrepreneur. A co-investment means that multiple investors are interested in the opportunity the company is pursuing. It also provides companies with better access to follow-on capital when it is needed, and gives them insight into additional resources as they grow.
In 2018, Elevate continues to grow its presence and impact across Indiana, in part by activating and nurturing innovative, entrepreneurial ecosystems through its growing network of regional partnerships. As a result, the organization expects the total number of investments it makes into Indiana companies at the seed, early and growth stages in 2018 to rank No. 1 in Elevate’s operating history.
ABOUT ELEVATE VENTURES
Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.
PitchBook is a financial data and software company that provides transparency into the capital markets to help professionals discover and execute opportunities with confidence and efficiency. PitchBook collects and analyzes detailed data on the entire venture capital, private equity and M&A landscape—including public and private companies, investors, funds, investments, exits and people. The company’s data and analysis are available through the PitchBook Platform, industry news and in-depth reports. Founded in 2007, PitchBook has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and London and serves nearly 15,000 professionals around the world. In 2016, Morningstar acquired PitchBook, which now operates as an independent subsidiary.