Toggle Navigation
Toggle Navigation

New Entrepreneurial Initiative Unveiled in South Central Indiana

December 6, 2018

Bloomington, Columbus, and Elevate Ventures join forces to introduce Velocities, a partnership to boost innovation across region

COLUMBUS and BLOOMINGTON, IND. — Elevate Ventures, along with Dimension Mill and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, today established a new partnership to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation across the region. Formally named Velocities, the partnership is designed to accelerate innovation in South Central, Ind. over the next three years by developing an entrepreneurship-minded culture and infrastructure. The Velocities partnership is backed by a robust board and a wide range of regional funders.

The terms of the agreement, totaling up to $2.5 million, includes up to a $1.5 million contribution by Elevate Ventures and a $1 million combined contribution from Bloomington and Columbus. The funding will support entrepreneurial activities designed to endure beyond the initial term of the partnership. Initiatives will include investments in local high-potential and high-growth businesses, portfolio services, educational events for entrepreneurs and investors, marketing support, business coaching, access to professional resources, a dedicated Entrepreneur-in-Residence and more.

“Tomorrow’s successful communities and regions will be those where there is a deep culture of entrepreneurism and innovation,” says Chris LaMothe, Elevate Ventures CEO. “In South Central Indiana, we will work in fueling entrepreneurs in building successful companies. These entrepreneurs can create opportunities for a rich choice of high-skill, high-wage careers and these communities can help enable the region’s ability to attract and retain high quality talent.”

The Velocities board is comprised of:

  • Lynn Coyne, President of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation
  • Pat East, Co-Founder and CEO of Hanapin Marketing and Executive Director of Dimension Mill
  • Cindy Frey, President of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Dave Glass, CEO of LHP Engineering Solutions
  • Rick Johnson, Jr., President and CEO of Johnson Ventures Inc.
  • Chris LaMothe, CEO of Elevate Ventures
  • Jane Martin, Retired Venture Capitalist

In addition, Velocities is backed by a wide range of institutional and individual funders in the region, including Bloomington Economic Development Corporation, City of Columbus, Cook Group, Cornerstone Information Systems, Duke Energy Foundation, Envisage Technologies, First Financial Bank, German American Bank, Hanapin Marketing, Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, Indiana University, Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington, Jane Martin, Johnson Ventures, Old National Bank, Secretly, Tecumseh Capital Partners, Tom and Barbara Schoellkopf, Upland Brewing and Pete and Janelle Yonkman.

“Velocities will open doors for innovators and entrepreneurs in the region by bringing together accessible capital, talent and education that was not previously available,” Dave Glass, Chairman of the Board for Velocities says.  “Ultimately, innovation will drive our region forward. This partnership is pivotal in accelerating that mindset in Bloomington and Columbus, and collectively we’re thrilled to be partnering with first-class organizations to fuel a culture of entrepreneurship.”

While each regional partnership is tailored to the community’s assets, needs, business base, education ecosystem and other factors, Elevate Ventures’ regional partnerships are all designed to address some common, statewide challenges that are preventing regions from thriving. Those challenges include the following:

  • A shortage of regional networks of leaders and entrepreneurs jointly focused on growing entrepreneurship and innovation
  • A lack of access to later-stage funding for potential high-growth businesses
  • The exit of young talent to other states
  • A need for public and private universities to aggressively engage in entrepreneurship and innovation in their communities
  • The absence of a bold, well-supported plan around which stakeholders can rally

To learn more about Velocities visit


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

About Dimension Mill
Dimension Mill is 19,000 square feet of coworking and business incubator space located in the Trades District of downtown Bloomington, Indiana. Dimension Mill has been producing events and programming to support the technology and innovation community since summer 2017. Operating as a 501(c)(3), Dimension Mill’s purpose is to build the infrastructure that entrepreneurs need to succeed.

About Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce
Columbus, Indiana ranks consistently in the Top 10 Best Performing Small Cities for High-Tech GDP and Job Growth. It is home to four corporate North American research and development centers, and is one of 24 nationally recognized Talent Hubs. The Columbus Chamber works diligently to create and foster a regional business climate in which entrepreneurship thrives.