The Leighton Elevate Angel Development (LEAD) Fund

Preparing startups in the South Bend-Elkhart region for exponential growth

Key information & criteria


Up to $200K


  • Access to additional funding and resources
  • Potential access to helpful connections in your community
  • Access to additional Elevate initiatives
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence services


  • Headquartered within Elkhart, St. Joseph, or Marshall counties
  • Minimum viable product (MVP) or pilot program established*
  • Must either be in discussions or already have angel investment
*Not required for Life Sciences companies

What to expect after applying

Meet with EIR

Connect with Nicholas Kuhn, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Elevate Ventures, and submit an application. Nicholas will execute the initial vetting process.

Present to committee

The LEAD Fund investment committee will evaluate if you are a fit and provide a recommendation for investment.

Due diligence

We will work with you to complete our due diligence process.

Final review & closing

The LEAD Fund investment committee will then review the recommendation and decide whether to approve it for closing.

Ongoing reporting

Once finalized, you are responsible for providing quarterly reports to Elevate while receiving portfolio-company benefits.

Apply for the LEAD Fund

Elevate Ventures - Application

Please use the form below to apply for the LEAD Fund.
As filed or planned to be filed with the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. If your company does not currently have a name, please enter your first and last name 
Qualifying Question
General eligibility requirements:
  • Has 500 or fewer employees 
  • Has its headquarters in the State of Indiana or has committed to, or is in the process of, initiating, expanding and/or consolidating operations in the State of Indiana 
  • Is primarily focused on the commercialization of research and development, technology transfer, the application of new technology, or is determined by Elevate Advisors to have significant potential to: 
    • Bring substantial capital into Indiana 
    • Create jobs or 
    • Diversify the business base of Indiana 
    • Generate eventual financial returns 
  • Has, or will have at least fifty percent (50%) of its employees residing in Indiana, or seventy-five percent (75%) of its assets located in Indiana 
  • Has had average annual revenues less than fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) in its two (2) most recent fiscal years and 
  • Is not engaged in a business involving real estate, real estate development, insurance, professional services provided by an accountant or a lawyer or a physician, retail sales (except when the primary purpose of the business is the development or support of electronic commerce using the internet), or oil and gas exploration
Company Information

NAICS codes are 6 digit numbers. You can look them up here
Please upload an Executive Summary of your grant application.  Please provide the following information in your executive summary: 

1) Briefly describe your product, service, or idea 
2) Describe any intellectual property surrounding your idea, including patent filling status 
3) Summary of how you have funded your company to-date 
4) Summary of what you have accomplished with your idea to-date 
5) Amount of grant requested ($5K - $20K) with a definition of use, including specifying an outcome or milestone that you will achieve with the money and an expected completion date

If you have other documents such as investor presentations, financial models, or collateral materials you think would be helpful to us in reviewing your application, please upload them here. 

For each document, click the Choose File button and click the Upload button.