Back to Blog October 29, 2018 in

MVCA Outreach Trip: Connecting with the growing investment community in Indianapolis!

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Each year, the MVCA team travels to emerging entrepreneurial communities across the country to meet with venture firms to share the exciting activity happening in Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community and help coordinate Immersion Days for those who are interested in investing and working in Michigan. Because every dollar invested in a Michigan startup by a Michigan-based venture capital firm attracts $3.83 of investment from outside of Michigan, these outreach trips are an effective way to bridge connections between out-of-state partners and Michigan venture capital firms to bring more capital to the state.  This October, MVCA continued to strengthen its connections throughout the Midwest by traveling to Indianapolis, Indiana for the inaugural event of INfuze Indiana.

Scott McCorkle (High Alpha) and Maureen Miller Brosnan (MVCA)

While in Indianapolis, Brosnan met Oscar Morales and Ben Pidgeon of VisionTech Partners, Indiana’s largest angel investment group. During a visit to the Indianapolis Monument Mall, she stopped by the offices of High Alpha to see Entrepreneur in Residence, Scott McCorkle. High Alpha Capital invests in High Alpha Studio companies and other emerging enterprise cloud companies. The combination of High Alpha Studio and High Alpha Capital represents a new model for entrepreneurship that seeks to help highcompanies reduce friction, increase velocity, and achieve enterprise scale.

INfuze Indiana serves startups by bringing awareness to Indiana’s entrepreneurial and investment community on state, regional and national levels. The event took place at Indianapolis’s premier tech center, the Union 525 and attracted well over 350 attendees.  Experienced venture capitalist, Jane Martin, keynoted the event.  Jane Martin, CFA, an experienced venture capitalist who has managed funds in Chicago (Allstate), Silicon Valley (USVP), and Village Venture’s Spring Mill Fund in Indianapolis. She is on several non-profit boards and focuses on philanthropy and social venture capital investments.  Other speakers included MVCA member Don Aquilano (Allos Ventures), Ellie Symes (The Bee Corp), and Jeff Ready (Scale Computing).

Don Aquilano, Ellie Symes, Jeff Ready and Jane Martin.

Like most of the Midwest, Indiana is seeing rapid growth and maturing of their entrepreneurial and investment community.  In a review of the 2018 Indianapolis Tech Census Report – Ideas, Capital & Talent, Don Aquilano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Allos Vetures, noted, “The Indianapolis startup activity is much healthier now than it was five, ten and 15 years ago, and the quality is better. You now have experienced entrepreneurs that are into their second or third ventures. There are better companies launching.”

While there is growth in the city’s startup activity, Aquilano mentions that there is room for improvement and notes similar to trends we are witnessing in Michigan. “There are plenty of great, venture-ready companies in Indiana. Absolutely a surplus relative to the capital available. We estimate there’s probably $250M plus in capital needs from Seed through Series B alone,” he added. According to the 2018 Indianapolis Tech Census Report, 52.7% of technology founders have struggled to raise adequate capital to fund their business in the state of Indiana.

While in Indianapolis, Brosnan also met with Chris LaMonthe and Phil Lodato (Elevate Ventures), Ed Torres (Found & Managing Director, Lilly Ventures), Aaron Gillum (Senior Vice President, 50 South Capital).  50 South Capital manages the Next Level Fund, a statewide $250 million Fund of Funds launched to encourage additional investment in Indiana’s high-tech entrepreneurial community.

“With firms such as Elevate Ventures, Lilly Ventures and 50 South Capital, the entrepreneurial and investment community in Indiana is looking very exciting,” added Brosnan. “Continuing our outreach initiatives across the region allows us to sustain a vibrant venture investment community that will be advantageous to Michigan in the long run.”

To connect with any of these venture firms, please feel free to contact Maureen Miller Brosnan ([email protected]) and we’ll make an introduction! Additionally, you can view their contact information on our interactive Landscape Map!

Thank you to all venture firms and organizations who met with MVCA in Indianapolis!