INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2020) — Elevate Ventures, through its Elevate Nexus program, has awarded a total of $320,000 in pre-seed and seed funding to five Indiana startups.
The winners were chosen from 29 finalists that competed in the inaugural Elevate Nexus Statewide Pitch Competition, which was held virtually on May 19. The finalists were invited to compete after winning regional pitch competitions in October 2019 and February 2020.
“All five companies showed us how they used their Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition awards to advance their companies and were good stewards of Elevate’s initial investments,” said Jacob Schpok, Executive Director of University Initiatives at Elevate Ventures. “We’re excited to reinvest with statewide awards and continue to support their world-changing startups.”
Pre-Seed ($40,000 investment)
- Multiscale Integrated Technology Solutions LLC, Indianapolis, created a practical method to enhance interlaminar shear strength of carbon fiber prepregs leading to 20% stronger composite structures. The technology has recently been adapted for the manufacturing of Copper Oxide enhanced filters for the COVID-19 virus.
- Lumen Bio LLC, South Bend, seeks to use its patented technology to create a weight management product for overweight companion animals. Lumen Bio’s product offers a scientifically-backed solution that will help pet owners and veterinarians improve the lives of overweight pets.
- Endless Eyewear Inc., Evansville, is a subscription-rental eyewear program providing affordable access to luxury sunglasses for fashion-loving millennial customers.
Seed ($100,000 investment)
- HySonic Technologies LLC, West Lafayette, specializes in developing computational models to simulate flow problems of interest to the defense industry; in the field of hypersonic and supersonic flow, high-speed turbulence and aeroacoustics.
- Spirrow Therapeutics LLC, West Lafayette, developed a first-in-kind therapeutic to treat respiratory distress syndrome. Often described as “like drowning from within,” the condition has a wide range of causes, most notably the COVID-19 virus.
Each year Elevate Nexus hosts seven pitch competitions and awards Indiana startups $1,640,000 in investments. All investments include a 10% match that’s allocated to an impactful higher-education institution and/or Indiana non-profit organization.
“Elevate Ventures has played a critical role in Spirrow’s early stage development,” said Davis Arick, co-founder and CEO of Spirrow Therapeutics. “This seed award will allow us to complete the remaining proof-of-concept work on our patented technology that we hope will one day become a first-in-kind therapeutic for respiratory distress syndrome.”
The Elevate Nexus program launched in July 2019 to support startups by connecting and investing in entrepreneurs, higher education institutions, and communities. Twenty-nine of the 49 higher-education institutions throughout Indiana are engaged with Nexus.
Elevate Nexus is funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund (21 Fund). The 21 Fund, which promotes economic growth and innovation-driven public-private partnerships in Indiana, is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and managed by Elevate Ventures.