13 Apr From Israel to Indiana: Activating IU’s global venture network
In just over a month, IU Ventures, Indiana University’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm, will host the second annual IU Founders & Funders Network Venture Summit. In addition to bringing together the best of IU’s startup community, this year’s two-day summit will reflect the national—and international—reach of the university’s rapidly expanding venture ecosystem.
Brian Rosenzweig will be one of featured speakers at the summit, which will be held May 18-19 at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. An IU alumnus with a double B.A. in Journalism and Jewish studies, he is a co-founder of Joule Ventures, a U.S.-based partner-only seed fund, which, for more than a decade, has been investing in Israeli-founded enterprise technology businesses. Founded in 2010, Joule, which bases operations in Tel Aviv, New York City and Atlanta, has around two dozen seed-stage, early-stage and later-stage portfolio companies specializing in big data, cybersecurity, the internet of things and other technology areas.
While Rosenzweig was brought up and educated in the U.S., he has spent most of his career working within Israel’s renowned venture investment market as both an investor and entrepreneur, helping Israel-based founding teams on their product-market fit, strategic partnership development and the aggressive pursuit of traction in key North American markets.
During the IU summit, he will join several other experienced fund managers on a “Funders Panel,” which will explore current venture capital trends, including lower valuations, stricter term sheets and an overall decline in VC funding returning to pre-pandemic levels. He and his fellow panelists will also seek to share insights into where the VC industry is headed. Jason Whitney, chief venture officer and executive director of the IU Angel Network, will moderate the panel.
For Rosenzweig, who lives in Atlanta, the summit is an opportunity to connect with and learn from like-minded innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, while also reflecting on how IU provided the foundation for his future success working with industry-leading technology enterprises.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been back on campus and certainly not since my career pivoted from marketing to venture capital many moons ago,” he says. “I’m looking forward to ‘paying homage,’ if you will, to a school that really gave me the building blocks to be successful as a supporter of and value-add to my portfolio companies. In addition, I have very fond memories of my four years at IU and am excited at the opportunity to return and see if and how the school and Bloomington have changed.”
In addition to representing the growth of IU’s global venture community, Rosenzweig will join several other conference attendees as examples of successful startup founders and funders who received their educations in non-business settings.
Prior to launching Joule, Rosenzweig worked in Israel as Director of Marketing for New York City-based venture fund 21Ventures, where he was responsible for developing and executing market entry and expansion strategies for the firm’s more than 45 portfolio companies.
“As a journalism major, IU helped hone my understanding of communications, which I leverage extensively in my day-to-day job supporting inbound Israeli startups transitioning into scalable American businesses.”
Registration for the summit, which is limited to 185 attendees, is now open on the IU Ventures website. Registration is $100 and includes all summit programming and special networking opportunities. IU Ventures will also offer a limited number of “first come, first served” full scholarships for current IU students to attend all Venture Summit activities.
Read a press release about the summit.