12 Jul IU Angel Network Makes Largest Investment to Date in SummaForte
CONTACT INFORMATION: IU Ventures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IU Angel Network Makes Largest Investment to Date in SummaForte
BLOOMINGTON, IN—The IU Angel Network announces a $460,000 investment in SummaForte, an innovative health and wellness company focused on the performance and recovery of professional gamers.
This investment, part of SummaForte’s current $2M seed round, is the largest made by the IU Angel Network to date and is the network’s second investment in SummaForte. The company is founded by IU alumni Jeff and Murtagh Thinnes, who are father-son team.
Michael Arnolt, an IU alumnus and foundational funder of The Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism in The IU Media School, is also re-investing in SummaForte this round.
“Last year when the IU Angels participated in our friends and family round, we were just an idea. Now, less than a year later, we have products on the market that people are buying. Our credibility has increased tenfold, and the investments along with it,” said Jeff Thinnes. “For startups like ours, having investors choose to renew their investments is a tremendous motivator and sign of belief in our team and our mission.”
“We are so excited to see what doors continue to open for us in the Bloomington area,” added Murtagh Thinnes. “Our family has deep roots in Indiana, which makes this a special state to build our business in. Every person who graduates wants to find a way to give back. It’s been special to get engaged with IU’s gaming community, especially as they strive to grow and compete with other nationally ranked collegiate e-sports programs.
“Gamers have many of the same strains that athletes have, and they are often neglected. We want to start conversations with clinicians and gamers alike about using products to mitigate existing injuries and prevent future ones.”
He added that while there are no shortage of companies in the market, the difference lies in the science behind SummaForte’s products. “There is still a vast amount of space for a science driven, high-quality brand in both the CBD and e-sports markets.”
Additional supporters of SummaForte are Ray Luther, Co-Director of the MBA Leadership Academy at the Kelley School of Business, who helped the company configuring their market approach, and Galen Clavio, Director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University, who helped provide access to his professional network.
“SummaForte is not just a company that has experienced tremendous growth in less than a year, but one that is paying that growth forward into the local Bloomington economy,” said Jason Whitney, executive director of the IU Angel Network and vice president of Venture Development at IU Ventures. “This investment on the part of the Angel Network reflects our confidence in SummaForte and in Bloomington as a viable home for startups to scale for international impact.”
“We are, all-around, a myth-busting company,” Jeff Thinnes said. “We are busting the myth that you can’t be healthy in e-sports, and that you can’t start a business as a family. We are so excited that as we make new hires, we get to introduce them to Bloomington and make them a part of this incredible community.”
“It wasn’t a blind hunch to launch here, since we are both alumni, but our wildest expectations have been exceeded by the support from the university,” he added. “It was a big move to sell the family house of 22 years and come to Bloomington to launch this business, but we knew quality was here at and around the university.”
Now, Jeff and Murtagh are hard at work recruiting world-class talent to move to Bloomington and support the next phase of expansion.