27 Oct IU Ventures appoints Kate Evinger, Kelley School alumna, new senior venture analyst
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — From an early age, Kate Evinger has expressed an eagerness for entrepreneurship, especially the process of using creativity and innovation to start a successful business enterprise.
“Instead of setting up the traditional lemonade stand in the neighborhood, I was the kid who decided to sell it door to door,” she says with a laugh.
Today, Evinger is the newest senior venture analyst for IU Ventures, Indiana University’s early stage venture and angel investment arm, where she hopes to pair a passion for entrepreneurship and loyalty to her alma matter with recent experience she’s acquired in the world of venture capital to help support and advance the business innovations of IU-affiliated founders.
“As soon as I met the team and learned more about the mission at IU Ventures, I felt right at home,” Evinger says. “This new role offers me an amazing opportunity to combine two activities I really love — venture and helping founders succeed with the IU tradition of Hoosiers finding creative ways to make the world a better place.”
Evinger earned a degree in finance, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation at IU’s Kelley School of Business in 2019. She has spent the past six years working in the field of venture capital, including for gener8tor, a nationally-ranked venture capital firm and accelerator with operations in several U.S. cities, including Madison, Wisc., Milwaukee and Minneapolis. During her time at gener8tor, which she joined in 2016 as a venture associate (she was later promoted to program manager and then, director), Evinger worked with 45 startup companies and helped to allocate more than $1.4 million in venture investments. For these efforts, she was honored as a two-time recipient of Minne Inno’s “Inno Under 25” award, given to the top young innovators and entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities.
In 2022, Evinger led the development and launch of a program for Houston-based sports-holding company Pokatok, an organization building the largest sports tech network and festival in the world, to help scale up Seed and Series A sports technology startups. As director of the Pokatok Labs program, Evinger created programming to provide participating companies with resources and access to investors, advisors and subject matter experts within the field of sports tech.
While working for gener8tor’s gBETA accelerator program in Houston, Evinger connected with Jason Whitney, chief venture officer at IU Ventures and executive director of the IU Angel Network. One of her earliest activities in support of IU Ventures’ mission was helping the Angel Network organize a successful “Hoosiers in Houston” event for founders and funders in the south-central U.S. with IU connections.
“Kate brings to IU Ventures demonstrated success in the venture capital industry, strong program and project management, a creative mind, and a keen eye for innovators ready to take their business to the next level,” Whitney said. “We’re extremely excited to have someone of Kate’s caliber and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship join our team, add to our list of portfolio companies, and further grow IU’s and Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Evinger says she’s excited to help IU-affiliated founders find connections to resources that can help them meet their business objectives, including financial investment, but also to fellow founders experiencing “some of the same pain points as they are.”
“Venture capital is vital, of course, but support doesn’t only come from a financial standpoint,” she says. “There’s also the community that comes from being part of the IU Angel Network and the IU Founders and Funders Network. There’s connecting with like-minded people within your industry who want to help you succeed. There’s meeting with other founders who can share best practices and talk about times when they may have failed or had to pivot.
“This is all part of the impact IU Ventures is having. For many founders, just knowing about the investments IU is willing to make in their ideas and the connections it’s creating … it’s a total game-changer.”
About IU Ventures
IU Ventures invests in and supports IU-affiliated early-stage companies. Its investment programs include the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, Shoebox Fund and Innovate Indiana Fund. It further supports IU founders through the Executive in Residence Program and IU Founders and Funders Network. Student support is provided through a variety of engagements, including the new IU Venture Fellows Program. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. IU Ventures is a recognized leader in increasing opportunities for diverse and historically underserved entrepreneurs and investing in Indiana startups with a shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.