IU Ventures honors three entrepreneurs with inaugural Spirit of Venture Award

IU Ventures

IU Ventures honors three entrepreneurs with inaugural Spirit of Venture Award


IU Ventures




IU Ventures honors three entrepreneurs with inaugural Spirit of Venture Award


BLOOMINGTON, IN IU Ventures has presented three Indiana University alumni with the inaugural Spirit of Venture Award. The award celebrates the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation across the entire IU community.

The award winners are Jackson Boyar, Co-founder and CEO of Mentor Collective; Cy Megnin, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Elevate Ventures; and Ting Gootee, Chief Investment Officer at Elevate Ventures. The winners were recognized for exhibiting success in entrepreneurship and innovation; providing mentorship and support to IU founders and funders; and demonstrating noteworthy philanthropy and service to IU.

The awards were presented during the inaugural IU Founders and Funders Network Venture Summit, which was held virtually on Oct. 21.

IU Ventures assists IU students, faculty, staff and alumni in work that advances high-potential new venture opportunities. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for the IU entrepreneurial community, investing to generate significant and long-lasting social and economic impact for IU, Indiana and the world

“This award is an outward symbol of our appreciation for the many contributions these three innovators and entrepreneurs have made in support of IU Ventures’ mission and in the success of IU-affiliated founders and funders,” said IU Ventures President and CEO Tony Armstrong. “It also conveys how grateful our team is for their continued partnership, their commitment to helping fellow entrepreneurs, and the contributions they are making to the cycle of innovation in the Hoosier state.”

The new award will be presented annually to IU founders and funders from the university’s faculty, staff, alumni or student body. Applications are conducted by nomination.

This year’s winners are members of IU’s ever-expanding Founders and Funders Network, an exclusive IU community that brings like-minded people together. Innovators and entrepreneurs find the industry experts and resources they need to strengthen and expand their business, while they and investors get access to IU’s startup community.

What the winners are saying:

“Indiana University was the spiritual catalyst to many stages of my entrepreneurial journey, and this award only further cements my gratitude to my alma mater. IU Ventures has been an authentic partner to Mentor Collective since investing in 2019, and I look forward to continuing the relationship as we bring social capital to millions of learners across the country.” — Jackson Boyar, Co-founder and CEO of Mentor Collective.

“Indiana University has a rich history of supporting innovation-driven startups and successful founders with IU DNA. As an IU alum, I am excited about IU Ventures’ focus on founders and funders in addition to its services to a broad contingency. To be able to add some value in my current venture investing role is a privilege. I am grateful for the recognition.” — Ting Gootee, Chief Investment Officer, Elevate Ventures.

“It has been a high point in my career to contribute to my alma mater as well as my hometown. To receive this recognition from two places I hold in such high regard is truly a great honor.” — Cy Megnin, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Elevate Ventures.

About IU Ventures

IU Ventures invests in and supports early-stage companies through three programs: the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, and IU Founders and Funders Network. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. In Indiana alone, IU Ventures made new and follow-on investments in 15 companies during 2020 and was recognized as one of the top three most active funds in the state. More than 50 percent of the companies in which IU Ventures has invested since 2018 have had women or minority founders, CEOs or other C-suite members.