09 Feb Venture summit to bring together IU’s global network of innovators, entrepreneurs
Annual two-day event to feature “fireside chats” with Coach Tom Allen, IU Athletic Director Scott Dolson, “iconic” entrepreneur Scott Dorsey, leaders of IU’s NIL movement, newest Spirit of Venture Award-winners and more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University-affiliated entrepreneurs, innovators and investors who are driving economic growth in the Midwest U.S. and beyond through the development of venture capital-backed businesses will return to the IU Bloomington campus this spring for new annual summit hosted by IU Ventures, the university’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm.
The IU Founders & Funders Network Venture Summit, which will be held May 18-19 at the Indiana Memorial Union, will bring together the best of IU’s startup community and provide its members with the opportunity to find industry experts, educational content, talent, investor partnerships, mentorship and other resources they need to advance their businesses.
This year’s attendees will also be treated to two “Fireside Chats.” The first will feature IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson with Tom Allen, IU head football coach and 2020 American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. The second will spotlight IU alumnus and one of the university’s “iconic” entrepreneurs Scott Dorsey. Dorsey is managing partner at High Alpha of Indianapolis, a leading venture studio that conceives, launches and scales next generation enterprise cloud companies. Todd Richardson, CHRO and VP of HR at IU, and former Executive Vice President at Exact Target and then Salesforce, will moderate the session with Dorsey.
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.
“IU Ventures is excited to build off the success of last year’s Venture Summit, which saw the most passionate and supportive members of IU’s ever-expanding global venture network embrace the opportunity to connect, build and learn from one another,” said IU Ventures President and CEO Tony Armstrong. “These are some of the best and brightest minds from Indiana and beyond who are committed to advancing high-potential ideas and innovations — with the enthusiastic support of venture investors — that lead to the creation of quality jobs, new technologies, new therapies and treatments, and other major benefits for their communities.”
Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank and a leading financial resource to innovative companies nationwide, will once again sponsor the summit. Other summit sponsors include Human Capital Concepts, The Mill, Engineered Innovation Group, Gutwein Law and Wrigley Media Group.
As part of the summit, IU Ventures will host a lunch featuring presentations from two leaders in IU’s name, image and likeness arena, Tyler Harris and Collin Hartman. Harris is the executive director of Hoosiers for Good, a nonprofit organization established last year to raise awareness for charitable causes throughout Indiana by partnering local charities with community-minded Hoosier student athletes. He and Hartman, a five-year letter winner at IU as a member of the men’s basketball team, also lead the Indiana nonprofit Hoosiers Connect, which helps facilitate sponsorship agreements between commercial brands and IU athletes.
During the lunch, IU Ventures will announce the newest recipients of the Spirit of Venture Award, which is given annually to members of IU’s network of founders and funders who exhibit success in entrepreneurship and innovation, provide mentorship and support to IU-affiliated founders and funders, and demonstrate noteworthy philanthropy and service to IU.
This year’s summit will include two “startup showcases” featuring the leaders of several successful IU-affiliated startups, as well as a panel session with experienced venture founders who will explore such topics as finding product market fit, developing a minimally viable product, corporate governance and the importance of failing fast.
Activities at the summit will spotlight several of IU Ventures’ key investment initiatives to support early-stage startup activity. These include:
- the IU Angel Network, which connects qualified investors with an IU affiliation to early-stage startups led by members of the IU community;
- the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, which bridges the gap in startup funding by making equity investments in high-potential early-stage companies with IU affiliations;
- and the Shoebox Fund, which supports student startups that have been built in the startup incubator known as the Shoebox within the Shoemaker Innovation Center at the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.
On Thursday, May 18, attendees will have the opportunity to tour The Mill, southern Indiana’s startup leader and largest coworking space, IU’s recently renovated Memorial Stadium and participate in a networking event at Nick’s English Hut, one of Bloomington’s famed restaurant traditions.
More on these events, as well as information about registration, travel and lodging, and the benefits of attending the summit, can be found on the IU Ventures website.
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.