ELKHART — Area entrepreneurs have a shot at grants of up to $25,000 to help incubate their business ideas, part of a round of $100,000 in grant funding for this region from Elevate Ventures.
“These grants are a way to catalyze the entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout Indiana by developing qualified high-potential opportunities into commercially viable growth companies that attract follow-on investment,” said Kregg Kiel, Elevate Ventures entrepreneur-in-residence in this area. “Our ultimate goal is to develop the North Central Indiana entrepreneurial ecosystem into a major driver of economic growth and prosperity.”
The venture development organization’s High Potential Start-up Grants are unique in that they are available only to pre-revenue companies still in the “ideation” or “incubation” stage.
The organization expects to award six to seven grants in north-central Indiana this year, giving funding to high potential early-stage ideas that lack the evidence, measurable outcomes or milestones that would make them attractive to investors. Grant funding makes it possible for these companies to generate the data they need as proof points to their potential for success.
Elevate also provides business analysis and advisory services and works with entrepreneurs to help them get interest from private investors.
Shawn Peterson, head of the region’s Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth, said, “Our region has people who everyday create new products or business models that could be successful in the marketplace. Sometimes patent costs, market validation expenses, or prototype development can inhibit them from taking that next step to growing their business. Our community now has resources, through Elevate Ventures, to advance the best of those ideas. We hope that these resources will inspire new entrepreneurs to take the plunge and create a better future for our community.”
Kiel said Elevate Ventures “exists to help emerging, high-potential business opportunities find capital and receive expert guidance to become successful Indiana companies. Success breeds success, and as more entrepreneurial companies attract investment, bring new products to the market and provide new jobs, everyone benefits.”
Application information is available at www.elevateventures.com/apply/reap.