Indiana recently reached a milestone that should serve as cause for celebration and an indication of how our state should look to continue accelerating its economic growth.
According to Elevate Ventures’ 2021 Indiana Venture Report, a year-end assessment of Hoosier State venture investment activity, Indiana has surpassed $1 billion in venture capital investment for the first time. Overall, Indiana’s leading VC firms invest in high-potential, early-stage companies in our state and help those companies grow their businesses, enhance their products and services, and create quality jobs. help has been received.
In the Great Lakes region, Indiana lags only behind Illinois in venture capital deals, reporting 159 investment deals totaling $1.4 billion. This sum represents an increase of 186% over the previous year and exceeds the combined investments made in our country in 2019 and 2020.
These numbers mean more high-potential, high-growth Hoosier companies are gaining the capital, connections, knowledge, mentoring and other critical resources they need to grow their businesses at a critical stage in their growth. They also demonstrate Indiana’s continued resilience to dramatic market forces — many of the state’s early-stage companies have sustained their operations during the pandemic, and as such remain extremely attractive destinations for investors.
Additionally, these numbers show the strength of two of our state’s most important industrial sectors: high-tech business-to-business, which attracted nearly $1 billion in venture capital investment in 2021, and life sciences, which helped the state raise another $342 million. add dollars. Total investment of the last year.
All of this is a testament to our state’s dedicated efforts to support the growth path of new and emerging businesses, build a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and uncover the favorable conditions that await these entrepreneurs. who choose to pursue their business innovations here in Hoosier State. ,
Indiana’s key assets include its major research universities, including Indiana University, Notre Dame, and Purdue University. Faculty and students at these schools are actively conducting world-class research in areas such as artificial intelligence, cancer, cyber and national security, neuroscience, environmental sustainability, and social science—that is, improving life, Indiana’s economy. Build and strengthen communities. across our state.
Importantly, our universities also become increasingly involved in the innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors of our faculty, staff, students and alumni around the world. IU has an early-stage venture and angel investment arm, IU Ventures, that helps members of the university’s global community accelerate their ideas and innovations.
IU Ventures, one of Indiana’s most active venture capital firms according to the Indiana Venture Report, also works to grow IU and the state’s entrepreneurial culture through initiatives such as the IU Founders and Funders Network, a community that supports IU. Brings connected entrepreneurs, innovators together. and connects investors and financiers with intelligent investment opportunities.
Of course, the strength of the Hoosier economy will continue to depend largely on the success of established companies like Cook Group, Cummins Inc., Eli Lilly & Company, Indiana University Health, and Naval Support Activity Crane. We also know that not all new ventures will be successful; According to the latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost one in five businesses nationwide fails within the first year.
But new ventures can produce new talent, new ideas, and new products and services that have the potential to dramatically change lives. Some of our state’s startup companies may even become household names one day as they continue to expand, innovate, and bring more bright minds to the Midwest.
If we do it the right way, we can build something very special here – an innovation economy, fueled in part by venture capital investments, that will transform the way we work across our country. Creates quality jobs for highly skilled Hoosiers and ensures a brighter future. All who call Indiana home.•
Armstrong is CEO of IU Ventures.