Region Secures $3 million for entrepreneurship

September 21, 2012

MCEDC

ELKHART, INDIANA, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012. – The Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) announced today that North Central Indiana has secured three million dollars to support entrepreneurship and venture development in the region.

Leading businesses and institutions from throughout the region are committing $1 million to fund the Regional Entrepreneurial Action Plan (REAP). The $1 million commitment will be matched by a $2 million investment by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). This funding will be provided to Elevate Ventures, a venture development organization, to provide services to entrepreneurs in Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph counties.

CPEG President and CEO Shawn Peterson led the fundraising effort in the region. “By raising the $1 million, our community confirmed its commitment to local entrepreneurs whose companies have high growth potential,” says Peterson. “I want to thank our donors for their leadership and vision in supporting Elevate Ventures. Together, we look forward to watching our local entrepreneurs build and expand their businesses in North Central Indiana.”

Contributors in North Central Indiana include the 1st Source Foundation, CB Richard Ellis, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, Crowe Horwath LLP, the Elkhart County Community Foundation, Elkhart General Hospital, Key Bank, Lake City Bank, McGladrey LLP, Memorial Hospital and Health System, Mutual Bank, NIPSCO, Old National Bank, StepStone Angels – Warsaw, the University of Notre Dame, and an anonymous donor.

“This is an important step to increasing the number of entrepreneurial companies in northern Indiana, a region that has consistently demonstrated a new level of engagement and commitment to promoting innovation. We are proud to continue to support Elevate Ventures’ initiatives to catalyze new job growth in the region and further solidify Indiana’s reputation as a place where pioneering ideas can develop into the next great company,” says Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

This new commitment follows the $75,000 investment made by CPEG, Magnet Investors and OrthoWorx to Elevate for its initial phase of services. During this phase, Elevate Ventures improved deal-flow from Northern Indiana to 40% of the State’s total and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR’s) in North Central provided over 80 companies with thousands of hours of entrepreneurial advisory services. Elevate Ventures also enabled 25 second-stage companies, located in North Central, to participate in strategic positioning services, called Economic Gardening, through a partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation. Elevate’s EIR’s established “Pitch Night” in partnership with Innovation Park at the University of Notre Dame to help prepare entrepreneurs to present their business plans and raise money. Finally, the organization helped three ventures secure angel funding of over $700,000 with two more under consideration.

“Elevate Ventures has demonstrated its ability to enhance deal flow in Northern Indiana and has positioned itself as a leader in the effort to build a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region” says Pete McCown, President of the Elkhart County Community Foundation.

The $3 million will make it possible for Elevate Ventures to launch a significant portion of the three-year, Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan (REAP) in October. “We value our partners and team in North Central Indiana, which has made our initial phase a resounding success, says Elevate CEO, Stephen Hourigan, “We look forward to further engaging the entrepreneurial community and expanding our efforts in the coming weeks.”

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Editor’s Note:   CPEG & Elevate Ventures are two organizations that Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) partners with to assist Marshall County businesses. 

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