Tech Accelerator Takes Off in The Region

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A new accelerator designed to prepare early-stage technology startups for investment has launched in northwest Indiana. Elevate Ventures Entrepreneur-in-Residence Kelly Schwedland is overseeing the NWI Tech Foundry in Valparaiso and says it could serve as a model for other efforts throughout the state. The 13-week accelerator includes seed money and mentorship assistance. Six companies are in the inaugural class. Schwedland says the program aims to "catalyze" partnerships among startups and existing businesses in the region.

September 25, 2014

News Release

VALPARAISO, Ind. - Indiana-based venture development firm Elevate Ventures has announced the first six companies that will take part in the NWI Tech Foundry (http://techfoundry.org), a 13-week, mentor-driven accelerator program for 2014.

The accelerator program, organized and operated by Elevate Ventures, seeks to aid the growth of high-potential tech-oriented businesses in Northwest Indiana by focusing on three key areas: Money, Mentors and Movement. Begun as a part of the Regional Entrepreneurship Action Plan supported by regional partners and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the accelerator is built around a formal program based on the lean startup methodology and best practices. Participating startups receive seed capital, mentorship and assistance, with the goal of launching high-potential businesses prime for investment by the end of the program.

Competition for inclusion in the inaugural class was robust. "We were excited by the quality of responses to our call for applicants," said Kelly Schwedland, Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Elevate Ventures who oversees the Tech Foundry's operations. "We received dozens of applications from founders with deep domain expertise, and we are confident that this will be a fantastic group of founders to work with."

The following companies will take part in the NWI Tech Foundry for 2014:

-Adjunct Professor Link (http://adjunctprofessorlink.com) - connects adjunct instructors with higher education institutions.

-Ananse Health (http://AnanseHealth.com) - provides a means for professional healthcare providers to easily receive accurate and complete patient information across networks.

-AssureTech (http://www.assuretechinc.com) - provides mobile technology protection especially for devices of school age children.

-GoYodel (https://goyodel.com/) - a platform that enables connection and collaboration between businesses and non-profits to drive reach and revenue.

-OnePlaceNow (http://www.oneplacenow.com) - a Software-as-a-Service application that provides real-time health data to caregivers in schools and daycare facilities.

-Rockzip (http://www.rockzip.com) - an efficient provider of robust, long duration high balloons (high-altitude balloons) serving Telecom, Research, and Education.

The IEDC initiated the Tech Foundry through partnership with Elevate Ventures.

Several local organizations have also contributed, including the City of Valparaiso, the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation, the Porter County Economic Development Alliance, NIPSCO, and1st Source Bank as well as service providers like NITCO Fiber and BakedFinn's biziports.

"We are excited to work with the State of Indiana and Elevate Ventures to bring the NWI Tech Foundry accelerator program to Valparaiso," said Patrick Lyp, Economic Development Director for the City of Valparaiso and Vice-President of the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation. "With today's growth in high paying jobs coming from Information and Communication Technology companies, the City wants to encourage these future businesses to locate and grow within our community and region."

ABOUT ELEVATE VENTURES

Elevate Ventures nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-potential businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. To learn more about its team and funds under management, visit elevateventures.com.

Source: Elevate Ventures