Yoder: VC Firms 'Hunger' to Invest in Indiana

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(Image courtesy of Lessonly) (Image courtesy of Lessonly)
INDIANAPOLIS -

On the heels of his company announcing an $8 million investment round, Lessonly Inc. Chief Executive Officer Max Yoder believes more venture capital will come Indiana's way. Yoder says it will take the continued launch of Hoosier businesses "with solid fundamentals" to boost what has traditionally been light interest from VC firms. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Yoder pointed to factors ranging from more in-state VC participation from investors like Allos Ventures and High Alpha Capital and a record number of nonstop flights from Indianapolis International Airport.

"We seeing much greater interest from venture capital firms on the coasts spending more time in Indianapolis," he said. "It is not uncommon for me to pick up the phone and talk with a venture capital firm and have one of the first things out of their mouth be 'we're not really investing on the coast anymore, our investment thesis really revolves around finding companies like yours in the Midwest that are playing by the sound fundamentals and sound economics.' They're not derailed by the frothy nature of the coasts." He says companies in Indiana and nearby states don't have the same pressures as coastal companies, which often deal with higher investment expectations and steeper growth trajectories that affect company culture.

Though numbers are on the rise in recent years in Indiana, the state has generally been ranked in the bottom half of all states in receiving VC. TechPoint, the state's tech growth initiative, says Hoosier companies last year were awarded a record VC total. Yoder expects the growth to continue. "We're absolutely going to see more investment. There's a hunger for it."

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Lessonly CEO Max Yoder pointed to factors ranging from more in-state VC participation from investors like Allos Ventures and High Alpha Capital and a record number of direct flights from Indianapolis International Airport.
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