Fifteen Indiana-based startup companies have received a total of $660,000 in pre-seed and seed funding from Elevate Ventures to drive growth. They were chosen from 72 finalists that competed in Elevate’s Nexus Pitch Competitions, which were held in October.

Elevate Nexus says startups seeking funds to build a minimum viable product were eligible for pre-seed awards valued at $20,000. 

Companies that are further along — building and testing the processes that will be used to scale the business — were eligible for seed awards which are valued at $80,000.

“We are extremely pleased with the record number of applications, and the finalists’ pitches have set a new bar for ingenuity and growth,” said Landon Young, executive director of university initiatives at Elevate Ventures. “These companies embody the entrepreneurial spirit across Indiana to innovate and create new economic opportunities.”

In addition to receiving funding, each company is considered an Elevate Ventures portfolio business and gains access to Elevate’s network of advisors and resources.

“Receiving funding from the Elevate Nexus Pitch Competition is a fantastic stepping stone on our path to further growth and invaluable experience that will help us in future fundraising,” said Ryan Gustus, co-founder of LensQuote.

Each company will also be able to take part in a statewide pitch competition in 2021.

Regional winners include:

Northern Indiana

Pre-Seed Winners

  • FloWaste Inc.; South Ben
  • GittaSitta; Granger
  • NearWave; South Bend

Seed Winners

  • Graphene Synthetic Fuels; South Bend
  • LensQuote; Bluffton


Central Indiana

Pre-Seed Winners

  • Dencoda; West Lafayette
  • Reezy; Carmel
  • Teichos Laboratories; West Lafayette

Seed Winners; Indianapolis

Indy Gaming League; Indianapolis


Southern Indiana

Pre-Seed Winners

  • Deep Word; Bloomington
  • Its Here; New Albany
  • ShuffleMe; Bloomington

Seed Winners

  • Blueprint Stats; Bloomington
  • Stagetime Inc.; Bloomington