The chief executive officer of IU Ventures says the creation of the IU Angel Network provides an opportunity for alumni to continue to be a part of the university in a unique way. The nonprofit launched the network last month in an effort to connect potential investors with entrepreneurs from the IU community. Tony Armstrong says the organization ultimately hopes to entice investors and entrepreneurs from around the country to return to Indiana as a result of participating in the network.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Armstrong said the effort creates a new platform.
"On all of our campuses with all of these networks, we hope to have these nodes really, in some ways, around the country where we get our alums who are interested in startups, interested in giving back," said Armstrong. "Hopefully, we’ll have a group in Boston, California, Boulder/Denver. Now they’re going to start connecting and we’re going to find opportunities hopefully someday to bring them back to Indiana that’s a whole different place now than it was five or 10 years ago."
IU Ventures has made several investments over the last year, including most recently a $500,000 investment in Boston-based Mentor Collective, a tech company co-founded by an IU alumnus. IU Ventures Associate Vice President Jason Whitney says the university has a vast pool of alumni from which they can find investors.
"It’s given us a really nice opportunity to engage with those alumni from coast to coast, who want to be able to participate with IU entrepreneurial efforts, whether they be alumni-based, or faculty-based, or a commercialization of some IU intellectual property," said Whitney. "(There are) over 700,000 living IU alums nationwide and every single person that we’ve met while we’ve been out on the road has introduced us to four more people, so our network just expands greatly every day."
You can learn more about IU Ventures and the IU Angel Network by clicking here.