The newest division of Indianapolis-based The Heritage Group aims to support innovation and new business creation. The New Ventures Group includes HG Ventures, the organization’s corporate venture arm that provides investment for young and startup companies, such as Zionsville-based water program management software firm 120WaterAudit, which received the first investment from HG Ventures as part of a $7 million round of funding earlier this year.
In the conclusion of a three-part series focusing on The Heritage Group, Executive Director Kip Frey said 120WaterAudit focuses on a growing market.
“The whole world of being aware of and communicating about the water quality in your facility or in a system is something that’s going to be very, very important in the future,” said Frey. “And it was a company that had gotten a lot of traction, that had the right set of customers, but was early enough for us to make a meaningful contribution when we led the round.”
120WaterAudit’s platform includes software and testing kits to help government agencies, public water systems and schools, among other clients, manage their drinking water programs. Chief Executive Officer Megan Glover says the company’s software has been implemented in more than 175,000 taps.
Fry, a serial entrepreneur whose background includes running seven startups, says The Heritage Group’s big bet on innovation is part of momentum that he sees in a state poised for bigger things.
“I’ve gotten to see it and be a part of it for a year and a half now and it is so poised to just take the next step. We’ve got multiple-time entrepreneurs kind of coming into the system. We’ve got more venture capital interest both locally and around the world. We’ve got business models and opportunities that really kind of speak to what’s going on in the Midwest and in lots of different areas like materials that make a lot of sense for us. So we’re very excited, bullish, glad to be a part of what’s going on here and we think it’s going to be a real growth story in the next decade or so.”
The New Ventures Group also includes The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars and an internal incubation function that Frey says allows the organization’s research group and operating companies to come up with business ideas and technologies, which THG can then invest in and try to scale.