The chief investment officer of Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures says Indiana’s venture capital environment, which traditionally lags other states, is showing some encouraging signs. Ting Gootee says interest so far in 2017 in potential investment deals is well above the pace of previous years and over the last three-to-five years, VC sources have continued to crop up. She was joined by TechPoint Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier on the Indy Tech Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business Television from the emerging Union 525 tech hub in Indianapolis. Despite some positive signs, Langellier believes Indiana needs more in-state VC firms.
"The number of firms that can actually write a several million dollar check — there just aren’t that many," he says. Langellier adds Allos Ventures and Hyde Park Ventures have provided key funding for companies at various stages, but they are not enough. He applauds the state for launching the Next Level Indiana Fund, which has more latitude than previous state-supported funds to back higher-risk ventures. Its potential pool could reach $250 million and Langellier says "it has played a crucial role already."
Gootee says over the last decade, the growth in Indiana’s tech scene has led to a stable of high-profile, experienced entrepreneurs from established named like ExactTarget, Angie’s List and Interactive Intelligence that are helping guide the industry forward. "They’re now coming out and joining or starting out their own companies and have a strong track record to raise capital, lead venture-backed companies and be successful. That’s something we did not see five or 10 years ago."