The Indiana tech community is lauding the state's backing of a measure in the two-year budget that could make more money available for high-growth companies. The Next Level Indiana Fund, successor to the Mitch Daniels-era Next Generation Trust Fund, will have a wider scope, opening the door to higher-risk investments. The fund's potential pool is $250 million.

TechPoint Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier says the move shows the rest of the country that Indiana is "going from laggard to leader" in venture capital. In an interview at Launch Fishers, Langellier calls the low level of available venture capital "an area of acute concern" for the state "particularly for those companies that are past early startup stage and they're in scale-up/growth stage." He says all of Indiana's neighbors have more of these funds available. "We have this crop of emerging companies that have the potential to be our next success stories, but there's not the venture capital in the ecosystem to support that growth," Langellier says.

The funding is generated by proceeds from the lease of the Indiana Toll Road and investments made through the fund previously had to be targeted at lower return fixed income investments.