Indianapolis-based The Heritage Group is partnering with a well-known entrepreneurial mentoring organization to launch The Heritage Group Accelerator. The collaboration with Colorado-based Techstarts is billed as the first of its kind in the state and will involve 10 startups each year. Those selected will receive a $120,000 equity investment funded privately through the THG New Ventures Group and access to Techstars' financial, managerial and technical expert network.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, THG Executive Vice President for New Ventures Kip Frey said the three-month process will be "very intensive" and be housed at The Heritage Group's 50,000 square-foot innovation and collaboration hub on the northwest side of Indianapolis called The Center. "As we started thinking about who would be the ideal partner for this accelerator piece of the overall new venture strategy, it was just obvious to me -- and (THG President) Amy (Schumacher) concurred, I think -- that Techstars would be our first choice and as we spoke with them and laid out our plan," Frey said. "I think they shared our vision and understood what our goals were, so it was just really an ideal partnership from the beginning."

Techstars has more than 40 accelerator partnerships throughout the world based on different themes or markets. THG says its version will have a focus on areas including materials science, environmental services and specialty chemicals. The hope is, THG says, the startups -- which may or may not be from Indiana -- will experience what the state's entrepreneurial ecosystem brings to the table.

At the end of the accelerator, participating startups will be featured in a Demo Day to pitch their young businesses to venture capitalists, leaders from the corporate world and industry experts.

"I see this investment in new ventures, and the accelerator specifically, as a bet on the Heritage Group and a strengthening of the fabric of what's made us special over the generations," Schumacher said. "Indianapolis is actually a really exciting place to launch this effort. We view the ecosystem of the Indianapolis community, the entrepreneurial folks who have shown great success and support, our governor -- there are many elements in Indianapolis right now that make this the right time to launch this new initiative."

THG expects hundreds of applicants from throughout the world. The process will open early next year. You can connect to more on The Heritage Group Accelerator Powered by Techstars by clicking here.

Earlier this month, THG detailed the establishment of HG Ventures, its corporate venture unit, which is expected to reach an annual investment level of $50 million, a number executives believe could rise to $400 million following a five-year initial period of investment.