The chief executive officer of Elevate Ventures says a new partnership in southwest Indiana will help bolster a section of the regional economy that has high potential, “but not a lot of critical mass to it today.” Chris LaMothe is referring to entrepreneurship and a $2.5 million collaboration with the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana. The three-year partnership brings together the venture capital and entrepreneurial development organization, the EDC and a host of players from the private sector including Vectren Corp., Old National Bank, German American Bank and Koch Industries. The southwest Indiana initiative builds on current regional partnerships in Michiana, southwest central Indiana and northeast Indiana.
LaMothe says efforts to bring employers to the state are important, but supporting homegrown business is key for the long-term. “While attraction of business to Indiana is something that is always going to be in Indiana’s best interests to participate in,” he tells Inside INdiana Business, “the real success of communities, I think in the future, are going to be their ability to start and grow successful businesses within their communities.”
Elevate Ventures will pick up $1.5 million and community contributions will total $1 million. The funding will support investments including local businesses, portfolio services, entrepreneur and investor events, marketing support, business coaching and access to professional resources. Eric Steele, who has previously served in leadership roles with multiple tech industry startups, will be the region’s dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence.
LaMothe says “decades from now, successful communities will be the ones that made a long-term bet on entrepreneurship and innovation. In southwest Indiana, we won’t be creating a new culture. Instead, we will be tapping into the natural entrepreneurship and innovation that have been here for decades but have been dormant.”
You can connect to more about the partnership by clicking here.