Inside INdiana Business

New fund to create ‘stronger core economy’ for manufacturing

(photo courtesy of Jon Kline/Pixabay)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures is providing additional details around a new fund to support Hoosier manufacturing. The $3 million Smart & Advanced Manufacturing Focus Fund was first announced last week by Governor Eric Holcomb as part of his COVID-19 relief efforts.

The fund, which is being managed by Elevate Ventures, aims to “provide investment, entrepreneurial support resources, and thought leadership to manufacturers and manufacturing entrepreneurs.” The venture development organization says the goal is to support those seeking to grow new ideas in the manufacturing sector.

“Indiana has very deep manufacturing roots and many firms doing business in our state are recognized globally for their expertise,” said Mark Gramelspacher, entrepreneur-in-residence for Elevate Ventures. “We’re in a remarkable location in the U.S. and now more than ever, there is a significant opportunity to rethink the supply chain and support a new way of building products in the United States. Indiana intends to continue leadership in this area of the economy.”

The SAM Fund will be able to provide initial investments of up to $500,000 to lead or co-invest in larger financing rounds to help startups with product development, generating sustained early revenue and attracting larger investments. The organization says the fund will also help both existing manufacturers and manufacturing entrepreneurs with IP-to-commercialization opportunities to bring their innovations to the marketplace.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically and rapidly disrupted supply chains globally,” said Chris LaMothe, CEO of Elevate Ventures. “Our state is uniquely positioned to lead the development and growth of smart and advanced manufacturing education, training, innovation and expansion.”

As part of the effort, Elevate Ventures says the SAM Fund will encourage the launch of smart and advanced manufacturing startups, as well as spin-out technologies from existing Hoosier manufacturers.

The SAM Fund is part of Governor Holcomb’s overall $10 million Economic Activity Stabilization and Enhancement, or EASE, program. The initiative also includes manufacturing readiness grants in conjunction with Conexus Indiana, as well as the Smart Manufacturing Studio Lab, which is slated to launch next year.