Inside INdiana Business

Startups win funding through pitch competition

You-Yeon Won (right) is the co-founder of Spirrow Therapeutics. (photo courtesy of Purdue University)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures has announced the winners of its inaugural Elevate Nexus Statewide Pitch Competition. Five Hoosier startups were selected out of nearly 30 finalists to receive a total of $320,000 in pre-seed and seed funding.

The pitch competition was first announced nearly a year ago with the goal of supporting startups “by connecting and investing in entrepreneurs, higher education institutions, and communities.” The program featured a series of regional pitch competitions between October and February. 

“All five companies showed us how they used their Elevate Nexus Regional Pitch Competition awards to advance their companies and were good stewards of Elevate’s initial investments,” said Jacob Schpok, executive director of university initiatives at Elevate Ventures. “We’re excited to reinvest with statewide awards and continue to support their world-changing startups.”

The statewide winners include:

Pre-Seed ($40,000 investment)        

  • Multiscale Integrated Technology Solutions LLC, Indianapolis, created a practical method to enhance interlaminar shear strength of carbon fiber prepregs leading to 20% stronger composite structures. The technology has recently been adapted for the manufacturing of Copper Oxide enhanced filters for the COVID-19 virus.
  • Lumen Bio LLC, South Bend, seeks to use its patented technology to create a weight management product for overweight companion animals. Lumen Bio’s product offers a scientifically-backed solution that will help pet owners and veterinarians improve the lives of overweight pets.
  • Endless Eyewear Inc., Evansville, is a subscription-rental eyewear program providing affordable access to luxury sunglasses for fashion-loving millennial customers.

Seed ($100,000 investment)

  • HySonic Technologies LLC, West Lafayette, specializes in developing computational models to simulate flow problems of interest to the defense industry; in the field of hypersonic and supersonic flow, high-speed turbulence and aeroacoustics.
  • Spirrow Therapeutics LLC, West Lafayette, developed a first-in-kind therapeutic to treat respiratory distress syndrome. Often described as “like drowning from within,” the condition has a wide range of causes, most notably the COVID-19 virus.

Elevate Ventures says the program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund.