Fifteen startups receive $660K


Elevate Ventures news release announces $660K for fifteen startups from the Nexus Pitch Competitions.

Fifteen Startups Receive $660K from Nexus Pitch Competitions

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 8, 2020) — Fifteen Indiana-based startup companies have received a total of $660,000 in pre-seed and seed funding from Elevate Ventures to drive growth.

The 15 were chosen from 72 finalists that competed in the fall 2020 regional Elevate Nexus Pitch Competitions, which were held virtually Oct. 27-29. The competition was launched to invest in Indiana startups, with priority given to those engaged with higher education institutions. Startups seeking funds to build a minimum viable product are eligible for pre-seed awards, while companies that are further along — building and testing the processes that will be used to scale the business — are eligible for seed awards.

“We are extremely pleased with the record number of applications, and the finalists’ pitches have set a new bar for ingenuity and growth,” said Landon Young, executive director of university initiatives at Elevate Ventures. “These companies embody the entrepreneurial spirit across Indiana to innovate and create new economic opportunities.”

Regional winners include:

Northern Indiana

Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
FloWaste Inc.; South Bend; University of Notre Dame
GittaSitta; Granger; University of Notre Dame
NearWave; South Bend; University of Notre Dame

Seed ($80,000 investment)
Graphene Synthetic Fuels; South Bend; University of Notre Dame
LensQuote; Bluffton

Central Indiana

Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
Dencoda; West Lafayette; Purdue University
Reezy; Carmel; Indiana University–Bloomington
Teichos Laboratories; West Lafayette; Purdue University

Seed ($80,000 investment); Indianapolis; Purdue University
Indy Gaming League; Indianapolis

Southern Indiana

Pre-Seed ($20,000 investment)
Deep Word; Bloomington; Indiana University—Bloomington
Its Here; New Albany; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
ShuffleMe; Bloomington; Indiana University—Bloomington

Seed ($80,000 investment)
Blueprint Stats; Bloomington; Indiana University—Bloomington
Stagetime Inc.; Bloomington

“Receiving funding from the Elevate Nexus Pitch Competition is a fantastic stepping stone on our path to further growth and invaluable experience that will help us in future fundraising,” said Ryan Gustus, co-founder of “This came at a truly great time as we were wanting to grow more quickly, and we look forward to using this investment toward scaling up our sales team.”

In addition to receiving funding, each company is considered an Elevate Ventures portfolio business and gains access to Elevate’s network of advisors and resources.

Each company also has the opportunity to pitch during the statewide competition in 2021, when an additional $320,000 will be awarded.

Read more AFW posts about: Elevate Ventures or LensQuote.

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