Elevate Ventures is opening its annual pitch event to the public

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Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures is getting ready for its annual statewide pitch competition next month—and for the first time the event is free and open to the public.

The pitch competition takes place Aug. 5 at the Crosspoint Center at 9800 Crosspoint Blvd. in Fishers. It’s an all-day event that begins at 9 a.m. and is expected to last into the late afternoon.

At the event, 10 to 15 startup companies from around the state will deliver pitches to a panel of judges in hopes of landing investments of up to $100,000. The judges will also share their perspectives, feedback and advice with the audience, providing insights into what makes an effective pitch.

“This is the first time we’ve opened this event to the public,” said Landon Young, the executive director of entrepreneurial programming at Elevate Ventures. “I would encourage anyone who’s interested to sign up and come see what it’s like.”

Elevate Ventures is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a venture capital firm for the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state’s public-private job-creation agency.

Next month’s event is part of the Elevate Nexus program, in which Elevate Ventures works with universities and communities to boost entrepreneurship around the state. Elevate Nexus also hosts three regional pitch competitions, in southern, central and northern Indiana, in both the spring and the fall. The winning businesses at the regional competitions receive either a $20,000 pre-seed investment or an $80,000 seed investment, depending on the business’ stage of development.

Once a company has won a regional pitch competition, it becomes eligible to apply for the statewide competition. Over the next few weeks, Elevate Ventures will select about 15 companies to compete in next month’s statewide competition, at which a panel of judges will select winners to receive $40,000 in pre-seed investments or $100,000 in seed investments.

Since the Elevate Nexus pitch competition was launched in the fall of 2019, Young said, Elevate Ventures has invested $4.6 million in 84 separate companies, representing 100 total investments. Some of those 84 companies received multiple investments, which is why there are more investments than companies.

Previously, the statewide pitch contest was part of Elevate Ventures’ annual Kinetic conference—a high-dollar ticketed event.

Young said Elevate decided to make the pitch contest a standalone free public event so it could reach a broader audience. “We’re really doubling down on this objective of learning and community engagement.”

The event could prove educational for founders and would-be entrepreneurs because it will give them some insights into crafting an effective pitch to investors, Young said. Investors and entrepreneurial support organizations might also find the event a good place to make connections with Indiana entrepreneurs.

“These are some of the most promising new companies at the pre-seed and seed stage that Elevate is working with,” Young said. “This is a great opportunity to see those companies, hear their presentations and meet with them.”

Advance registration is required. Find the sign-up page here.

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