Four years ago, TechPoint began inviting venture capital firms from around the country to come to Indianapolis to meet with its venture-ready member companies and ‘Best of Tech’ Mira Award winners. A handful of VCs from other states and a few locals attended that first year of presenting vetted, investable Hoosier companies to targeted investors.
Last week, TechPoint hosted the latest incarnation of this event called VC Social and VC Speed Dating, which drew a total of 40 venture capital firms from 16 different states and 43 Indiana-based startups and scale-up companies seeking potential investment.
“Scale-up CEOs spend over half their time fundraising,” said Tony Grover, managing director of RPM Ventures located in Ann Arbor, Mich. “It takes away from the critical focus of customer acquisition. By bringing VCs directly to the scale-up, you are saving countless hours of the CEO’s time that can be used for much better purposes. Kudos to TechPoint for bringing Indy scale-ups to this excellent event.”
TechPoint suspects that the events together form the state’s largest convening of VC firms brought to bear for meetings with Indiana venture-ready companies. The roster included large private equity and small seed-stage investors ranging from Vista Equity (the world’s largest technology private equity firm) to Cultivation Capital, Lightbank to Warburg Pincus, Serra Ventures to Decathlon Capital Partners, and from Revolution/Rise of the Rest (Steve Case’s fund) to Mercury Fund.
“There’s great value in exposing VCs from around the country to the high-growth, high-potential startups and scale-ups that entrepreneurs are building in Indiana, especially those VCs who are visiting our community and meeting with companies from here for the first time,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint. “The proof is in the successes. Local tech companies like myCOI, Kinney Group, Canvas and Sigstr have secured millions in investments stemming from relationships first established at these events. And the long-term impact of keeping Indiana investment opportunities top of mind is immeasurable.”
The TechPoint VC Speed Dating event, which was sponsored by the law firm Ice Miller LLP, matched investment firms with company executives for high quality 18-minute speed dating style introductions and pitch sessions. In total, the event facilitated more than 200 meetings between investors and companies. Underwriting sponsors for the event included BKD CPAs & Advisors, Elevate Ventures and Human Capital Concepts (HCC).
A number of investors expressed their firms’ focus on investing in the Midwest. Mitch Black, president and COO of Viral Launch (formerly president of MOBI) said: “It was great to see not just the quantity but also the quality of investors who were available for us to meet with under one roof. It was also good to hear how important Indy is for them.”
The night before VC Speed Dating, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Senior Vice President and COO Glenda Akers hosted the TechPoint VC Social at Salesforce Tower on Monument Circle. The informal networking event offered TechPoint member companies and VCs from around the country an opportunity to get to know one another and to help VCs become more familiar with the city, state and tech community.
Tech leaders trade secrets at TechPoint Scale-Up Summit
TechPoint member company executives and tech builders have been gathering for exclusive peer group meetups and topical panels and discussions for two years as part of TechPoint’s member programs, but the recent Scale-Up Summit event was the first time this collective tech leadership and brain power has been brought together all at the same time for a half-day conference.
CEOs and team leaders (sales and marketing, HR/talent and product/dev) from TechPoint’s 80 member companies participated in various educational sessions aimed at equipping scale-up company leaders with the intel and inspiration they need to help propel their companies into market-leading major employers.
“Getting this level of talent and experience into the same space to talk about their strategies and successes, as well as their fears and failures, is not something that happens very often — if it happens at all,” said Lauren Petersen, senior director of relationship management. “The trust and respect our member companies have in and for one another has created this environment where even competitors can talk openly and honestly and share best practices that help everyone to achieve more together.”
The law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels was the presenting sponsor for TechPoint’s Scale-Up Summit and also secured London-based attorney and partner Huw Beverley-Smith to present on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how the EU law impacts U.S. companies in an era of ever-increasing privacy scrutiny.
TechPoint is grateful to all of the presenters, panelists and guests who helped to make Scale-up Summit a unique and special event, including Fireside Chat participants Scott Dorsey & Scott Kraege, CEO/Presidents breakout session hosts Haresh Gangwani (Bolstra) & Kristen Nunery (myCOI), Sales/Marketing breakout session hosts Stephanie Cox (Lumavate) & Aaron Berkey (Torchlite), HR/Talent breakout session host Stephan Vincent (Employee Experience Summit), Product/Dev breakout session hosts Lacey Lavies (Innovatemap) & Charlie Moad (Costello), GDPR breakout session host Huw Beverley-Smith (Faegre Baker Daniels), and “Navigating Enterprise Sales and Procurement” Panel and Q&A participants Jen Oleksiw (Eli Lilly & Company), Joel Mintun (Anthem), Gary Watkins (KAR Auction Services) and moderator Cory Wheeler (Zylo).