BLOOMINGTON, IN – In a new collaboration aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and supporting the next generation of business leaders, IU Ventures’ IU Angel Network proudly announces a partnership with the STARTedUP Foundation. This partnership will see IU Ventures granting two annual educational angel memberships to winners of the statewide STARTedUP Foundation’s Innovate WithIN pitch competition who choose to attend Indiana University.
The memberships grant access to a wealth of resources, including insights into venture fundraising, reviewing due diligence reports and investment opportunities, listening to startup founders’ pitches and gaining insights into questions angel investors commonly ask.

“We are thrilled to embark on this exciting partnership with the STARTedUP Foundation,” said Jason Whitney, Chief Venture Officer at IU Ventures and Executive Director of the IU Angel Network. “By joining forces, we can amplify our impact, providing aspiring student entrepreneurs with the resources and mentorship needed to turn their dreams into reality.”

IU Ventures, a key player in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Indiana University, is renowned for its commitment to nurturing startups and fostering innovation. The IU Angel Network connects investors with promising ventures, facilitating growth and development within the university community.

The STARTedUP Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering student entrepreneurs across the state of Indiana. Through various initiatives, including the Innovate WithIN pitch competition and mentorship programs, StartedUP aims to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit within young minds, providing them with the tools and guidance needed to turn their ideas into successful ventures. StartedUP Foundation’s collaboration with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation further solidifies its commitment to building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem within the state. By aligning their efforts, these organizations aim to create a pipeline that fosters innovation, drives economic growth, and positions Indiana as a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The inaugural winners of the IU Angel Network educational memberships are Izzy Branam and Kerry Ao, both students at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit have already set them apart, and with the support of IU Ventures and the STARTedUP Foundation, their journey towards creating impactful ventures is set to accelerate.

About STARTedUP Foundation:
The STARTedUP Foundation began in a classroom with one teacher inspiring students to view the world differently and, has expanded statewide, engaging over 9000 students in the past six years. In 2018, STARTedUP and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. launched Innovate WithIN, the country’s largest and most elite high school pitch competition. Since then, STARTedUP has continued to grow the “opportunities are everywhere” mindset with the support of local, national, and global partners by hosting the Indiana Innovation Educator Fellowship and the STARTedUP Alumni program to support students and educators as they spark, develop, and accelerate innovation.

About IU Ventures:
IU Ventures invests in and supports IU-affiliated early-stage companies. Its investment programs include the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, Shoebox Fund and Innovate Indiana Fund. It further supports IU founders through the Executive in Residence Program and IU Founders and Funders Network. Student support is provided through a variety of engagements, including the new IU Venture Fellows Program. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. IU Ventures is a recognized leader in increasing opportunities for diverse and historically underserved entrepreneurs and investing in Indiana startups with a shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Emily Atkinson, PhD

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IU Ventures