BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University-affiliated entrepreneurs and investors will no longer have to wait for their new business ventures to exit to start planning how to pay it forward.

Today (May 19), IU Ventures, IU’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm, unveiled a new initiative, in collaboration with the IU Foundation and IU Alumni Association , that will enable IU’s expanding community of venture founders, equity holders and investors to leverage a portion of their future success in support of the university’s efforts to build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indiana and beyond.

The IU Founders and Funders Pledge gives entrepreneurs and investors the opportunity to provide a nonbinding philanthropic commitment of any size to IU—to be fulfilled as future success is attained. Those who make the pledge retain control of the amount, timing and area of designation of their gift. They may direct their pledge to any campus, unit or program at IU, and they do not need to decide upon designation until the time of the actual gift.

The new initiative was announced as part of the second annual IU Founders and Funders Network Venture Summit, hosted in Bloomington this week by IU Ventures. The two-day event brought together leaders within IU’s global network of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors for a series of expert panels, startup showcases and networking activities.

The founding class of “pledge takers” includes:

• Jon Barada ‘99, Co-Owner, Barada Associates, Inc.
• Ravi Bhatt ‘03, Founder and CEO, Folia
• Diana Caldwell ’88 and ’90, Co-Founder and CEO, Amplified Sciences
• Megan Caldwell ’12, Vice President, Elevate Security
• Kailey Donewald ’09, Founder, Sacred Serve
• Jim Fielding ’87, Investor, Sacred Serve
• Paul Hoffman ’89, Founder and CEO, inTandem Health
• Mark Kelley, Faculty, Co-Founder and CSO, Apexian Pharmaceuticals
• Zach Kiehl ’19, Co-Founder and CEO, Sentinel Occupational Safety, Inc.
• Sean Longworth ’93, Founder, HotMic
• Tom McGrath ’09, Founder and CEO, iiNK
• Cy Megnin ’07, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Elevate Ventures
• Jennie Moser, Co-Founder and CEO, Stagetime
• Carey Ransom ’96, Co-Founder and Managing Partner; Managing Director; Co-Founder and Executive Chairman; Operate Studio, Bank Tech Ventures, Bonus
• Nick Reasner ’11, Director, Innovation & Customer Experience, Simon Mall Property Group
• Gregg Summerville ’69 and ’72, General Partner, Neal Avenue Partners
• Jason Wadler ’89, President, inTandem Health
• Brad Wisler ’97, Co-Founder, SproutBox
• Sunny Zhang ’07 and ’10, Founding Partner, Born Global Ventures
• Jimmy Zollo ’10, Founder and CEO, Joe & Bella

A 2018 report, Entrepreneurs as Philanthropists, published by Fidelity Charitable, indicated that entrepreneurs give and volunteer more than their peers of similar economic circumstances, are significantly more likely than non-entrepreneurs to self-identify as philanthropists and have a strong desire to incorporate charitable giving into their exit plans.

With the IU Founders and Funders Pledge, the partners provide a pathway for venture leaders to join—and regularly connect to—a community of like-minded IU-affiliated entrepreneurs and investors who want to integrate philanthropy into their business goals and objectives and to inspire others to do the same.

Entrepreneurs and investors will be asked to complete a form on the IU Founders and Founders Pledge webpage to indicate their interest in taking the pledge. As they approach an exit period, initial public offering or acquisition—or achieve consistent revenue growth—they can connect with IU gift planning experts who will work with their financial and tax advisors to determine the best path forward.

There are no immediate tax implications associated with making the IU Founders and Funders Pledge. Taxable events occur later at the time of pledge fulfillment with a gift to IU.

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.

Media Contact:
Ryan Piurek