Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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June 06, 2024 | Tom Ballard

VC News | Elevate Ventures anchors new fund in Indiana focused on growth stage companies

Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), a leading global venture capital firm funding early stage climate innovations, has announced the closing of an oversubscribed second flagship fund with total capital commitments of $305 million.

From Indianapolis, IN:

Elevate Ventures will anchor a new cross-sector innovation-driven fund for growth stage companies in the State of Indiana with a $25 million commitment from its returns and will raise an additional $75 million through the private market.

Named appropriately enough the Elevate Ventures Growth Fund, the announcement of the $100 million fund came minutes after Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb opened the state’s second Global Economic Summit. The Hoosier State surpassed the $1 billion mark for venture activity in 2021 and 2022, with Elevate Ventures ranking #1 in the Great Lakes Region, #8 in the United States, and #17 globally as the most active venture capital investor according to Pitchbook 2024 Q1 League Tables. Investing state dollars from the 21st Century Research & Technology Fund and federal dollars from the State Small Business Credit Initiative, Elevate Ventures committed $21.7 million in capital to Indiana start-ups in 2023.

“Today’s launch of Indiana’s first growth stage fund adds to an already powerful toolkit putting the world’s capital to work including the $250 million Next Level Fund we created in 2017,” Governor Holcomb said. “This new $100 million fund anchored by a $25 million initial investment from Elevate Ventures will provide even more opportunities to invest and grow innovative businesses at the later stages of their development.”

Elevate Ventures is planning to initiate fund formation in late Q2 with plans to make its first investments in 2025. In August of this year, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors from across the world will gather in Indiana for the second annual Rally, a global cross-sector innovation festival and $5 million pitch competition, one of the world’s largest. More details can be found here.

“We are the state that innovates,” said Christopher Day, Chief Executive Officer of Elevate Ventures. “Our long relationship with the IEDC (Indiana Economic Development Corporation) is an incredible example of one of the nation’s most successful public-private partnerships. Having a growth equity fund headquartered here in Indiana, to participate with investors from across the globe, will help our innovation-driven companies scale more efficiently and move from being acquirees to acquirers, helping to drive a more robust entrepreneurial ecosystem with high-paying jobs. Indiana has the critical ingredients including infrastructure, talent, mission-critical industries, technology, cost of living, lifestyle, and regulatory environment to power the productivity boom,”

From Boston, MA:

Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), a leading global venture capital firm funding early stage climate innovations, has announced the closing of an oversubscribed second flagship fund with total capital commitments of $305 million.

In addition to significantly expanding the firm’s investment opportunities in North America, the latest fund allows CEV to bring its strategy and expertise to climate technology entrepreneurs across Europe. The launch of Fund II follows the successful deployment of a $110 million Fund I, which has backed 20 disruptive companies across the climate tech landscape that collectively are poised to mitigate over 50 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions.

With a unique investment thesis, the CEV team positions quantitative climate impact alongside financial performance – requiring that each investment be capable of mitigating at least 2.5 gigatons of CO2e emissions cumulatively between the initial investment and 2050. CEV also takes a hands-on approach to commercialize its portfolio companies by leveraging a deeply technical and commercial team with support from a group of venture partners and angel investors with extensive industry executive experience. That team includes a Strategic Advisory Board led by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

From Hartford, CT:

Governor Ned Lamont has announced the creation of the Connecticut Innovation Clusters Program, a $100 million initiative to support the continued growth of critical sectors of the Connecticut economy, including biotechnology, financial technology, insurance technology, and advanced manufacturing in support of national defense.

Administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, this program will leverage private and public investment to support the application of next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, to accelerate innovation in high-growth clusters where Connecticut has shown competitive advantage.

“Connecticut has the best educated and best-trained workforce in the nation, which is the number one resource needed to conceive, develop, and produce the cutting-edge products and services that revolutionize industries and make businesses thrive,” Governor Lamont said. “We are the home of innovation, and through this new program we can support the growth of the sectors that are driving job creation and advancements in technology.”

The state is well-positioned to capitalize on the next frontier of technology development with the recent launch of QuantumCT – a coalition including UConn, Yale, the State of Connecticut, and others, that is providing the thought leadership and strategic planning necessary for Connecticut to reap the economic benefits of the application of new technologies in the years ahead.

From Madison, WI:

Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have announced the launch of a new public-private $100 million fund to help start-up companies and entrepreneurs get started, the largest of its kind in state history. Known as the Wisconsin Investment Fund, the new initiative is initially being funded with $50 million the state received in federal funds and $50 million from private investors. Evers announced the new fund at Forward BIOLABS in Madison, a nonprofit that helps launch start-ups.

“We want to support entrepreneurs who want to start here, who want to grow here and most importantly who want to stay here,” said Missy Hughes, Secretary of the WEDC. Venture capital firms selected to administer the fund must match each dollar of public money with at least one dollar of private investment. The state’s return on these investments is then reinvested into the fund.

“As the businesses that receive these investments start to grow, the value of the fund will grow with them, creating new opportunities to help even more businesses expand,” Evers said.

The federal money comes from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. The Wisconsin fund will be investing in companies working in technology, health care, agriculture, manufacturing, and other areas, the Governor’s office said.

From Palo Alto, CA:

Venture Capital Journal reports that Foundation Capital, a longtime fixture in Silicon Valley, is nearing its $600 million target for Foundation Capital XI, a fund that it launched in April 2023. According to the Form D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the latest fund is less than $13 million from its goal.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) is reportedly one of five public pension funds that is listed as having made a commitment. In the case of TCRS, it is reported to be $45 million.

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