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Elevate Nexus awards startup funding to Purdue Northwest
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Elevate Nexus awards startup funding to Purdue Northwest

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Elevate Nexus awards startup funding to Purdue Northwest

Mont Handley, associate director at the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center at Purdue University Northwest, gives a presentation.

Elevate Ventures, an Indianapolis-based venture capital company, awarded $164,000 in grants to encourage entrepreneurship around the state, including in the Region.

The company's Elevate Nexus initiative — funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration — awarded funds to 19 colleges, universities and nonprofits across the Hoosier state that organize pitch competitions where aspiring entrepreneurs compete for startup funding.

Recipients included Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville and Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.

Purdue University Northwest can use the grant toward its Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center, which helps run the annual Big Sell competition in which entrepreneurs give their best two-minute pitch for a new product or start-up.

“We have a lot of innovative people here in Northwest Indiana who may not be as well-funded as those in other parts of the state, which is not due to a lack of innovation, but a lack of resources,” said Mont Handley, entrepreneur-in-residence and associate director of the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center at Purdue University Northwest. “This grant will allow us to better provide new and aspiring entrepreneurs with a wealth of support and guidance as we bring new innovation to the Region.”

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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