INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers announced the conclusion of a record-setting year for entrepreneurship in Indiana, fostering innovation and fueling small business and startup growth statewide.
“Indiana’s business-friendly climate paired with our strong Hoosier work ethic make our state prime for entrepreneurial growth and innovation,” said Holcomb. “As a state, we are committed to investing in entrepreneurs and small businesses, enabling innovators to continue growing, finding success and contributing to our economy and to our communities.”
“2022 was a record year for Indiana, and one thing is clear: entrepreneurship is thriving in Indiana,” said Chambers. “Indiana is now the number-one best state in the U.S. to start a business and among the top 40 destinations globally thanks to the commitments of our state and the perseverance of our innovators. Today and every day, we celebrate the many contributions of our entrepreneurial ecosystem and look forward to supporting tomorrow’s businesses and breakthroughs.”
Advancing entrepreneurship is a key pillar of Chambers’ comprehensive, economic roadmap designed to ensure that Indiana is at the center of the future, global economy and Indiana’s leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship continues to grow. In 2022, Indiana was named “Best State to Start a Business” by Forbes, citing the state’s business-friendly climate, above-average business survival rate and healthy funding opportunities. Additionally, Indiana was named a Global Top 40 “Emerging Ecosystemby Startup Genome” and six of the state’s cities were named among the “2022 Best Startup Cities in the Midwest” with Indianapolis ranking No. 3.
The IEDC, along with its venture capital partner, Elevate Ventures, works to fuel the entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting innovators and small businesses across all stages of the entrepreneurial journey, from ideation to formation to expansion and beyond.
Inspiring Innovators and Startups
In 2022, a record number of startups (38) participated in IEDC-supported accelerators. These startups also set new annual records by raising more than $65 million in growth funding and creating 236 high-wage jobs. Since the IEDC launched its partnership with gener8tor, a leading national startup accelerator, in 2018, 120 startups have utilized state supported accelerator programs, advancing innovation and growth in key industries, such as 5G technologies, the future of mobility, advanced manufacturing and more.
Additionally, the IEDC set new records for utilization of its Venture Capital Investment tax credit program, which helps entrepreneurs and startups attract capital more quickly by giving an investors an additional incentive to invest in early-stage, growing Indiana companies or in qualified investment funds that support these fast-growing companies. In 2022, the IEDC certified $71.8 million in capital investments in Indiana companies, totaling $18.5 million in associated tax credits. Additionally, 49 new Indiana businesses were certified to use the program, including 18 women- and minority-owned companies, advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the coming years.
Investing In Entrepreneurs And Small Businesses
The IEDC works to support entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Indiana Small Business Development Center and the Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center. In 2022, the Indiana SBDC provided no-cost support to more than 5,469 entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping secure $110 million in capital and helping launch 407 new businesses — a new annual record. Of these new businesses, 32% were founded by minority entrepreneurs. The Indiana SBDC also provided funding for a record number of growth and improvement projects through the Indiana Technical Assistance Program in 2022, helping 62 startups with projects, including business management systems, product prototyping, SBIR/STTR support and technology research and development.
Additionally, PTAC served 433 new clients, with roughly 68% qualifying as women-, minority- or veteran-owned business enterprises, helping businesses secure $446.1 million in federal government contracts and create 815 new jobs as result.
Encouraging Entrepreneurial Equity
The IEDC secured up to $99.1 million in federal funding through the State Small Business Credit Initiative to expand access to and increase capital for Hoosier entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. The funds, invested alongside private dollars, are expected to result in at least $990 million invested in Indiana’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and at least 37% of SSBCI funds will be allocated to traditionally underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs, encouraging greater equity in access to capital for Hoosiers.
Investing In High-Growth Startups
As the number-one most active venture capital firm in the great lakes region since 2017, Elevate Ventures supports the efforts of the IEDC by providing assistance to high-growth, high-potential, cross-sector startups and innovators, making capital more accessible and attracting additional private co-investment. In 2022, Elevate Ventures made 183 investment commitments totaling nearly $35 million — a new annual record. Since inception, Elevate Ventures has invested $152 million in Hoosier businesses, attracting $2.035 billion in capital from other sources (13-to-1 investment leverage ratio).
Elevate Ventures also assists small businesses in applying for grants through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which encourage research and development technology commercialization, and with securing state matching funds. In 2022, Elevate Ventures committed $1.8 million in state matching funds to leverage $12.5 million in federal SBIR/STTR Phase 1 and Phase 2 grants secured by 34 Indiana companies.
In 2022, the IEDC also celebrated the many contributions of Indiana entrepreneurs and innovators during Global Entrepreneurship Week, announcing new entrepreneurial ecosystem assets: Entrepreneurship Indiana, an annual publication honoring the entrepreneurial journey, and a new website, which is in the final stages of testing, that will provide a comprehensive, statewide listing of resources, programs and services for entrepreneurs, helping them start and grow their business. Visit EntrepreneurshipIndiana.com to submit an inspiring entrepreneur in your community for next year’s issue.
Read more about Indiana’s focus on entrepreneurship and its 5E approach to creating the economy of the future in the IEDC’s 2022 annual report.