FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 4, 2022
Editor’s note: This is the first of a planned series of features on IU Ventures’ partners and their impact on advancing the venture ideas of Indiana University-affiliated entrepreneurs and innovators.
BLOOOMINGTON, Ind. — With another academic year at Indiana University now in full swing, IU Ventures, the university’s early-stage venture and angel investment arm, is harnessing the energy of IU faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends returning to campus toward its mission to enhance and expand IU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
More than ever before, its efforts are getting an additional major boost from the group’s like-minded partners that — inspired by their IU and Midwest connections — are eager to elevate IU’s position as a leader in venture capital and other investment that advances innovation.
“Our partners share a determination to work together to drive the development of an innovation economy through the growth of venture capital,” said Jon Barada, vice president at IU Ventures. “Like us, they’re heavily engaged in ways to attract talent, create new jobs, build a powerful network of venture expertise, and facilitate early investment in ideas and innovations that create lasting economic and social impact. Enlisting their support has been instrumental in helping us continue to strengthen our connections with Indiana University’s worldwide community of entrepreneurs and innovators and to advance programs that are helping push forward new businesses.”
Building connections: Bridge Bank
When IU Ventures recently set out to gather the best of its global community of IU-affiliated entrepreneurs, innovators and investors, along with leaders from across the venture cap
ital industry, it found an experienced and enthusiastic advocate in Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, one of the country’s top-performing banking companies. Bridge
Bank presented the IU Founders and Funders Network Venture Summit, which brought more than 130 founders and funders from across Indiana and beyond to IU’s Bloomington campus, offering them an opportunity to share their latest venture ideas, network with their peers, and discover access to funding, expertise and talent.
“The quality of the companies at the IU Ventures’ summit — and seeing so many extraordinary entrepreneurs in one place — was just incredible,” said Ryan Dammeyer, senior managing director in Bridge Bank’s Technology Banking Group, which is geared to serving both venture-backed and non-venture-backed companies.
Dammeyer, an IU-Bloomington alumnus, works out of Bridge Bank’s Chicago office and heads the bank’s technology efforts east of the Mississippi, which represent over $2.5 billion in loans and deposits. Prior to joining Bridge Bank, he served in leadership roles for Square 1 Bank and SVB in Chicago. A skilled executive and entrepreneur himself, he has spent his career working with innovators in technology, life sciences and other major industries to find business development and capital solutions to fuel the evolution of high-potential companies.
“Through the work of the team at IU Ventures, and now through the formalized partnership between IU Ventures and Bridge Bank, I’ve been able to remain closely involved in helping to build IU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Dammeyer said. “What IU Ventures has created didn’t exist when I was at IU and starting out as an entrepreneur. It’s such an important and helpful resource for those of us who want to help IU and the Big Ten lead the effort to activate the community of founders and funders here in the Midwest and beyond, accelerate new ventures and generate good deal flow. We’re excited to be a partner in this effort.”
A team approach: Wrigley Media Group
IU football fans looking up at the big scoreboard display at Memorial Stadium at Hoosier games this fall will see and hear a new video ad spotlighting IU Ventures’ mission to create social and economic impact through its investment activities.
The new commercial was created in partnership with Wrigley Media Group, an industry leader in producing creative content, digital marketing, social media and branding for a worldwide clientele. Led by award-winning businesswoman Misdee Wrigley Miller, Wrigley Media Group conceives, produces and distributes content from its state-of-the-art studios.
With IU Ventures seeking to broaden awareness of its investment resources and share the stories of its successful “portfolio” companies, its fledgling partnership with Wrigley Media Group is already scoring major points with potential founders and funders from IU’s ranks of fans, friends and alumni.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with IU Ventures in support of their mission,” said Miller, who serves as the owner and CEO of Wrigley Media Group. “Like IU Ventures, Wrigley Media Group is dedicated to being at the collaborative and innovative helm of bringing stories to life, especially as the higher education community kicks off the new school year.”
The partnership between IU Ventures and Wrigley Media Group reflects a shared philosophy rooted in the notion that building the next venture success story requires more than a great idea; it also requires financial support, mentorship, networking, talent and a passion for fueling a cycle of innovation that makes the world a better place.
Derek Crawford, senior vice president of business development at Wrigley Media, didn’t need any introduction to IU. He graduated from IU Bloomington with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sport communications and sports marketing and management, respectively, and served for several years as an events director for the university. Still, he’s been pleasantly surprised as he’s become more familiar with IU Ventures approach to investing in new ideas, and he’s excited for the future of the partnership between his current workplace and his alma mater.
“IU Ventures is a great story of innovation for the university. As an IU alum, this is my university thinking outside the box by creating new types of investments in current and former students. We often think about the college experience ending after four years, but this is IU extending that commitment far after graduation. I couldn’t be happier to see Wrigley Media Group supporting not only my university but a tremendous group like IU Ventures.”
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.
About Bridge Bank:
Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, delivers relationship banking that puts clients at the center of everything. Founded in 2001 in Silicon Valley, Bridge Bank offers a full spectrum of tailored business banking solutions throughout the Bay Area and has specialized expertise, focused on life sciences and technology and innovation companies, at every stage in their life cycle, through its offices in major tech hubs across the country. Bridge Bank also serves the private equity and venture capital communities. Part of top-performing Western Alliance Bancorporation, with more than $65 billion in assets, Bridge Bank has the reach, resources and deep industry knowledge that make a difference for customers. For more information, visit Bridge Bank.
About Wrigley Media Group:
Wrigley Media Group is an industry leader producing original series, creative content, motion graphics, digital marketing and branding for a worldwide clientele. Led by award-winning businesswoman Misdee Wrigley Miller and headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Wrigley Media Group conceives, produces and distributes content from their state-of-the-art headquarters. “Relative Justice,” produced by Wrigley Media Group, is the first daytime syndicated show produced in Kentucky and is shot from Wrigley Woodhill Studios, a separate WMG studio facility also located in Lexington. For more information, please visit www.wrigleymediagroup.com.