In 2008, Indiana bucked national trends when it comes to venture capital investment – a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy economic picture. According to the State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI):
“U.S. venture investment experienced its first yearly decline since 2003 last year, according a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers and National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) MoneyTree Report. The report finds that total investment dollars dropped eight percent in 2008, while deal volume decreased by four percent. A press release accompanying the announcement cited market insecurity and a slowdown in exits for the fourth-quarter declines that led to the lower numbers.”
But in Indiana, VC investment grew from $82.5M in 2007 to $123.6M in 2008, increasing our share of total U.S. venture dollars from .27% to .44% (based on deals tracked by NVCA). Check out the Indiana data here: http://www.ssti.org/vc/indiana/all.php.
Strengthening Indiana’s entrepreneurial pipeline has always been a strategic priority for the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. In particular, BioCrossroads has played a critical role in expanding access to capital in the life sciences sector, raising nearly $80 million in dedicated venture funding for promising life sciences start-ups in the state and helping attract the attention of national VC firms to this traditionally under-served market. Our TechPoint initiative has also promoted the importance of entrepreneurship through its Entrepreneurial Bootcamp programs, and its relationship with the HALO angel investment network is responsible for more than $7 million in early-stage funding being invested in new high-tech ventures in 2008.
In short, Indiana seems to be continuing our progress towards a more diverse, entrepreneurial economy. This is excellent news, especially considering the current climate – as traditional expansion and relocation projects become more scarce in the midst of the recession, focusing on moving homegrown innovations to market becomes an even more important economic development strategy.