BLOOMINGTON — A new Indiana University initiative will create an integrated, university-wide infrastructure to support students and faculty in the creation and growth of startup ventures. Based on IU’s Bloomington campus, but serving faculty and students across the university, IU Innovates will launch in fall 2023 and serve as the focal point for university support to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation.
“From our world-renowned academic programs in entrepreneurship to the incredible successes of our alumni, innovation is at the core of Indiana University,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “Through this initiative, we will help our students and faculty to be even more prolific in turning their ideas and research into drivers of progress and economic development across our state, nation and world.
“The IU Innovates initiative also reflects the three pillars of our IU 2030 strategic plan by unifying support for student success in entrepreneurship, strengthening the linkages between our research enterprise and industry, and pursuing business ideas that will spur economic growth and contribute to Indiana’s startup community.”
Initial IU Innovates programming will feature ongoing student and faculty events in addition to seminars and workshops on entrepreneurship. The initiative will leverage existing IU pitch competitions and establish a guided program to support groups of faculty and students through the incubation of new business ideas. Students and faculty will have access to a formal curriculum for launching startup ventures, in addition to a network of vital business services including legal counsel, branding and marketing support, and consultant support for those seeking venture capital funding. A staff director of the initiative will be hired within the coming months.
“Our goal is to provide a more holistic and integrated infrastructure to support the entrepreneurial activity of our students and faculty,” said Rahul Shrivastav, executive vice president and provost at IU Bloomington. “The community we create through this initiative will pay incredible dividends through new businesses, new partnerships, and vital collaborations with the business and startup community in Bloomington and across the state.”
IU Innovates will receive support from an internal advisory board of faculty and staff, while an external advisory board will be appointed in 2024. Additionally, existing IU facilities and makerspaces, as well as IU Ventures, will support faculty and student startups through IU Innovates.
To be initially located in the Von Lee building on Kirkwood Avenue adjacent to the Bloomington campus, IU Innovates will complement the state’s existing entrepreneurship assets, like the Mill in Bloomington, 16Tech in Indianapolis and various existing programs at IU. These include the Shoemaker Innovation Center and other programs with existing reach across multiple IU campuses through the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, and the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business.
The initiative will also lead a university-wide effort to expand the network of university business and research partnerships in key industries, including biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and logistics.