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STATEWIDE — The pandemic brought on many challenges for Indiana’s business climate, but it appears the state is actually moving ahead when it comes to start-up businesses being invested in.

Chris LaMothe, CEO of Elevate Ventures, said a recent study of venture capital investment in Indiana shows that it was up by 20-percent in 2020 compared to 2019, when there was no pandemic.

“There’s a lot of activity of people starting companies and getting excited about taking ideas to market,” LaMothe told Inside Indiana Business. “Entrepreneurism is an exciting way to grow personally, but also grow businesses, and it’s beginning to take off (in Indiana).”

In Indiana, there were around 160 new “low-end” venture capital investment deals struck between investors and business owners. There were just 130 in 2019.

“I think what we saw was a lot of people at the early stages willing to take some risk and take ideas to market,” LaMothe added. “There was a bit of a slow down on the high-end, not just in Indiana but around the country.”

A “high-end” deal constitutes an investment of millions of dollars in a new company. A “low-end” deal is rough around $500,000 or less in investment.

LaMothe said seven of the top ten venture capital deals in Indiana last year were in the life sciences sector. The majority of those deals were in central Indiana, but LaMothe says there is an uptick in deals happening in other areas of the state.