AgriNovus Indiana releases comprehensive assessment of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the Indiana agbiosciences

April 11, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (April 11, 2019) — AgriNovus Indiana today released a study providing an extensive assessment of the Indiana agbiosciences entrepreneurial ecosystem. AgriNovus commissioned the study to better understand the environment needed for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in Indiana. Entrepreneurial ventures have been found to be key drivers of new technology and also job creation. The study found that in order for Indiana to be the home to unparalleled agbioscience talent and innovation, a robust entrepreneurial community, culture and infrastructure is needed.

“Indiana has succeeded in developing a strong ‘entrepreneur-friendly’ business environment by providing support tools and creating effective networks throughout the state,” said Beth Bechdol, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “This study provides us and our statewide partners with a fair evaluation of our current entrepreneurial ecosystem and support systems. More importantly, it also gives us a roadmap to achieve one of our most important missions – to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset and accelerate early-stage companies.”

According to the study, The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Agbiosciences in Indiana, from EntreWorks Consulting and Innovation Policyworks, Indiana innovation and entrepreneurship benefit greatly from the presence of key anchor institutions, such as Purdue University and Indiana University, and major agbiosciences employers such as Corteva Agriscience, Elanco, Beck’s Hybrids, Clabber Girl, Ag Alumni Seed, United Animal Health, among others. These institutions are driving new innovation and technologies, and the state hosts a strong base of technical and scientific talent focused on the agbiosciences.

The assessment also includes profiles of six other regions recognized for their strategic approaches to entrepreneurship, innovation and, in some cases, to the agbiosciences. The recent experiences of these regions demonstrate the benefit of well-coordinated and intentional strategies and also significant innovation projects that have tangible impacts on regional economic performance. Likewise, Indiana’s entrepreneurial pipeline and community continue to be strengthened through a number of significant initiatives including the development of the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis and the expansion of Purdue’s Discovery Park, among others. 

AgriNovus and its partners are well-positioned to build a stronger overall agbiosciences entrepreneurial ecosystem through several key strategies outlined in the study:

  • Building the pipeline of agbioscience entrepreneurs in Indiana;
  • Accelerating agbioscience entrepreneurs in Indiana;
  • Connecting agbioscience entrepreneurs to existing resources; and
  • Developing new resources targeted to the unique needs of agbioscience entrepreneurs.

“Completing this study admittedly demonstrates how much of a challenge lies ahead for us. There is much work to be done, but it is also encouraging to recognize the significant progress that we and our partners are already making in executing on some of the study’s recommendations,” said Dan Dawes, senior director of innovation and strategy for AgriNovus. “AgriNovus is prepared to continue its collaboration with various stakeholders around the state to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

To encourage the collaboration necessary to execute these strategies, the report recommends several specific tactics. AgriNovus is already implementing a number of these, including:

  • Building a Network. Today, in conjunction with the study release, AgriNovus is publishing an Ag+Bio+Science Start-up Directory on the AgriNovus website. Profiles on 30 agbioscience start-up and emerging companies in Indiana are available and clearly demonstrate the sector’s entrepreneurial growth and expansion. Applications for the directory are here.
  • Attracting an Accelerator Program. Last November, SVG Partners, a California-based venture and innovation firm, collaborated with AgriNovus to bridge West Coast and Midwest agbioscience innovation through an expansion of their THRIVE accelerator program to Indianapolis. The new program will have a plant biotechnology and livestock/animal health focus and is supported by Elanco, the National Pork Board, Purdue University, AgriNovus and others. Agbioscience entrepreneurs also benefit from the Purdue Ag-Celerator as a resource for start-ups focused on the plant sciences, and AgriNovus is also a new partner in gener8tor’s gBETA program in Indianapolis, which has had multiple agbioscience firms participate in its recent cohorts.
  • Hosting a Pitch Competition. AgriNovus has hosted a showcase event the last two years to draw attention to the innovation and start-up activity in the agbiosciences. This year’s Ag+Bio+Science Start-up Showcase will be on April 23 at the Biltwell Event Center with Purdue Ventures and Elevate Ventures as presenting sponsors. Two People’s Choice awards will be presented at this year’s event, and Julie Borlaug, vice president of communications and public relations for Inari, will be a featured speaker.

The full study, The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Agbiosciences in Indiana, is available at www.AgriNovusIndiana.com.

About AgriNovus Indiana

AgriNovus Indiana is the state’s initiative focused on advancing the agbiosciences sector as a nationally recognized leader through education, research and talent development; strategic collaborations among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; and branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To learn more about AgriNovus Indiana, visit www.agrinovusindiana.com.