By: Kate Luce
The Quarry has recently been launched to IU South Bend. The program seeks to provide faculty and students with funding from the IU Philanthropic Venture fund and support with their startup ventures.
“The Quarry is a support tool to help get IU intellectual property into the world and off of our campuses. It supplies business development, talent recruitment and corporate financing tools specifically designed to address real-world problems as indicated by months of work with entrepreneurs in our labs and classrooms statewide,” Jason Whitney, manager of strategic partnerships of the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund (IU PhV), said.
Whitney also serves as a decision maker if an idea would work for a business. Most ideas do not have what it takes to make it as a business, but The Quarry helps each entrepreneur to bring better ideas to the table.
Because of this, funding for startups is not the priority of The Quarry, however, it is available if the startup is viable. The Quarry’s main goal is to provide talent to these businesses and strengthening their connections outside of IU.
“Through some work with the faculty member and the Innovation and Commercialization Office we can determine if there is a business, a licensing opportunity to a partner or if the idea is just novel research. All of which are great outcomes, we just want to come to an answer early in the process and focus the majority of our efforts on the ones which have high commercial potential. Once we have made that assessment we can then focus on the talent recruitment/retention issue in addition to identifying appropriate funding opportunities for the business,” Whitney said.
Business talent is crucial for The Quarry. Without it, the new business will certainly not make it. Thankfully, the Quarry has the support to help businesses with talent.
“New ventures need experienced business management and I can use my network to support the larger network of business talent Jason is building. These ‘startup CEOs’ are critical to successful IU ventures so also critical to the success of the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund,” Teri Willey, executive director and fund manager of the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund (IU PhV), said.
A startup has already made its way to The Quarry since the program started. In Indianapolis, Care Revolution had been making serious growth for the past several months. The company focuses on reducing hospitalizations in long-term care facilities. According to insideindianabusiness.com, Care Revolution has reduced the number of hospitalizations in selected nursing homes by 33%.
As for IU South Bend, The Quarry just recently opened its program to the university.
“I think that the most interesting opportunity for students who want to work in the start-up world is to be engaged early on with their faculty members, and look for ways that they can take to market either a classroom project that they do for community partners or research that they are doing on campus,” Willey said. “They have an opportunity to test out their entrepreneurial ideas while on campus and create a career for themselves post-graduation rather than relying on the job market to supply one for them. The best types of companies for us to identify have students who are intimately knowledgeable about the technology or problem area and are passionate enough to be taking the journey into entrepreneurship to create a solution.”
The program is excited to work with those with ideas and research.
“The Quarry will create exciting entrepreneurial ventures for all of the communities we are engaged in, including South Bend, and will create jobs for students who are interested in the startup world,” Whitney said.