[BLOOMINGTON, IN] October 22, 2021 — IU Ventures has presented three Indiana University alumni with the inaugural Spirit of Venture Award, including Mentor Collective CEO and Co-Founder Jackson Boyer.
The winners were recognized for exhibiting success in entrepreneurship and innovation; providing mentorship and support to IU founders and funders; and demonstrating noteworthy philanthropy and service to IU.
Founded in 2014 by Jackson Boyer and James Lu Morrissey, Mentor Collective is now the leading provider of large scale mentorship programs, with more than 150 partner institutions and companies. Addressing the most pressing issues across higher education - including retention, sense of belonging, and melt - the company continues to make strides toward its mission of generating meaningful relationships that bridge equity gaps. Recently, Mentor Collective was recognized as a regional winner for the 2021 Best Tech for Good Timmy Award by Tech in Motion.
The awards were presented during the inaugural IU Founders and Funders Network Venture Summit, which was held virtually on Oct. 21.
IU Ventures assists IU students, faculty, staff and alumni in work that advances high-potential new venture opportunities. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for the IU entrepreneurial community, investing to generate significant and long-lasting social and economic impact for IU, Indiana and the world.
“Indiana University was the spiritual catalyst to many stages of my entrepreneurial journey, and this award only further cements my gratitude to my alma mater. IU Ventures has been an authentic partner to Mentor Collective since investing in 2019, and I look forward to continuing the relationship as we bring social capital to millions of learners across the country.” — Jackson Boyar, Co-founder and CEO of Mentor Collective.
“This award is an outward symbol of our appreciation for the many contributions these three innovators and entrepreneurs have made in support of IU Ventures’ mission and in the success of IU-affiliated founders and funders,” said IU Ventures President and CEO Tony Armstrong. “It also conveys how grateful our team is for their continued partnership, their commitment to helping fellow entrepreneurs, and the contributions they are making to the cycle of innovation in the Hoosier state.”
ABOUT IU VENTURES
IU Ventures invests in and supports early-stage companies through three programs: the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, and IU Founders and Funders Network. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. In Indiana alone, IU Ventures made new and follow-on investments in 15 companies during 2020 and was recognized as one of the top three most active funds in the state. More than 50 percent of the companies in which IU Ventures has invested since 2018 have had women or minority founders, CEOs or other C-suite members.