INDIANAPOLIS — John Sampson, former CEO and president of Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, has been recognized by Elevate Ventures, Indiana’s venture development partner and investment firm, for his help to the group in the Northeast Indiana region.

Sampson received the regional champion recognition as part of the 2020 Elevate Awards, held at Elevate Ventures’ fourth annual Kinetic Conference. He retired in March this year.

In 2020, Elevate chose a regional champion from each partnership region. These individuals go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in their region, according to a news release.

In 2020 Sampson was instrumental in renewing Elevate Northeast Indiana partnership and assisting in efforts to raise $1 million in funding, according to the announcement.

Other regional champions of 2020 include Regina Emberton, president and CEO of South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership for the North-Central region.

“Emberton is the glue holding the Startup South Bend-Elkhart region together with her involvement in various initiatives and committees powering entrepreneurship growth in the region,” according to the announcement.

The awards and winners in the region include:

2020 Region of the Year: Elevate Northeast Indiana

Elevate Northeast generated the highest count and dollar value of Elevate Ventures deals (21 Fund and Indiana Angel Network Fund) from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Elevate Northeast Indiana, a partnership between Elevate Ventures and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, supports entrepreneurs through initiatives including investments, marketing support, business coaching and access to professional resources.

Regional Business of 2020: Nanovis of Columbia City

This award recognizes a business in an Elevate regional partnership region that exhibits current and future positive impact in the community. Each region nominated companies in their respective geographical areas for Elevate’s consideration.

Nanovis is an orthopedic company with multiple technology platforms that aim to drive better outcomes for patients, surgeons and the health care system. Nanovis is product innovative in the spine and orthopedic markets, and has built an excellent go-to market team and has been strategic and effective in managing its resources.

In other Elevate Ventures news:

Elevate Ventures announced Aug. 12 the full launch of the Innovation Voucher Program, providing Indiana startups access to funding for more innovation-driven research and product development capabilities.

The Indiana Voucher Program was initially established in 2019 by legislation and administered primarily by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC). Elevate Ventures’ partnership with IEDC on the program will focus on Indiana-based startups with demonstrated business needs and continued high-growth potential. Startups may be eligible for up to $50,000 in services from qualified Indiana higher education institutions and authorized nonprofit research providers to support research and development, product development, and commercialization.

“Elevate Ventures has a track record of supporting Indiana-based startups through both programmatic engagements and pre-seed, seed and early-stage grant or investment funds,” said Ting Gootee, Elevate Ventures chief investment officer, in a news release. “We are excited to have this particular program in our management portfolio and look forward to leveraging it toward the highest impact on our entrepreneurship community.”

The program will be open to applications a few times a year. The current application is open through Sept. 17. For full eligibility details, go to https://elevateventures.com/programs/innovation-voucher-program.

To apply for Innovation Voucher Program funding, go to https://elevateventures.com/apply.

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