Lewis & Clark Ventures was founded to support the tech ecosystem in the central U.S. Brian Hopcraft, General Partner at Lewis & Clark, talks about InvestMidwest, the yearly event that highlights startups in the Midwest.
Tell us a little about Lewis & Clark Ventures.
Hopcraft: Lewis & Clark Ventures was founded by former founders and operators to support the tech ecosystem in the central U.S. We’ve built venture-backed companies here and have navigated the terrain from idea to exit multiple times. We believe the next group of dynamic founders will build their companies between the coasts and are excited to partner with them on the journey.
What role did you play in the last InvestMidwest event?
Hopcraft: Lewis & Clark Ventures has been a big supporter of InvestMidwest for many years. I'm on the advisory board, working with the board on sponsorships, strategy and planning. Like any good startup, InvestMidwest pivoted from an in-person event to virtual while not missing a beat. In addition to my involvement, our team assists as part of the selection process.
Do you think events like that are good for Flyover Country?
Hopcraft: Events like InvestMidwest are very valuable. No matter where you're located, it's challenging to raise capital as an early stage company. It's ever more so in Flyover Country as coastal funds overlook our geography. The event is a catalyst for connecting capital with early stage companies. InvestMidwest attracts companies from throughout the middle of the country, which is indicative of how valuable it is for startup founders.
InvestMidwest is collaborating with the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) at the University of Michigan for the 2021 Midwest Venture Showcase scheduled for April 27-28, 2021. Panels will include “Why Invest in the Midwest,” “Diversity & Inclusion in Investing,” and “Midwest Unicorns are Real.”
For more information on applying, attending, or sponsoring the Showcase, please visit www.investmidwestforum.com or email Phyllis Ellison (InvestMidwest) or www.midwestgcs.com or Emily Zaycosky (MGCS).