BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Three alumni of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business will return to campus on Oct. 6 to share insights and experiences with students, faculty, and guests at the 14th IU Entrepreneurial Connection Day.
Christopher LaMothe, a 1992 MBA graduate, venture capitalist and a key figure in the state’s business community, will be the keynote speaker and will receive the William L. Haeberle Entrepreneurial Legacy Award.
Also presenting is John Walter, a 2008 MBA graduate and executive vice president of Direct Supply, a leading provider of the healthcare and medical products; and David Weisburd, head of venture capital at 10X Capital and a 2008 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in management and entrepreneurship.
The event will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 2075 of the Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center, beginning with remarks by LaMothe. It will wrap up with an annual networking event for IU Kelley entrepreneur alumni and students. There is no cost to attend.
The event is being presented by the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kelley School.
LaMothe is founder and CEO of Ascendanci Ventures, a private equity entity focusing on early-stage tech and tech-service firms. He served as CEO of Elevate Ventures from 2015 to 2022, a venture development venture capital organization investing in start-up and early-stage entrepreneurial launches throughout Indiana.
Elevate Ventures was ranked, and has held the ranking by Pitchbook since 2017, as the number one early-stage VC in the Great Lakes and in the top 10 in the world.
Before Elevate Ventures, he served as executive vice president of Element Materials Technologies, leading the global transportation, power generation and industrials sectors of the company.
In 2013, Element Materials Technologies acquired Sherry Laboratories in 2013, which LaMothe had acquired in 2006. As its partner, chairman and CEO, Sherry Laboratories grew into a diversified testing company with divisions in materials, engineering, food and microbiological, oil & gas and environmental with eight laboratories in five states serving national and international customers.
He also has been president and chief operating officer of Oxford Financial Group, LTD, one of the largest private wealth management firms in the country. He also served as CEO of the Trust Company of Oxford with nearly $8 billion under management.
Many Hoosiers remember LaMothe’s contributions as president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. There, he was instrumental in the vision, funding and completion of numerous studies that were used to create a master plan for the direction of the State of Indiana. This plan, Economic Vision 2010, was the foundation for the growing resurgence of Indiana’s prospects and business climate.
He serves or has served on the boards of numerous companies and numerous civic groups, including the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Board, Experiential Learning and Education Foundation, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indianapolis 500 Festival Board, Indiana Business for Responsive Government, and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. He also is a graduate of Ball State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing.
Walter joined Direct Supply in October of 2008, as the first participant in the company’s post-graduate management training program, and now serves as executive vice president and general manager of TELS.
Before joining Direct Supply, Walter was an analyst in a life science focused venture capital fund, as the founder of a not-for-profit organization focused on fundraising for cancer research and in a variety of sales and marketing roles.
He also earned a B.S. degree in economics and corporate strategy from Vanderbilt University. He graduated with honors from Kelley with an MBA in 2008, focused on entrepreneurship and corporate innovation.
Weisburd is the head of venture capital at 10X Capital, which has invested in 23andMe, Better.com, Clubhouse, DraftKings, Headspace, HoneyBook, Palantir, Punchh, Robinhood, Tonal, Udemy, and Wish. He also currently serves as chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. II and 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. III.
Previous speakers at IU Entrepreneurial Connection Day have included Neal Rickner, chief operating officer of Makani; Jeff Stamp, chief story teller at Bold Thinking and the creator of Baked! Lays Potato Crisps; Jeff Hoffman, a successful entrepreneur, CEO, and film and music producer; Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs and of Incapital LLC; Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines Co.; Patricia Miller, co-founder of Vera Bradley; and Mickey Maurer, chairman of IBJ Media Group.